The proposed reinstatement of the spring bear hunt in Ontario and the ongoing trophy hunt of grizzly bears in British Columbia have brought up a lot of debate in the news, around kitchen tables, and on social media.
And, sadly, many proponents of the two sides have resorted to name calling, metaphor slinging, and funny-face-making. Fortunately, we’re pretty ok with the names we’re being called.
Tree huggers: Trees are good. We need trees because they, for some reason, seem to enjoy breathing in what we breathe out. We hug our mothers because they gave us life. Trees keep us alive. Hugging them seems pretty appropriate.
Bear lovers: Yup, that’s about right. We love bears. They’re intelligent, family-oriented animals who want the same things we do – to take care of our families and to be happy. Because we love them, we respect that they’re large animals who can cause problems in our communities when we create food attractants or destroy their habitat – and that’s why we work so hard to find non-lethal solutions to conflict.
Granola cruncher: This one is odd. Granola is a tasty treat that many of us enjoy. Though some just outright hate it (painful childhood memories) and prefer Lucky Charms. Maybe this is why it’s meant to be an insult?
Beaver lover: This can go one of two ways, and we’re pretty ok with both of them.
City dwellers: We’re divided pretty much the same way everyone else is in the country on the urban/rural divide, so it’s not so much an insult as a reasonable assumption. The Fur-Bearers staff, of course, includes people who spent summers on dairy farms, lived for years in the middle of corn-growing farmlands, and generally have wildly (hah) diverse backgrounds. Our membership and supporters are similarly diverse.
Haters: We get called “(fill-in-the-blank)-hater” regularly – and this is the one we just don’t get. Our mandate is to find solutions to protect wildlife in our country, as well as to support the communities in which we live and work. We lead with compassion and want for our neighbours the same we do for wildlife: to provide for families and be happy. But even this so-called insult is one we understand and can accept, because it means those who want to trap or confine fur-bearing animals only to kill them for their fur, or see lethal control as the only option to conflict, have nothing else to call us.
At the end of the day, we at The Fur-Bearers are proud of what we have achieved and continue to work toward. We are proud of the tens of thousands of you who are our members, and the hundreds of thousands who support our work. And that’s why no matter what they call us, we’re pretty darned happy with who we are.
Work like our growing Living With Wildlife campaign is only possible with the support of monthly donors. Please consider become a monthly donor – for as little as $5 a month – and help us create a Canada that is truly fur-free.