Cape Breton Home of our Hearts
WINDSOR, Ont. — A Windsor intersection served as the backdrop Friday for a ringside debate over animal rights.
On one side — two young protesters from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in mini-skirts and boots handing out “citation tickets” to anyone wearing fur, leather or wool.
On the other — musician Ashley MacIsaac, boldly sporting a muskrat fur jacket and holding a sign, reading: “Shame on PETA, Support Canada’s Seal Hunt.”
“PETA does some shameful things,” said MacIsaac, a native of Cape Breton, N.S. “It’s nice to see them come out and promote ethical treatment of animals . . . But I’m from the East Coast where they have inhibited our seal hunts.”
Windsor was the latest stop in a tour of southern Ontario cities targeted by the animal rights group.
“It’s sexy, but not sexist,” said Emily Lavender, an Ottawa-based PETA campaign organizer. “It’s pretty cold on all our stops, but it’s nothing compared to what our animals go through. We’re happy to stand in the cold for an hour baring some of our skin in the hopes of saving the animals’ skin.”
The outfits were aimed at drawing attention to the plight of animals who are “skinned alive, bludgeoned to death or gassed,” said Lavender.
“Our fashion police are here to take charge of the laws of common decency and anyone wearing fur, leather, wool or any exotic animal skins will be ticketed,” said Lavender. “There are so many fashionable options available today that no animal has to die for. We’re dealing with stolen goods here from the backs of animals.”
Costumed in dark blue mini-dresses with plunging necklines, police hats and black, knee-high stiletto boots, Lavender and fellow PETA protester Laura Lee drew attention from a gaggle of reporters and a few curious onlookers.
“It’s a man grabber,” Rudy Wallace said appreciatively. Wearing a grin from ear to ear, his eyes fixed on the leggy women, Wallace said he could see both sides of the issue.
“You kill to eat, right? But people gotta wear clothes, too, that’s what the animals are there for,” said Wallace. “Overdoing it is an issue. We should do everything according to what we need.”
But, MacIsaac blasted PETA for using “extreme” tactics that endangered both hunters and the animals it professes to protect.
“We’re Canada here, we’re not in Brazil, so when it comes to fur and the like I’m a big promoter of our industry,” said the fiddler, who moved to Windsor in 2008.
“People don’t understand what it’s like to go out at five in the morning, go out and make a living on the cold ice in the North Atlantic. For that reason people like myself have to keep standing up against some of the atrocious things PETA has done.”
As Lavender and Lee were scanned by a group of about five male passersby, a couple of Windsor women voiced their objection to the pair.
“Don’t just stand out here in an itsy-bitsy, teenie, weenie dress promoting PETA,” said an angry Kathy Peacock. “I’m sick to death of these people.”
Kim Gustafson, who was raised in the northwestern Ontario community of Fort Frances, confronted the protesters, accusing them of failing to understand the necessity of hunting. “My father put food on the table,” fumed Gustafson. “They think it’s animal cruelty, but when you have a family of seven, and you’re out of work, the mill goes on strike, he hunts. That meat goes to feeding the family.
“I’m all for stopping cruelty to animals. But, look at the way they’re dressed. I think that’s ridiculous.”
Cape Breton Islanders & Friends: http://caperbuzz.comCape Breton Fireside Forum: http://KrazyFella.Com Cape Breton Fireside Blog Links: http://freelink.org/kapebreton Capers For Justice: http://caperjustice.notlong.com Contact Me: http://formmail.to/kapebreton