PETA and DXE make a splash in Vancouver
By Katie Czenczek, News Editor
On Friday, November 2, Direct Action Everywhere (DXE), PETA, and other animal rights groups met at the Vancouver Art Gallery to protest the grand opening of the Canada Goose clothing store in Pacific Centre.
The clothing store is famous—or infamous, depending on how you look at it—for its use of coyote fur and down feathers in its winter coat linings. Highly expensive, these coats can cost well over $1,000. The animal rights groups flocked to the Art Gallery to increase bystander awareness. They met on a Friday evening, which is the peak time for foot traffic in the area.
The activist groups did not intend to change the minds of the clothing company about their use of animal products in their fashion line. Rather, they wanted to appeal to the public in order to dissuade them from shopping at Canada Goose. Protestors lined up with signs that spelled out “Canada Goose Kills,” along with tombstone-shaped signs that read, “It’s not fashion, it’s violence.”
Alex Erica—whose name was changed to protect her identity—helped organize the protest. She said in an interview with the Other Press that she thinks it is important to spread the message that animal products are no longer necessary.
“These issues don’t only affect animals,” she said. “The farming industry is way more harmful than driving cars, and our protest today is about how there isn’t a place for furs in fashion anymore.”
Erica also said that she’s been vegan for 13 years and just wants people to be educated before they make a decision to wear fur or down feathers.
“If people would really think about what they eat and what they wear, I doubt that they’d feel comfortable continuing to do so,” she said.
The protest also featured a projector screen that showed footage of the traps used for coyotes, along with the cage conditions for Canada geese. The protestors claimed that this footage was how Canada Goose treated the animals they used in their products, though there was no confirmation that this is actually the case.
While the footage played, an announcer over a megaphone said, “If you wouldn’t wear dog fur, then why would you wear a coyote’s?”
Tensions rose between some of the general public and the advocates as some people passing by ridiculed the protest. Several momentary screaming matches erupted but were quickly broken up. Following the meet-up at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the group of protestors marched into Pacific Centre to stand outside the newly-opened Canada Goose store.
Marc Esparza, a bystander who happened to be wearing a Canada Goose jacket at the time, said in an interview with the Other Press that he was unaware of these practices before purchasing his coat.
“I had friends recommend this brand to me,” he said. “I didn’t know that they treated animals this way. It was really expensive, so I wouldn’t buy it again anyways.”
Once the protestors made it into Pacific Centre, they circled Canada Goose and started chanting, “There’s no excuse for animal abuse.” Effectively, they blocked the main hallway leading up to the store. Extra security teams were blockading the store’s entrance and the mall’s security team helped escort people through the group of protestors. Three VPD officers were present as well in case things became violent. The protestors continued to talk about animal rights outside the store and held up a fake skinned coyote carcass to show how they look after the animal’s fur is taken.
A PR rep for Canada Goose was standing behind the protest and called the protestors’ claims “propaganda” to people who were witnessing the protest but not involved. When asked for a quote by the Other Press, the representative said that the company had no comments on the protest or if they were impeding on animal rights.