It can be difficult to know where to start, so the following list ranges from simple decisions you can make as a consumer, all the way to organizing community efforts to educate people, and work towards ending the fur trade. Remember– no action is too small. Every bit of intention is a win for the animals!
1. Be kind, and wear animal-free apparel
There are plenty of great alternatives to the animal products found in some winter apparel.
Fur Free Retailer is an amazing international effort to give consumers accurate information about which stores are fur-free. In terms of noteworthy companies that will keep your body and heart warm this winter, be sure to check out: Vaute Couture, Hoodlamb, and Fjallraven. Companies like Columbia Sportswear, Patagonia, Urban Outfitters, Helly Hansen and H&M are fur-free. You may be surprised how many of the big retailers make a point of not carrying fur in their stores.
Due to the weak labelling laws in Canada as well as intentional mislabelling, it is easy to accidentally support the fur industry. We recommend that people do not buy any fur-trimmed items, or anything made with fur, even if it appears to be fake. Be especially careful with boots, shoes, slippers, handbags, toys, ornaments and pet accessories which may legally be made with real fur without identifying it as such.
Each week we bring you information on a variety of subjects involving wildlife and our mission - have a listen and learn more from a lineup of experts, advocates and newsmakers.
3. Educate people in your community about fur
Our campaign has a variety of print materials available by request. They are excellent tools for education and can be handed directly to people, or left behind in offices, stores, schools, etc. We also encourage you to share our videos and organize outreach events in your neighbourhoods. Any and all efforts to share the truth about fur are critical. Grassroots community organizing has led to some of the most exciting successes for animals in history!
4. Openly and actively boycott business that sell fur, and express your disappointment about their decision to sell fur
Don’t spend your money at stores selling fur. A refusal to financially support a company based on their decision to sell fur is more powerful than you may initially realize. Consumer pressure on retailers is an excellent tactic that a) discourages people from shopping there b) pressures the retailer to choose animal-free products and c) sends a message to other retailers who may have been considering jumping on the fur bandwagon. Consider organizing your own local boycott of a store selling fur. Remember – the majority of Canadians don’t wear fur, so public opinion is already in your favour.
5. Organize a campaign to ban trapping in your municipality
Fur-Bearers is happy to provide organizational support and resources to assist with municipal trapping bans. We have had some major successes, including the banning of traps in Surrey and Gibsons, BC.
6. Encourage your community to resolve wildlife conflicts using non-lethal methods
Fur-Bearers organizes the annual Living With Wildlife Conference, aimed at addressing human-wildlife conflicts using a non-lethal approach. We have also had several exciting successes preventing the trapping and killing of ‘nuisance’ wildlife. For example, after 25 years of trapping and killing beavers, the city of Cornwall, Ontario decided to embrace a non-lethal alternative. Fur-Bearers, along with U.S. based Beaver Solutions and local residents, worked together to install the devices. These flow devices manage water levels without harming the beavers. Additional exciting victories have occurred in Mission (BC), Napanee (ON), the Sunshine Coast (BC), Langley (BC) and Burnaby (BC). More info on issues with Municipal Beaver Trapping can be found here.
7. Share this website!
Whether your friends or family are among the majority of Canadians who do not wear fur, or they are huge fans of the fur-trim trend, please share this site with them! Consider sharing it on FB, Twitter, and other social media channels.
8. Become a member of Fur-Bearers! And don’t forget to stay in touch!
Since 1944, we have been working to abolish the commercial fur trade, ban the import and sale of domestic dog and cat fur in Canada, and create opportunities for peaceful co-existence with urban wildlife. Memberships and donations enable us to focus on working directly to end the fur trade: a goal that is completely achievable. This particular campaign would not be possible without the generous support of people just like you. Whether or not you can give monetarily, please consider becoming a volunteer. Don’t forget to stay in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter.