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OPINION: An environmentally sustainable choice

A coyote, caught on a farm in the Covehead area by trapper Randy Jewell, weighed 65.4 pounds, in this December 2012 file photo. It was one of the largest coyotes ever seen on the Island.

(Guardian file photo)
A coyote, caught on a farm in the Covehead area by trapper Randy Jewell, weighed 65.4 pounds, in this December 2012 file photo. It was one of the largest coyotes ever seen on the Island. (Guardian file photo) - The Guardian

Setting the record straight about a remarkable Canadian heritage industry

ALAN HERSCOVICI

GUEST OPINION

The dozen Islanders who protested against Canada Goose jackets in Charlottetown recently are entitled to their opinions, but they are sadly misinformed about the environmental ethic of the modern Canadian fur trade.

Coyotes (the fur used on Canada Goose and other winter parkas) are highly abundant across North America. In fact, they have to be culled in many regions, whether or not we use fur - to protect livestock, especially calves and lambs.

Trapping is strictly regulated by provincial wildlife departments to be sure that it is conducted sustainably and responsibly. The sustainable use of wildlife is supported by the World Conservation Union and every serious conservation organization. Canada is also the world leader in humane trap research.

Fur is a natural and long-lasting insulator that is fully biodegradable after many decades of use. By contrast, the synthetic alternatives proposed by animal activists are generally made from petroleum, which is a non-renewable and non-biodegradable resource. Recent research is showing how micro-particles of plastics from synthetic textiles is passing into our waterways and into marine life. Not a good alternative.

Islanders can be proud of the fact that fox farming was pioneered on P.E.I., a 100 years ago. And fur still one of the best and most sustainable natural materials for winter warmth. For another perspective, readers are invited to visit www.TruthAboutFur.com.

Of course, no one is obliged to eat meat or to wear leather or fur. But that does not give these activists the right to attack the reputation and livelihoods of hard-working aboriginal and other Canadian trappers. Trappers are our eyes and ears on the land, sounding the alarm when natural habitat is threatened. They do not need lessons about respecting nature from urban activists.

Nor does it make much sense to make such a fuss about using a natural and sustainable material like fur when 95 per cent of the population eats meat and wears leather.

- Alan Herscovici is a senior writer and researcher for ‘Truth About Fur’

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