Eating Seal Meat: Vancouver Chef Puts Seal on Menu

Truth About Fur By Truth About Fur

eating seal meat, seal meat, seal skin, seal hunt, vancouver, dine out vancouver, edible canada, eric pateman

Eating seal meat is not something many of us have tried. It’s not a regular feature on restaurant menus, nor is it abundant in grocery stores. Vancouver restaurant Edible Canada made headlines in January when it announced that its menu for the restaurant festival Dine Out Vancouver was going to feature seal meat.

The two dishes, a pasta dish featuring pappardelle with seal mince and a starter of seal loin served rare, caught the attention of media and culinary enthusiasts, but where there are seals, there are activists. Not only did protesters turn up outside the restaurant, they also went on a cyber attack, downgrading the restaurant’s reviews on Facebook by posting hundreds of one-star reviews (since reversed, to an extent, thanks to our loyal followers; see below).

We had a chat with Edible Canada’s executive chef, Eric Pateman, described as “one of the leading ambassadors of Canadian cuisine”, about eating seal meat, protesters, and Canadian cuisine.

Truth About Fur: You knew there was going to be some backlash, so why did you decide to go ahead and put seal on the menu?

Eric Pateman: It was the right thing to do. Part of what we do as a business is define Canadian food culture and seal has such an important historical as well as present-day context to it. By not doing it, we would have been doing a disservice to part of what we do as a business, which is educating and informing people on what it is that makes Canada so unique.

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Clothes Moths in the Fur Closet? Prevention Better than Cure

Alice in Furs By Alice in Furs

Clothes moths don’t kill or bite, and aren’t poisonous, but they are the little jerks of the insect world and have very expensive taste. They love furs, cashmere, wool, and any other expensive animal fibers you have in your closet. When it comes to fashion, they are bug enemy number one, but there are ways to keep the little buggers away from your furs, and I’m here to tell you how.

Tineola bisselliella, clothes moth, fur

The Tineola bisselliella, or common clothes moth, is enemy number one when it comes to clothing. Photo: Erling Ólafsson.

Prevention Is Best

Here are my favourite tricks to turn your closet into a no-go zone for clothes moths.

Cedarwood oil: Spray cedarwood oil (diluted with distilled water) around your closet, but away from the clothes, or place cedarwood oil-soaked cotton balls in corners of closets and drawers.

Lavender oil: Fresh lavender oil (used in the same way as above) is another nice-smelling clothes moth deterrent.

Give them space: Don’t over-stuff your closets and give your coats a good shake every now and then. That makes it difficult for clothes moths to get comfortable in there.

Natural repellents: There are quite a few good natural moth repellants on the market, including ones you can hang in between your coats or stuff into the coat pockets. I avoid mothballs, though. They smell bad and are terrible for the environment.

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5 Biggest Lies Animal Activists Tell About Fur

Truth About Fur By Truth About Fur

The easiest way for animal activists to further their agenda is to lie, and when it comes to the fur trade, that means portraying us as a cruel industry that mistreats animals.

We don’t like giving animal activists credit, but there’s no denying how successful they’ve been at spreading their lies. They appear so frequently in traditional media, blogs and comment sections, that members of the general public can hardly be blamed for believing that at least some of this horrible stuff must be true.

Well, it isn’t, and we are here to set the record straight about the Five Biggest Lies Animal Activists Tell About Fur.

mink farm, fur farm, skinned alive, animal rights, animal activists

Mink are extremely well-treated on farms as that is the only way to ensure a good pelt. They are also never skinned alive.

Activist Lie #1: Animals on fur farms are skinned alive. Take a moment to consider this and you’ll realize it makes no sense. Not only is skinning an animal alive illegal and utterly immoral, it would also be dangerous for the operator, would increase the risk of damaging the pelt, and would presumably take longer than skinning an animal that was euthanized. (Is it easier to cut your dog’s nails while he is excited or when he’s been sleeping?) Farming is a business, and businesses need to be profitable – so why would anyone adopt a practice that is dangerous for their staff, damages the product, and takes much longer than doing it properly? The simple answer is that they wouldn’t, which is why animals are never skinned alive for the fur trade.


Activist Lie #2: Most furs come from China where animal welfare laws don’t exist. Therefore, most animals used in the fur trade are mistreated. The clever part of this lie is that, if true, it would render irrelevant the high standards of animal welfare on North American and European fur farms. If most fur comes from China, who cares how well farmers care for their mink in Wisconsin or Denmark?

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December Fur News: Canadian Tire Fur Ban

Truth About Fur By Truth About Fur

Canadian Tire fur ban

Is a Canadian Tire fur ban real or a misunderstanding? Hunters and trappers who buy supplies there are demanding clarification.

Activist claims of a Canadian Tire fur ban in all its stores provoked surprise and anger in December. Canadian Tire is a major Canadian hardware and automotive parts retailer and one of the country’s largest suppliers of hunting, trapping, and fishing supplies. The company has denied banning fur from its main stores, but admitted that two apparel chains it runs under different names, Atmosphere and Sport Chek, have indeed stopped stocking and selling fur products.

