Defend or Refute the Statement: "Trapping Should be Illegal - Then and Now"
Trapping is a very important issue, which is connected to many other
larger issues. For instance, trapping lies at the heart of the First
Nation's distinct society issue. Before I talk about the present, however,
I would like to discuss whether trapping should have been illegal when
Canada was first being settled in the 17th and 18th centuries.
When the first explorers came to the new world, it was regarded as a
huge slab of worthless rock standing between Europe and the riches of the
Orient. The only reason these explorers even explored this continent was
the hope of finding the North-West passage, a route to the Orient.
Fortunately, while searching for this North-West passage, some of these
explorers stumbled onto a virtual magnet for settlement: The Fur Trade.
When people heard how pelts of all kinds could be obtained so easily and
sold for so much, the idea of not settling in the new world was ridiculous.
Suddenly settlers came to this "slab of worthless rock" and tried to set up
permanent living there. Even after a few failed attempts the draw of the
fur trade was responsible for the settlement we call New France.
After the first steps toward a permanent colony in the new world were
made, the next steps came in leaps and bounds. The French government was
sending everyone they could to settle in New France. Courieurs de Bois,
began coming to the colony to trap furs and sell them back in France.
France granted land to poor people that were willing to risk the great
voyage. The colony flourished, and grew.
It was the fur trade that was mostly responsible for this colony.
However, some think that by this point the colony was large enough to
illegalize fur trapping and still remain a profitable colony for France.
However, there is one major reason that fur trading should have been
allowed: Relations with the Indians.
Relations with the Indians were shaky, at best. Some Indians
befriended the French, and some befriended the English. Some just gave
their furs to the highest bidder. The relationship with the Indians was
more than just a trade agreement. The wars of the Indians were the wars of
the French. Now, imagine what would happen if one day, an Indian came to a
Frenchman and offered him a pelt. The Frenchman tells the Indian that not
only will he not buy it, but no Frenchman in New France will. Not only
that, trapping furs in the forests belonging to the French was not allowed.
The relationships with the Indians which had taken so long to establish
would be shattered in days. The Indians would probably recognize the French
as their enemies. Now not only the enemies of the Indian "friends" of the
French would attack them, but also their "friends". Settlers would again
become afraid to come to New France because of the fierce Indian attacks.
The French colony in New France would cease to exist. Therefore, I think
trapping should have been legal then.
Now that I have talked about fur trapping then, I'll talk about it
now. Unfortunately, it is much more complicated now. Animal rights
activists have told us that it is wrong to kill an animal for its fur. I
strongly agree with this opinion, especially since man-made fur is so
accessible. Unfortunately, there are people who feel they deserve real fur
if they can pay for it. Although I disagree with them, you cannot just deny
them the fur, because one way or another they will arrange to get it. Even
so, trapping (for fur) should be illegal. If you want real fur, you should
not kill wild animals. You should go to a farm where animals are raised for
The problem of people wanting real fur is small compared to other
problems for and against the fur trade. For instance, if we illegalize
trapping, the First Nation's way of life would be totally disrupted. Not
letting the First Nation trap is like taking away a large profession from
us, for instance law. What would all the lawyers do if suddenly practising
law was illegal? The First Nations, I believe, should be allowed to
continue trapping as long as it is under limits. However, I believe that,
after all, their ancestors had such a successful relationship with the land
that trapping within limits should not be a problem.
Another problem that would arise if trapping