In Discussions, Life

Shut up and stop judging my winter jacket.

There was a protest happening lately against Canada Goose and Moose Knuckles, both brands that use Goose down and Coyote fur for the ruff.

To be clear, I own a Canada Goose jacket, so does my partner, and I bought my mother one as well. I did ask when I bought it if there was a coyote ruff-free version or a faux fur option but neither were available. I personally don’t love the coyote ruff because we don’t eat coyotes for meat as far as I am aware of.

I am also well aware of the marketing Canada Goose does to talk about how it’s a time honoured tradition, bla bla bla. I don’t care about that, I don’t see the fur ruff having any value except decorative, but that’s all I’ve got.

Anyway.

I didn’t get into an altercation directly with these protestors but I did hear them mumble something about my jacket (which by the way, is saving my ass because it is -30 Celsius degree weather here which is -22 Fahrenheit for the Americans reading this).

I got from all the signs and their smirks, a sense of “you’re a jackass for wearing a jacket with a coyote ruff on it”, and I felt their condescension, disgust and hate.

I took the high road that day because I’m not in the mood to argue (sleep deprivation will do that to you) but it did get me riled the rest of the day thinking about it.

If I had wanted to get into it (while freezing my ass off) with any kind of energy, I probably would have said:

Are you vegan?

If you use animals for any purpose, you have zero moral high ground here.


Leather, shearling, all of that stuff comes from dead animals.

Aside from killing animals for meat, honey come from bees, milk from cows, wool from sheep, silk from silkworms, cheese from milk, etc.

Even the milk from cows is because cows are artificially kept pregnant so that they keep lactating to produce said milk, and their babies (the calves) are taken away after a minimum weaning period so that we humans can buy and drink the milk.

(Can you see why I am slowly trying to shift to non-dairy?)

In fact, you can’t even make most cheeses without rennet which comes from a baby cow’s stomach? Do you know how we get that rennet? We have to kill the baby cow to harvest it.

There is such a thing as vegetable rennet but no one uses it because it leaves a strange taste in cheese.

So YES, if you eat cheese don’t fool yourself that you’re eating just the product of a cow, you were implicit in the death of a baby cow too.

These baby cows are a by product of the milk industry where they are born to get the mommy cow’s milk going, and then they’re slaughtered for veal. We then extract the rennet from their stomach lining to make cheese. These cows would die anyway even if we didn’t extract the rennet, but that’s another story.

I myself am NOT vegan but from a food perspective I do eat a lot less meat than I used to (and prefer it in some cases like faux chicken wings are seriously yummier than actual chicken wings).

Why don’t you look at what you’re wearing, first?

Then if you want to get even deeper into this about being “morally right” or “politically correct”, if you are wearing a coat made in China of polyester fiber fill, you are probably wearing a coat that has been made from slave labour (maybe even from the fingers of a child), your plastic consumption of polyester (as it is made from crude oil at its base) is killing the environment, and don’t even get me started on the clothing dye that is polluting the rivers worldwide.

Why is it that unless the animal is cute, otherwise furry looking (similar to a dog perhaps), that we feel the need to get on a high horse? Just because we don’t see the pollution and dyed rivers running in our backyards doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

So.

Unless you are dying all of your clothes from vegetables you grow in your own garden, and raising and shearing your own wool from sheep to make your coats by hand, and are a vegetarian then STFU.

PROTEST ALL YOU WANT!

I’m not trying to say that they shouldn’t be protesting and they shouldn’t direct their efforts to trying to get these companies to stop using fur.

BY ALL MEANS GO AHEAD!

I would have loved a non-fur option for the ruff of my coat, but before you do any of that, look and evaluate your own lifestyle before you start judging other people and turning your noses up at them.

Think about all that plastic crap that you’ve purchased over the years, made in sweatshops, while driving a gas-fuelled car burning the ozone layer in the environment and contributing to pollution, and all the animals you’re eating every night on your plate (not to mention the edible food waste that happens from said animals because you don’t eat the disgusting offal like tripe, tendons, gizzard, lungs and so on do you?!?!? Oh the horror.)

Think about all of that before you start making comments under your breath about my coat that keeps me warm in this very sub-zero weather and was worth every penny I paid.


I am WELL aware of the choices I’m making.

I already feel (and have felt) a tremendous amount of guilt and shame in a lot of what I do and the actions I’ve taken.

But are you just as aware of your own actions?

NO ONE is safe from not contributing in some way to the detriment of the environment, the killing of animals and abuse. NO ONE. So why focus on one aspect?

Just because coyotes look cute?

Baby chicks are cute too but did you know that they kill the boy chicks because they can’t lay eggs? YEAH. Then these ground up, dead boy chicks become animal feed for pets.

And don’t think for a minute I don’t feel the slightest bit of remorse for this coyote ruff on my coat. I do.

But I try to make up for other things in other parts of my life to balance out the terrible things I have done and still do.

I’m just trying to live the best life I can with the most conscious acts possible.

