seal hunt

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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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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April Fur News: Trapping and Stupid Activists

Truth About Fur By Truth About Fur

It’s time for our April Fur in the News roundup, so here’s our summary of the media’s coverage of trapping, sealing, fur fashion and stupid activists …

jeff traynor, trapper, wildlife, fur trade

Most modern trappers aren’t in it solely for a few extra bucks. Conservation, heritage, family tradition, exercise, insight, an escape – there’s millions of reasons why modern trapping is alive and well in North America. Photo © Jeff Traynor.

Let’s start with trapping, and this fantastic guest blog post by “modern trapper” Jeff Traynor (pictured), who talks about his love for this age-old skill and its traditions. Outdoor Canada recognized the importance of trapping and why hunters need to support Canada’s oldest profession. “There was some income involved, there certainly was a pursuit involved, and it’s an accumulative hobby,” veteran trapper Victor Blanchette is quoted as saying. It rings true, of course; Blanchette has been trapping for 50 years and knows what he’s talking about.

trapping, wildlife, trapper, cougar

Need to know when to sell your furs? This handy article from Grandview Outdoors gives some tips for trappers who need to decide whether to sell or store their skins. And if you ever get a cougar stuck in a trap, here is one way to release him (pictured.) But kids, it is best not to try this at home, or outside.

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March Fur News: Sealing Season Is Here!

Truth About Fur By Truth About Fur

sealing season, fur

Putting sexy back in sealskin: Nunavut seamstresses aim for high-end fashion market. CBC News.

Here’s our roundup of Fur In The News from March 2016, and since April marks the start of the sealing season, of course it’s in the news! Although the activists are urging Justin Trudeau to phase out the seal hunt, that’s not going to happen. And that’s good news for everything, including this restaurant owner who has taken to feeding a frequent seal visitor, since they are so overcrowded in the seas and they are running out of fish. Meanwhile, if you’re wondering where to get your next pair of seal stilettos or seal skin bra, look no further!

Speaking of the seas, here is a highly depressing article about how whales are starving because their stomachs are full of plastic, and another piece about the impact fleece is having on marine wildlife. What is the solution? We suggest buying fur, leather, and other long-lasting biodegradable materials because as this article explains, “vegan leather” (synthetic leather to most people) isn’t as ethical as its fans think.

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Fur in the News: January 2016 Roundup

Alexandra Suhner Isenberg By Alexandra Suhner Isenberg

the revenant, fur trade, fur trade history, cinema, fur in the news, leonardo dicaprio

The Revenant has struck a chord not just with mountain men, but the whole of the fur trade.

It’s time to look back at last month’s media, so here is our Fur in the News roundup for January 2016! Let’s start with some cinema. The Revenant has been one of the most talked-about Hollywood films in the fur and trapping communities. Here’s a Vanity Fair piece about the costumes for the film, the secret concoction they used in lieu of bear grease, and the grizzly pelt Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Hugh Glass wore throughout the film.

St. Louis Public Radio has found quite a few connections between the city and the fur trade of the film’s era. And what’s not to love about Leonardo DiCaprio’s acceptance speech when he won Best Actor at the Golden Globes?

Fashion News

Since we are on the subject of costumes, quite a few publications identified fur as being one of the trends on the recent menswear fashion shows. While we wouldn’t exactly consider ourselves fans of Kim Kardashian, we love that she dresses herself and her daughter in beautiful fur coats.

If you don’t have $10,000 for a new jacket, then why not try making one yourself? This is a brand that sells fur accessories, but what is stopping you making some of your own? Or how about a cushion? StyleCaster has some great ideas on how to decorate your home with fur.

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Fur in the News: November 2015 Roundup

Alexandra Suhner Isenberg By Alexandra Suhner Isenberg

fur in the news, trapping, fur

We are full on into trapping season, so let’s make that the first topic of our November Fur In The News roundup. Are you out of practice? We love Outdoor Hub’s Introduction to Trapping, and these tips for the upcoming trapping season.

If you are struggling to find animals, maybe head on down to Chicago, which seems to have a bit of a beaver problem.

This is a great article about Making a Living on the Trapline (pictured above), and we love that this trapper has been given an award for his entrepreneurial skills.

Need a bit of trapping history? Read this article about the most famous fur trappers in Arizona.

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Fur in the News: September 2015 Roundup

Alexandra Suhner Isenberg By Alexandra Suhner Isenberg

Let’s start our September 2015 Fur in the News roundup with some fashion news because September sees the launch of the Fall and Winter collections and that means FUR SEASON!!

fur in the news, fur, fur shoes, seal skin, seal hunt

Usually, when we think about fur we think coats, scarves, jackets, or hats, but this year it is all about the fur shoe. There was uniform experiment’s gorgeous sealskin loafers, the “loafur” trend, these kangaroo fur-lined shoes from Gucci and a pair of fur heels that appear to be quite difficult to walk in. If fur shoes aren’t your thing, how about mink bikinis?

If you prefer more traditional fur pieces, then join us in salivating over the gorgeous furs in this new Blackglama video, and if you are super traditional, you might be interested in reading about these sealskin garments paired with caribou antler jewelry.

The last fashion story in this month’s roundup is the blog post by Mark Oaten, CEO of the International Fur Federation, about Hugo Boss’ hypocritical “no fur” stance.

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