Why is anyone still wearing fur despite the decades of protests against this practice?
Unless you live in a remote community in which fur is used in the context of living responsibly off the land and as part of your culture, you don’t need it for warmth.
If you’re wearing fur, the reason is vanity. In this episode of The Animal Guide For Curious Humans, host Maureen Amrstrong talks to Lesley Fox, Executive Director of The Furbearers, a Canadian charity that is seeking to end the commercial fur trade. The Furbearers believe that we shouldn’t be killing animals for the fashion trade. Its mission is to protect fur bearing animals through advocacy, education, and research.
Lesley shares important information about fur farming and trapping practice and discusses the animals who are targeted for their fur. She shares a lot of surprising information about the trade, including some of the really terrible practices used by fur farms and how government subsidies are still being used to prop up this declining industry.
A furbearer is a classification of animal whose pelt has commercial value. There are around 21 animals in this category, including mink, foxes, beaver, otters, bears, bobcats, lynx, coyote, squirrels and even skunks!
This episode explores:
- The difference between fur farms and trapping for furs.
- How animals are gassed and electrocuted to preserve the quality of the pelts.
- The huge environmental impact of fur farming.
- The weakness of the arguments used to maintain the fur trade industry.
- The work the Furbearers is doing to protect animals that are cruelly treated in the fur trade.
In addition to her work with the Fur Bearers, Lesley is the co-founder of the Society for Humane Science and president and board chair for the Alberni Community and Women’s Service Society (ACAWS). She is a certified Humane Education Specialist through the National Association for Humane and Environmental Education (NAHEE). She graduated with honours from the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Public Relations, Marketing Communications and Non-Profit Management and is currently finishing her Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies at Royal Roads University.
Lesley lives with her partner on Vancouver Island on the traditional territories of the Hupacasath and Tseshaht First Nations.
We would love to have your thoughts and feedback on this episode. Please contact us directly at The Animal Guide, or send us a message via social media.
Episode links and resources
Recommendations of books, publications:
The Subjugation of Canadian Wildlife: Failures of Principle and Policy
Mcgill-queen’s Rural, Wildland, and Resource Studies) Hardcover – April 10, 2018
by Max Foran
Loved the episode! My name is Marcus Mitropoulos and I am a freelance journalist currently completing my degree at Carleton University. I am chasing a story that pertains to the use of animals in the fashion industry. Would I be able to connect with Maureen next week to chat about the future of fur in fashion?
Hi Marcus. I am so sorry we didn’t see your email earlier. You may have already completed your article on the future of fur but if you would still like to connect, happy to do so. Feel free to reach you to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Best.