I try to live green, eat less meat overall, refuse grocery store bags, take public transit or walk instead of the car, avoid chemicals that are terrible for the environment, buy consciously and secondhand instead of new amongst other things.

I’m not perfect and don’t claim to be, but I am trying, so enough with your judgement on the ONE ASPECT of my life just because you see me wearing a coat with a coyote fur ruff.

I’d like to see you prove me wrong when looking at a holistic view of our lives, actions and behaviours of consumption, and to not be judged on just one coyote fur ruff.


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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19 Comments

  1. J
    JLM

    Please don’t get mad and defensive about people trying to make a difference. They’re not saying they’re perfect, they’re raising awareness and asking others to try better. We actually need more of these people, and less status quo consumerists imo.

    I also have a Canada Goose coat and was disgusted when I found out what went on in production. But I can’t or don’t want to ditch it to buy another coat. instead, I’ve taken off the fur on the hood, and covered the Canada Goose patch with a No Fur patch. This is something I urge you to do too if you don’t want to promote fur or CG.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Oh! What a good idea. Thank you.

      Reply
  2. L
    Lora

    Sherry, I apologize, forgot to correct the spelling of your name! Have a great day.

    Reply
  3. L
    Lora

    Well stated, Sherri.

    Reply
  4. E
    Erika

    I live in a part of the U.S. where they hold annual coyote hunts. The hunts serve no purpose other than to keep the population at a manageable level. There aren’t enough natural resources to support the packs without the hunt and many coyotes have resorted to entering neighborhoods and killing people’s small dogs and cats. While I don’t participate in these hunts, I do understand that they are necessary and because coyote isn’t an animal that we typically consume for food, I would rather that their pelts be put to some good use than none at all. I would also rather wear a product that came from an animal than one made by slave labor so there is that side of things to look at too.

    I’m not vegan, but I rarely eat dairy because of a severe intolerance/allergy to milk products. I can’t tolerate goats milk either. I’m convinced that the dairy industry is a racket and I don’t buy into their hype that milk is the best way to consume calcium.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Oh! I had no idea. Thank you. I am a little relieved to hear that. I have always felt so guilty about it.

      I would agree that the dairy industry is a racket. They must throw a ton of money at trying to preserve their position. I think beans and vegetables / fruit are actually the best way to consume calcium.

      Reply
  5. S
    Sandy

    You make some very good points and you’ve got me thinking about the things that I do. I hate the milk industry and I have gradually backslid back into drinking milk and eating cheese again. Also eating more chicken again, when previously I had been a vegetarian for years. Having said that, I will never wear fur. I am not judging you at all. I have a LOT of work to do on myself but personally I do draw a line at fur.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      It is something I struggle with, but I think if it is overt fur (a huge fur mink coat), I won’t wear that, but I do wear shearling which is fur…

      Reply
  6. Cassie

    Totally fair viewpoint. I also had some issues with the coyote fur when I bought mine. If we ate coyote, or if I knew it went to good use after it had been slaughtered, I would have felt better about it. That aside, I do find the trim has a benefit. Personally, I find it serves as a little bit of a wind buffer for my face (and I was definitely using it for that last week). I’ve never regretted purchasing that coat. I think I’m going on my 5th or 6th winter with it now? It keeps me toasty warm, I supported the local economy in purchasing it, and it stopped me from cycling through fast fashion winter coats. In the grand scheme of things, I feel that buying that coat was the right move.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      But wouldn’t faux fur work just as well as a buffer???

      Reply
      1. Cassie

        Yes, it would.

        Reply
  7. Maria

    Ecocult wrote an excellent yet very controversial article on why she wears fur:

    https://ecocult.com/ive-decided-fur-eco-friendly-choice-wont-change-mind/

    As someone who does not eat meat or dairy and I don’t wear fur, I’m not morally opposed or outraged by it. I find it incrediably hypocrical when people are anti-fur, especially when they wear leather. Wildlife management is important to keeping our biodiversity and natural environment at sustainable levels. Also, the protection of indigenous rights shouldn’t be ignored and excluded when discussing the ethics of hunting, trapping, and fur.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Thank you for the post link. It is something I struggle with internally, but also cannot reconcile with my lifestyle…

      Reply
  8. The Luxe Strategist

    Um, I love you. I wrote about my Canada Goose jacket a while back and got some heated unsubscribes for it. Honestly, I was glad about that because I don’t need people on my list who will unsubscribe because they disagree with one thing I say. Like you said, I prefer to take the more holistic approach.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Right back at you. <3

      Look at the whole thing I say. I would like people to take into account everything they do in life, and then go based off that and make decisions, and understand what each action costs them and the environment.

      Reply
  9. r
    raluca

    I don’t see many people protesting in front of H&M stores, yet behind that shiny front some of the worst abuses of the human race are hidden in plain sight. From fouling the planet to child labor, all of our sins packed in a nice plastic bag.

    Reply

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