This Halloween, a group of lightly-clothed protestors stood shoulder to shoulder in front of the Cornell Store with the red paint on their torsos spelling, “Wear your own skin!”
They were a part of The Halloween Canada Goose protest — organized by the Cornell Vegan Society and Cornell Students for Animal Rights — objecting to Canada Goose’s use of live-plucked down and its method of procuring coyote fur and other furs in general.
The clubs said they “are opposed to the use of all fur and down regardless of brand.”
A demonstrator said that the protest was assisted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Other protestors were passing out pamphlets and stickers or holding posters with images of coyotes. There was a group of protestors in coyote masks standing silently holding laptops playing graphic PETA videos of the fur and down industries.
“As we all know Canada Goose is really prominent on Cornell’s campus, mostly as a status symbol but a lot people don’t know that the fur trim comes from actually killed coyotes that are skinned,” said Lucy Contreras ’21, president of the Cornell Vegan Society.
“Coyotes are trapped and left to agonize for days before they are actually removed from the trap when they’re almost dead. At that point, they’re skinned, even if they’re still alive,” Contreras added.
“The inside of the Canada Goose jacket is made out of live-plucking geese so the process is … they yank off the feathers and leaves red blood spots,” Contreras said. “This happens their whole life until they’re slaughtered.”
The protestors were in front of the store for two hours. Contreras said that they chose to protest on Halloween because “Canada goose is scary” and “the masks and painting fits the Halloween theme.”
She said that since Cornell was a progressive space, it would be receptive to their message.
Throughout the protest, onlookers talked to demonstrators who explained the reasons for the protest and received posters and stickers from the demonstrators.
Some onlookers thought that the protest was useful, bringing attention to the issue.
“I feel like people are set in there morals when they buy this sort of thing because they feel like it’s the same thing as eating meat,” said Richard Green ’21. “It’s conspicuous … so people will stop [to look]” he said.
Contreras said that she wanted to “start a conversation”, acknowledging the provocative display.
“If this protest is too radical for you … do your own research,” she said. “We’re not nitpicking.”
She said that overall the protest was successful because they changed a lot of minds and informed many people.
Some people even put a sticker “Canada Douche” on their Canada Goose jackets saying they wouldn’t buy a Canada Goose again and others said that they would tell their friends, she said.
“We’re willing to sacrifice a lot of things in order for our message come across,” Contreras said. “It doesn’t compare to the level of suffering the animals are going through.”