Naturally, many people are livid – how can you supply equipment for hunting and trapping in one store while refusing to sell fur in another? Was someone in the CT organization intimidated by activists, or simply misled? We are now working on getting a full explanation from the company. Meanwhile, if you want to send Canadian Tire a message, you can find them on Facebook here.

Speaking of clothing stores, we celebrated a few anniversaries in December. This Indiana fur store is celebrating its 35th anniversary, and this store in Detroit has been in business for a century. But it hasn’t been all fun and games for fur retailers, Denis Basso’s Upper East Side store was the victim of a major robbery – a sure sign of the resurgence of fur’s popularity!  In any case, rest assured that in 2017, fur will still be in fashion. Whether it is Shaman Furs’ sea otter pieces, “polar bear” parkas, purse pets, or iphone cases (below), there is something for every fur lover. But it will be hard to beat Jennifer Lopez’s fur fashion moment – she wore a white fur coat while she was in labour!

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Standing Up to Anti-Hunting Bullies – A Case Study from Ontario

Gregory Thompson By Gregory Thompson

It seems that animal rights and anti-hunting bullies come in many shapes and forms. Knowing this is important in managing-down the inevitable, but thankfully infrequent, conflicts that lawful hunters, trappers and even fishermen face in harvesting wildlife. A couple of years ago, while hunting wild turkey, I had two such encounters on the same day. Here is what happened.

greg thompson, turkeys, anti-hunting

The spring turkey season was open and I was hunting on private property in eastern Ontario. The property consisted of a long rectangular field bordered by forest and bush on the north side, a township road and small property with a house and barn on the west side, fields on the east side and an unimproved township right-of-way on the southern edge. Turkeys were frequently feeding on waste corn along the northern edge of the property, and the adult males, or toms, were using a nearby rise in the field as a strutting zone. Only bearded turkeys are legal game during the spring season.

On the day in question, I parked my truck along the edge of the right-of-way, packed up my gun and gear, and walked in a northeastward direction across the field. Following the hunting regulations, proper gun handling and shooting in a safe direction are key to personal safety and that of others. As required by law I was using a shotgun to hunt turkeys. These firearms typically have an effective range of no more than 60 yards, though the spent shot can travel up to 200 yards. With the surrounding private property and the township right-of-way well beyond my field of fire, I set up my decoys on the small rise in the field and settled into the nearby fencerow for the afternoon. I had a clear view of the entire field. The right-of-way was well over 500 yards to the south. Beyond my truck, which was one-half a mile southwest, I could barely make out the roof tops of some of the housing and other buildings along the higher elevation of the township road.

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Time to Send a Message to Canadian Tire!

Truth About Fur By Truth About Fur

canadian tire, fur, peta

Many were shocked this week when PETA announced that Canadian Tire and its affiliates would no longer sell fur products “after being shown how animals were mistreated”.

Those who contact Canadian Tire for an explanation are receiving the following carefully-worded statement:

Over a year ago two of our banners, Sport Chek and Atmosphere, made a decision that reflects the preferences of their customers. We continuously evaluate the types of products we carry in our stores and from time to time we make shifts in our assortment. We are aware of communications that indicated this decision reflects all of our banners but this is not the case.

Of course, by removing fur from their stores, Canadian Tire is not respecting “the preferences of their customers”, but denying them the right to choose for themselves.

Many people are shocked and disappointed that Canadian Tire would let animal extremists dictate their merchandising policies. Canadian Tire is one of Canada’s most important retailers of hunting, trapping and fishing equipment – a $4 BILLION business in this country. Don’t they understand that these same activists also oppose hunting and fishing? Don’t they know that the activist websites are already asking when Atmosphere and Sport Chek will also get rid of their down-filled apparel and leather products?

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Santa Wears Fur “from His Head to His Foot”

Truth About Fur By Truth About Fur

santa wears fur, santa, fur, f.o.c. darley

In this 1862 print of A visit from St. Nicholas, illustrator F.O.C. Darley stayed true to Santa’s appearance.

A Visit from St. Nicholas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
Full poem

Everyone believes in Santa, but few count themselves lucky enough to have seen him. For those blessed few of you, did you notice something odd? His red cloth jacket and pants, and black leather boots, were nowhere to be seen. He was dressed, from head to toe, in nothing but fur!

Something most Santa fans don’t know is that his true appearance, and character, were not discovered until the early 19th century, with New York the centre of enlightenment.

Historically, Saint Nicholas was depicted as a stern holy man, and this tradition was exported to New York by Dutch colonialists. But a group of writers and scholars, led by Washington Irving in his 1809 book A History of New-York, began to question Santa’s dour image. What they discovered would rock the world, and especially the Dutch. Christmas would never be the same again!

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