Imagine finding your dream home. It’s near a beautiful lake – one of many that pepper the landscape of southwest Nova Scotia. You can retire there; your children and grandchildren will play on the water and learn about the environment by experiencing it. You’ve found your paradise.
Now imagine that an industry – one that was miniscule for 50 years, but because of a temporary uptick in fashion choices – takes over the area. You have video of literal feces-filled sludge flowing into a lake. You have water samples that show dangerous bacteria that correlates to the increase in production on this industry. You call your government to have the problem solved, only to find your pleas fall on the deafened ears of those told to promote jobs above all else.
You might have an idea of what life is like for families living around the Yarmouth region of southwest Nova Scotia, where for years some of the most intensive farmed mink operations have sprawled. It is a horrifying reality for many people affected by the fur farming industry.
And now, thanks to the crew at WeAnimals, their stories are being heard.
The Farm In My Backyard is a short film – just shy of 16 and a half minutes – developed by Jo-Anne McArthur (photography), Karol Orzechowski (cinematography), Kelly Guerin (editing), with music by Kai Engel and archival footage from Critical Past. It documents the experiences of some residents who are impacted by the fur farms in their community, along with their claims of environmental damage and loss of quality of life linked to the industrial-style farms.
As is the case with most of the creations from WeAnimals, it is haunting and upsetting without being graphic. There is some footage from inside Canadian fur farms, but the short focuses primarily on the anthropocentric aspect of the issue, which often falls by the wayside in conversations about ethics and environment related to the fur industry.
The Fur-Bearers has met and spoken with many of these individuals; we have felt their passion, anger, and despondence at the situation in their community. The WeAnimals team does a service for these community members in telling their story, highlighting that it isn’t just seasonal workers and mink who are affected by the inherently inhumane industry.
At this time there is no action associated with this project. However, should one become available The Fur-Bearers will share and promote it.
You can watch The Farm In My Backyard by watching the embedded video above; you can also watch it straight on Facebook or on the special website set up for the short film at www.weanimalsmedia.org/the-farm-in-my-backyard/.
Top photo by Jo-Anne McArthur, WeAnimals/The Fur-Bearers
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