Advocacy is a powerful tool that can lead to real change in attitudes, policy, and the lives of the animals we want to protect. But some types of advocacy, activism, and outreach, can create problems, even though they were started with the best intentions.
While many of us have our own strategies and tactics, and some are farther along in their personal journeys than others, it’s important that we recognize when we negatively impact our goals of co-existence, and creating a fur-free Canada. The Fur-Bearers are concerned about three types of advocacy that create conflict within communities unnecessarily, and blur the messages of animal lovers:
- Stickers on private property. The #MakeFurHistory stickers that are a part of our advocacy packages are popular among most of our supporters, and can be a great way to start compassionate conversation with your community. But when they’re stuck to windows, doors, and walls of businesses (who have nothing to do with the fur industry), it creates a problem, and the message is missed. Please be considerate of where you put stickers, and if you would like to put them on walls, doors, or windows of businesses, speak to the owners first.
- Misinformation and handmade literature. We have received numerous complaints from the Edmonton area of someone leaving in various spots handmade literature laced with inaccurate information, religious content, and The Fur-Bearers branding and contact information. These have been found on car windshields, on door jams, and elsewhere. We have literature available for anyone interested – we just ask for help covering shipping costs (which add up quick). Please, contact us, so we can help get the right information out to people in communities.
- Take a break. Compassion fatigue (burnout) is a very real, and very dangerous threat to animal advocates. Whether it’s simply becoming tired and unmotivated due to the stress and lack of quick successes, or an aspect of a mental health issue, we need you to take a break when you’re having a hard time. It can feel like you’re the animals’ only voice, and resting, exercising self-care, or taking a break can feel like giving up. But if you’re not healthy, emotionally as well as physically, you can’t help anyone. Please, read about burnout on this blog, watch a video about self-care here, or reach out to a medical professional, friend, or family member if you’re struggling.
We want you to be the best advocate possible – because that makes the lives of animals across Canada better, and makes big strides in the road to #MakeFurHistory.