Why Animal Rights Activists Are Becoming More Aggressive

Alan Herscovici, Senior Researcher, Truth About Fur By Alan Herscovici, Senior Researcher, Truth About Fur

animal rights activists

For animal-rights activists, arson was a way to save lynx from a new ski resort, Vail, Colorado, 1998.

I received a phone call the other day from a very frightened fur retailer. Two young women had come into his store while he was serving a customer and begun lecturing him about the evils of selling fur. He had tried to stay cool and asked them to leave, several times, but they kept at him until, finally, he lost it and said things he wasn’t proud of. They had filmed him too; now his outburst was on an activist website and his Facebook page had been bombarded with comments accusing him of being a sexist thug.

“Am I finished?” he asked, shaken. “That’s not me, but they were so aggressive; honestly, I was frightened.” I told him to remove the threatening posts from his Facebook page – but to take screen-grabs first, for the record. I also advised him to make a police report about the women who had harassed him, and to ask the police to keep an eye on his store at night. (The windows of several fur stores in the same town were broken in the weeks that followed.)

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. An outerwear store that sells fur-trimmed parkas in Vancouver has endured rowdy protests several times a week for more than a year. Activists now often follow fur-wearers down the street, haranguing them. DxE (“Direct Action Everywhere”) activists invade department stores, intimidating consumers and thumbing their noses at store security. At the opening of new Canada Goose stores in New York and Toronto, protesters carried “F*ck Canada Goose” posters. (So much for compassion and intelligent dialogue!) “Fur police” recently patrolled the streets of Hamburg, Germany, lecturing fur-wearers and giving them “tickets”.

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January Fur News: Fur Farm Vandals Are Jailed

Truth About Fur By Truth About Fur

fur farm vandals, january fur in the news roundup

Let’s start our January news roundup with a story that has warmed our hearts: the story of a pair of fur farm vandals being jailed for their crimes. Nicole Kissane was sentenced to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay $423,477 in restitution, while her partner in crime is already serving a two-year sentence. Let this be a lesson to anyone planning on releasing mink and vandalizing fur farms!

fur in the ews, fur farm vandals, HSUS vs PETA, seal hunt, sealing, trappers, animal rights activists, PETA lawsuits

Did you think that HSUS was “better” than PETA? Think again!

In other good activist news, PETA is facing two lawsuits, anti-fur police impersonators are getting in trouble, and activists in the UK are going to be unmasked. If you are unsure about the difference between PETA and HSUS, this educational video (above) will be helpful, and if you need some help wading through the hundreds of lies these organizations use to further their agenda, here is our list of 5 Biggest Lies Animal Activists Tell About Fur.

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Eating Seal Meat: Vancouver Chef Puts Seal on Menu

Truth About Fur By Truth About Fur

eating seal meat, seal meat, seal skin, seal hunt, vancouver, dine out vancouver, edible canada, eric pateman

Eating seal meat is not something many of us have tried. It’s not a regular feature on restaurant menus, nor is it abundant in grocery stores. Vancouver restaurant Edible Canada made headlines in January when it announced that its menu for the restaurant festival Dine Out Vancouver was going to feature seal meat.

The two dishes, a pasta dish featuring pappardelle with seal mince and a starter of seal loin served rare, caught the attention of media and culinary enthusiasts, but where there are seals, there are activists. Not only did protesters turn up outside the restaurant, they also went on a cyber attack, downgrading the restaurant’s reviews on Facebook by posting hundreds of one-star reviews (since reversed, to an extent, thanks to our loyal followers; see below).

We had a chat with Edible Canada’s executive chef, Eric Pateman, described as “one of the leading ambassadors of Canadian cuisine”, about eating seal meat, protesters, and Canadian cuisine.

Truth About Fur: You knew there was going to be some backlash, so why did you decide to go ahead and put seal on the menu?

Eric Pateman: It was the right thing to do. Part of what we do as a business is define Canadian food culture and seal has such an important historical as well as present-day context to it. By not doing it, we would have been doing a disservice to part of what we do as a business, which is educating and informing people on what it is that makes Canada so unique.

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Clothes Moths in the Fur Closet? Prevention Better than Cure

Alice in Furs By Alice in Furs

Clothes moths don’t kill or bite, and aren’t poisonous, but they are the little jerks of the insect world and have very expensive taste. They love furs, cashmere, wool, and any other expensive animal fibers you have in your closet. When it comes to fashion, they are bug enemy number one, but there are ways to keep the little buggers away from your furs, and I’m here to tell you how.

Tineola bisselliella, clothes moth, fur

The Tineola bisselliella, or common clothes moth, is enemy number one when it comes to clothing. Photo: Erling Ólafsson.

Prevention Is Best

Here are my favourite tricks to turn your closet into a no-go zone for clothes moths.

Cedarwood oil: Spray cedarwood oil (diluted with distilled water) around your closet, but away from the clothes, or place cedarwood oil-soaked cotton balls in corners of closets and drawers.

Lavender oil: Fresh lavender oil (used in the same way as above) is another nice-smelling clothes moth deterrent.

Give them space: Don’t over-stuff your closets and give your coats a good shake every now and then. That makes it difficult for clothes moths to get comfortable in there.

