Is That Dog Fur on Your Canada Goose Jacket?

This morning, I was struck by the irony of a young woman walking a dog while wearing coyote fur on the collar of her Canada Goose jacket (yes, coyotes and domesticated dogs are part of the same Canis family). Although I let blissful ignorance prevail, I imagined a conversation.

Me: Cozy jacket, huh? Love the fur lining.
She: Thanks.
Me: What's your dog's name?
She: Fido.
Me: He's really cute. He really adores you, huh?
She: I'm his momma.
Me: Think Fido knows your secret?
She: Not sure what you mean.
Me: (whispering) You know, the fur lining. Its almost like you're wearing Fido around your neck. I don't know Fido but I'm guessing he'd be hurt, maybe even a bit concerned.

I'm guessing the interaction might end there.

Canada Goose, on the other hand, is proud of this fact. Although they lather on the lipstick, the pig-ness lurking behind their slick fur policy is glaring. I couldn't resist examining a few of the company's claims and proposing a slightly tweaked version more in line with their true philosophy.

Claim #1:

...when life is on the line -- fur is not the best choice, it's the only choice.

Really? Proven outerwear companies such as Patagonia, North Face and Fjallraven (to name just a few) regularly outfit hikers that scale Everest, race in the Iditarod or trek across the Arctic, all without the use of dog fur. But perhaps this guy (Dani Reiss, CEO of Canada Goose)...

2015-11-24-1448337050-5269904-DanyReiss.jpg
Photo by: Rick Madonik / Toronto Star

...knows something that these two guys don't. (Douglas Tompkins, founder of North Face, and Yvon Chounaird, founder of Patagonia).

2015-11-24-1448337097-468206-mountainofstormstheamericanexpeditionstodhaulagirijohnroskelleyandngawangsamdenondhaulagirisummitmay121973.jpg Photo by: Lito Tejada-Flores

A slightly tweaked version, 'Fur is not the best choice, but based on our market research its the prettiest and most desirable choice by the people who buy most of our jackets, city slickers and fashionistas driven by trends that want to turn heads while braving the elements to get from the coffee shop to the office.'

Claim #2:

In many regions in North America, coyotes are considered a pest...

Instead of seeing coyotes as pests, perhaps we should see them for what they really are, members of a family. Like humans, dogs rely on family members. So when Dani's trappers snare a mother coyote in a leg trap, they deprive her of the right to raise her offspring. Oh, and her pups starve to death. Essentially, Canada Goose is a bunch of home wreckers.

2015-11-24-1448339918-8878877-B2B5186.jpg Photo by: Tom/Pat Leeson

A proposed tweak. 'In many regions in North America, coyotes are considered a vital member of some family unit but unfortunately for them, we desperately need the fur so our customers can look super sexy as they traipse about town. Sorry pups, mommy can't make it home for dinner. Or ever. But maybe you can forage around for some berries instead?'

Claim #3:

We strongly support the ethical, responsible and sustainable use of fur.

I thought the fur debate was over when fur companies shuttered in droves but I guess inhumanity will always rear its ugly head if left unchecked. Unless you live in a cave and are just learning to walk upright, killing an animal to wear its fur is barbaric. Basically, the antithesis of ethical and responsible behavior.

And my tweak. 'We strongly support the use of fur for a simple reason; profit. If we didn't use coyote fur, we'd never be able to justify our prices. More than an outerwear company, we're a fur company led by an aspiring fiction writer who weaves elaborate stories to suit our companies vision; a world awash in high-priced fur.'

If you're in the market for a jacket for this upcoming winter, consider the type of philosophy you support by purchasing from a company like Canada Goose. For alternatives, here is a link to the Humane Society's list of companies that don't use fur.

To read a masterful and thorough debunking of Canada Goose's claims, check out this link to Fur-Bearer Defenders, an organization at the forefront of this battle.

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