The footage may just be 15 seconds long, but already it’s been viewed more than 17 million times. Its subject? A coyote struggling in a steel trap, a shotgun trained toward its head. For People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which posted the video on Facebook last week, a contrasting photo of Canada Goose jackets, neatly arranged on a rack, is comment enough. Although the outerwear manufacturer doesn’t hide the fact that it trims its hoods with coyote fur, PETA insists that its method of obtaining the pelts is “inherently cruel.” According to Canada Goose’s own online fur policy, the company calls fur not just the best choice, but the “only choice” for defending against sub-zero temperatures. The jackets are designed for arctic climes, yet most of Canada Goose’s customers are unlikely to require that level of protection.
Perhaps equalling galling for animal activists is Canada Goose’s claims of being ethical and humane.
“We only purchase fur from certified Canadian trappers, who live close to land and maintain traditions that have been passed down through generations,” it writes on its website. “They have a profound respect for nature, and we are proud to support them.”
The company notes that the fur it uses complies with Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards, which PETA calls “meaningless” and a way of “placating and silencing people with valid concerns.”
“The AIHTS–approved body-gripping and leg-hold traps still prevent coyotes from escaping, and all too often, these animals languish against their will in these traps, typically for 24 to 72 hours,” the animal-rights group said in a statement. “Mothers desperate to get back to their starving pups have been known to attempt to chew off their own limbs to escape. Animals who don’t succumb to the elements, blood loss, infection, or predators are often strangled, stomped on, or bludgeoned to death when the trapper returns.”
PETA also has words on Canada Goose’s use of down, a fiber that has proven controversial of late.
“Those used for the down stuffed into Canada Goose jackets are violently killed for both their feathers and meat, and some even have their throats slit while they’re still conscious and able to feel pain,” PETA said. Live-plucking and force-feeding (for foie-gras production) are also commonplace.
“In the 21st century, people can choose to be cruel or kind,” PETA added. “With so many cruelty-free options available today that are durable, innovative, and warm, there is no need to use animal fur and goose down.”