Canada Goose Inc., coyotes and ‘jellyheads’ (Warning: Graphic content)

fur trim canada gooseLike a fancy watch or luxury sports car, Canada Goose is the coat you can’t afford. Yet, despite the steep price tag of upwards of $700, credit cards everywhere are making it possible to join the club*. While the appeal of an over-stuffed parka with dead coyote fur trim is lost on us, we have to admit this silly fad is concerning nonetheless.

Marketing techniques like giving away free coats to celebrities has made it possible for Canada Goose Inc. to linger longer in the public eye and it’s causing penis envy. If you have taken a marketing class, you know the first rule of marketing is to “create a need”. Canada Goose has done that very successfully and literally off the backs of hundreds of thousands of coyotes.

The Toronto-based company reportedly churns out over 250,000 parkas a year, most of which have real fur trim on the hoods. That is a lot of dead coyotes and the only way to get a coyote is to trap him or her in the wild using a Conibear, leg-hold or snare trap.

All wildlife traps are built to be pretty nasty, especially when you consider it has to be strong enough to hold or kill a wild animal who will fight for their life. Countless videos and photographs show that animals will break teeth and bones trying to escape. Even traps that are so-called “humane”, animals will do whatever it takes to escape.

Out of all the traps, the snare, a simple wire noose, has the unique distinction of inflicting some of the worst cruelty imaginable.

Wally Jakubas is a scientist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Years ago he was conducting a study of snared coyotes when he noticed an alarming trend. After checking 94 snared coyotes he noticed a large proportion of carcasses with grotesquely swollen heads, bullet holes, fractured limbs, and broken teeth. Of particular interest to Jakubas were the animals with swollen heads —”jellyheads,” the trappers call them.

According to reports, when the snare doesn’t close sufficiently, it constricts the jugular vein on the outside of the neck, cutting off blood returning to the heart; meanwhile, the carotid artery keeps pumping blood into the brain, eventually rupturing its vascular system.

In a memo to his supervisor, Jakubas wrote: “I think it is also safe to say that [this] is an unpleasant death. Anyone who has had a migraine knows what it feels like to have swollen blood vessels in the head. To have blood vessels burst because of pressure must be excruciating.”

Almost a third of the animals Jakubas looked at were jellyheads. Almost another third had been clubbed or shot, indicating that, contrary to department claims, the snares hadn’t killed them quickly.

In British Columbia, trappers are supposed to check their snares once per 14 days. Across the other provinces, trap check times vary and as you might have guessed these regulations are largely unenforceable.

Canada Goose Inc. isn’t the only company to blame for turning a blind eye to animal cruelty.

Other companies do it too, in fact coyote (like raccoon dog) is commonly found on many winter coats.

Thankfully, we can keep warm without fur. Outdoor clothing companies like Patagonia and Swedish company, Fjallraven, have amazing fur-free gear.

But this isn’t about alternatives, is it?

It is about the obsession of following a fad and being part of the crowd, the Canada Goose Inc. “club”.

Until the idiots over at Canada Goose Inc. change their policies, and until consumers refuse to purchase fur products, animals will continue suffer and die for bits of trim.

It makes you wonder if the term ‘jellyhead’ could be also used to describe the mindless people who willingly pay for the torture of a coyote, an animal who is not much different than their own dog at home.

coyote photo-sundown 2007 j-b 030
Photo Courtesy of Coyote Watch Canada.

* “I’ve been told that when you wear a Canada Goose, you feel like you’re part of a club.” Dani Reiss, Canada Goose CEO
The Globe and Mail, Aug. 23 2012

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