Natural repellents: There are quite a few good natural moth repellants on the market, including ones you can hang in between your coats or stuff into the coat pockets. I avoid mothballs, though. They smell bad and are terrible for the environment.

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5 Biggest Lies Animal Activists Tell About Fur

Truth About Fur By Truth About Fur

The easiest way for animal activists to further their agenda is to lie, and when it comes to the fur trade, that means portraying us as a cruel industry that mistreats animals.

We don’t like giving animal activists credit, but there’s no denying how successful they’ve been at spreading their lies. They appear so frequently in traditional media, blogs and comment sections, that members of the general public can hardly be blamed for believing that at least some of this horrible stuff must be true.

Well, it isn’t, and we are here to set the record straight about the Five Biggest Lies Animal Activists Tell About Fur.

mink farm, fur farm, skinned alive, animal rights, animal activists

Mink are extremely well-treated on farms as that is the only way to ensure a good pelt. They are also never skinned alive.

Activist Lie #1: Animals on fur farms are skinned alive. Take a moment to consider this and you’ll realize it makes no sense. Not only is skinning an animal alive illegal and utterly immoral, it would also be dangerous for the operator, would increase the risk of damaging the pelt, and would presumably take longer than skinning an animal that was euthanized. (Is it easier to cut your dog’s nails while he is excited or when he’s been sleeping?) Farming is a business, and businesses need to be profitable – so why would anyone adopt a practice that is dangerous for their staff, damages the product, and takes much longer than doing it properly? The simple answer is that they wouldn’t, which is why animals are never skinned alive for the fur trade.


Activist Lie #2: Most furs come from China where animal welfare laws don’t exist. Therefore, most animals used in the fur trade are mistreated. The clever part of this lie is that, if true, it would render irrelevant the high standards of animal welfare on North American and European fur farms. If most fur comes from China, who cares how well farmers care for their mink in Wisconsin or Denmark?

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December Fur News: Canadian Tire Fur Ban

Truth About Fur By Truth About Fur

Canadian Tire fur ban

Is a Canadian Tire fur ban real or a misunderstanding? Hunters and trappers who buy supplies there are demanding clarification.

Activist claims of a Canadian Tire fur ban in all its stores provoked surprise and anger in December. Canadian Tire is a major Canadian hardware and automotive parts retailer and one of the country’s largest suppliers of hunting, trapping, and fishing supplies. The company has denied banning fur from its main stores, but admitted that two apparel chains it runs under different names, Atmosphere and Sport Chek, have indeed stopped stocking and selling fur products.

Naturally, many people are livid – how can you supply equipment for hunting and trapping in one store while refusing to sell fur in another? Was someone in the CT organization intimidated by activists, or simply misled? We are now working on getting a full explanation from the company. Meanwhile, if you want to send Canadian Tire a message, you can find them on Facebook here.

Speaking of clothing stores, we celebrated a few anniversaries in December. This Indiana fur store is celebrating its 35th anniversary, and this store in Detroit has been in business for a century. But it hasn’t been all fun and games for fur retailers, Denis Basso’s Upper East Side store was the victim of a major robbery – a sure sign of the resurgence of fur’s popularity!  In any case, rest assured that in 2017, fur will still be in fashion. Whether it is Shaman Furs’ sea otter pieces, “polar bear” parkas, purse pets, or iphone cases (below), there is something for every fur lover. But it will be hard to beat Jennifer Lopez’s fur fashion moment – she wore a white fur coat while she was in labour!

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Standing Up to Anti-Hunting Bullies – A Case Study from Ontario

Gregory Thompson By Gregory Thompson

It seems that animal rights and anti-hunting bullies come in many shapes and forms. Knowing this is important in managing-down the inevitable, but thankfully infrequent, conflicts that lawful hunters, trappers and even fishermen face in harvesting wildlife. A couple of years ago, while hunting wild turkey, I had two such encounters on the same day. Here is what happened.

greg thompson, turkeys, anti-hunting

The spring turkey season was open and I was hunting on private property in eastern Ontario. The property consisted of a long rectangular field bordered by forest and bush on the north side, a township road and small property with a house and barn on the west side, fields on the east side and an unimproved township right-of-way on the southern edge. Turkeys were frequently feeding on waste corn along the northern edge of the property, and the adult males, or toms, were using a nearby rise in the field as a strutting zone. Only bearded turkeys are legal game during the spring season.

On the day in question, I parked my truck along the edge of the right-of-way, packed up my gun and gear, and walked in a northeastward direction across the field. Following the hunting regulations, proper gun handling and shooting in a safe direction are key to personal safety and that of others. As required by law I was using a shotgun to hunt turkeys. These firearms typically have an effective range of no more than 60 yards, though the spent shot can travel up to 200 yards. With the surrounding private property and the township right-of-way well beyond my field of fire, I set up my decoys on the small rise in the field and settled into the nearby fencerow for the afternoon. I had a clear view of the entire field. The right-of-way was well over 500 yards to the south. Beyond my truck, which was one-half a mile southwest, I could barely make out the roof tops of some of the housing and other buildings along the higher elevation of the township road.

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