Why I Don’t Own a Canada Goose

A Canada Goose jacket is an expensive-a** jacket – and I’m not talking about the $1000 price tag. Those slick, black, luxury parkas with that unmistakable circular red logo on the left bicep hang over every chair in the Ugli and plush, beige fur frames the faces of most of our peers. That fur, the pelts of thousands of Canadian coyotes, is the price that I’m talking about.

When you drop one grand on this piece of outerwear, you are paying for the life of the coyote that fashionably hangs over your backpack while you walk to class. You are paying for the life that was taken by a Canadian trapper, you are paying for the bullet that is skillfully put through the animal in a specific way as to not ruin his beautiful fur. You are paying for the multiple days that the coyotes sometimes spend in the leg hold traps awaiting death, a trap banned in most countries (including the EU), as well as Florida, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Arizona. You are paying for the suffering that the animals endure, the leg fractures, severed tendons and ligaments, and the profuse bleeding that occur while the animal frantically tries to escape. You are paying for the legs that mothers sometimes gnaw off to return to their young. You are paying for this

 

But to some, the life of some scrawny dog is worth the price; especially since coyotes are sometimes considered pests and their population seems to be relatively healthy. Obviously, the use of animal products in general is a tough subject when you dig deep enough; I’m sure even the most dedicated meat-eaters would be a little squeamish when reading about the horrors of a slaughterhouse. But the needlessness of coyote fur on the Canada Goose jacket is something that has ignited animal activists and the general population.

 

I’m not a vegetarian and I understand that the exploitation of animals for our own use is something that has simply been engrained in our culture. What I don’t understand is why we are supporting a company that calls real fur “the only choice.” Canada Goose states that they use coyote fur because “it works” and that it “doesn’t freeze, doesn’t hold moisture, retains heat, and is biodegradable,” which is ironic since many coyotes have been found to freeze to death in leg traps waiting for the swift release of a bullet. I wonder, then, why climbers can scale Mt. Everest in fur-free Patagonia gear, but University of Michigan students feel it necessary to wear animal fur to walk across the Diag.

 

I don’t want to condemn anyone who owns a Canada Goose, I simply hope to shed light on the steep moral cost of the jacket and to reiterate that the life of an animal is included in that cost. Most of those who own a Canada Goose don’t even use the fur hood, suggesting that maybe it’s the goose down in the coat itself that provides the real warmth. If you do sport your Canada Goose around campus, please continue to do so – if you can’t prevent the suffering of a coyote, you might as well make sure his life wasn’t wasted. If you are considering purchasing a Canada Goose, I hope that your decision is now more educated. If you, like me, have decided that the label and extra heat around your face isn’t worth the cost, then I recommend researching fur-free brands here

 

I promise you that faux fur is not just a “fashion statement” as the Canada Goose website says, and that my Eddie Bauer fur-free jacket does its job well. I think it’s also important to consider your true motive behind purchasing a Canada Goose at all, and whether warmth is even a factor – because it was the only factor for the animal from whose back it was stripped.

 

 

Resources: Daily Mail, The Fur Bearers, PETA, The Humane Society.

Images Courtesy of: Huffngton Post, Pamela Karaz.