Confronting Fur: More fast facts for advocates

Talking about fur isn’t always easy: people who oppose it feel passionate and outraged and the inherently inhumane treatment of animals killed for their fur; and, people who wear fur often act defensive as they’re confronted with uncomfortable truths, or have their worldview challenged. Throw in a dose of social media, with a sprinkle of sensationalism, and having a conversation with someone about fur can get really hard, really quick.

But at The Fur-Bearers we believe that compassionate communication – finding a way to talk with those who have views that oppose our own, and providing education about the cruelty of the fur industry – is one of our strongest tools to #MakeFurHistory. Following the popularity of our recent ‘fast facts’ blogs and videos, we have developed responses to three more arguments used by fur-wearers, as requested by our supporters:

Trapping and using fur is part of our heritage/history, so we should keep doing it. That's a logical fallacy called argumentum ad antiquitatem. Just because something was done, does not mean it should or can be done again. Humanity has committed many atrocities in the past, and as we learn the collective lessons of our errors, we move forward, and leave those practices in the history books. In this case, our understanding of ecosystems, wildlife, and their intrinsic value have all vastly changed in the last 200 years.

Predators (such as coyotes) have few or no natural predators to keep their numbers in balance, so man has to do the job. Studies have shown that attempts to ‘balance’ predator populations are not only ineffective and inhumane, but frequently backfire. Check out our recent ‘Culls: They Just Don’t Work’ video for more details and citations

This company only uses ethically-sourced fur. Frankly, this is a tricky topic to discuss because of the level of variables and subjective nature of it. Rather than try to provide a one-size-fits-all response, it’s best to provide more questions to ask: how does the company define ethically sourced? Is their statement of ethical beliefs or standards available publicly, and can they defend them? Do they rely on existing laws, regulations, or trade agreements (which we contest aren’t ethical or humane)? Do representatives of the company visit their suppliers unannounced, and document what they see? Is it possible for them to visit every trap on every trap line? What assurances do they have for consumers that, should the ethical standards not meet their own, there would be reimbursement or transparency? When many of these questions are posed, answers simply aren’t available, particularly in relation to fur trapping and fur farming, which happen away from public eyes.

Please remember to remain compassionate when you speak to those who may not know the truth, as only a true change to their worldview or beliefs will result in long-term, sustainable growth, for the animals.

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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