The fashionable view

beaver

The news in the Guardian recently that beavers are to be released in Ealing represents the ultimate comeback for a species once hunted to extinction in England. Possessor of a fine, waterproof fur and a pair of gland-like sacs near the anus which produced a substance, ‘castoreum’, used in perfumes and – wait for it – vanilla flavouring, the beaver was considered better off dead than alive, a view endorsed – and sometimes still endorsed¬† – by farmers whose fields

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