Jasmine Polsinelli may be 11, but she is already one of the most committed animal defenders APFA has ever met. We first got to know her when she came out to a Silent Vigil for Victims of the Fur Trade in Toronto.
It was cold, and even the organizers were feeling a bit whiny about the weather, but Jasmine was tough. One of us remembers our mouth being so cold we could barely ask her if she was cold, and she just calmly replied, “I’m OK”.
Talking with Jasmine is refreshing, as her perspective is both clear and simple. According to her mother Kelli, that simplicity is such a gift as there are “no complications with politics or ego. When you remove those things it just comes down to the basics of how we should be thinking and seeing everything around us.” Kelli, who rehabilitates wildlife in the Durham Region, also explains that “the respect for life has never been removed from her”, so “for her it’s a natural thing to go out and protect the things she’s been brought up to love and respect”. In fact, while Kelli says she is continually humbled and amazed by her daughter, she admits that when she looks at her, she doesn’t “see anything extravagant or extraordinary. [She] just thinks this is the way kids should be”.
Jasmine’s commitment doesn’t end at fur-bearing animals either. She is a part of Toronto Pig Save, and has been vegan her whole life.
Jasmine made waves in the animal protection world late last week, when she (along with 40 other people) gathered at Canada Goose headquarters on Thursday to hand-deliver 5000 signedpostcardscollected in more than 25LUSH Cosmetics stores across the country over the winter. The postcards, addressed to Dani Reiss (CEO), implore Canada Goose to stop using real coyote fur, claiming it is not only unnecessary but causes immense suffering.
Jasmine had one goal when she showed up that day: “I was hoping I could go in and talk to Dani and maybe give him alternatives that he could use instead of fur.” Instead of Dani, Jasmine was met by Canada Goose security, who blocked her as she tried to enter the main office. APFA organizers called Canada Goose several times to let them know Jasmine was waiting outside. According to one event organizer, “they didn’t seem interested in sending anyone out to meet her. So we took photos and video instead.” One of the photos, which shows Jasmine holding a coyote trap with security and police in the background, has gone viral. Withthousandsof Facebooksharesandtweetsfrom animal-loving celebrities like former Montreal Canadien Georges Laraque, the photo has already been seen by more than 100,000 people.
To aid Jasmine in her bid to talk to Mr. Reiss, anonline petitionhas been started requesting that he meet with her to discuss alternatives to coyote fur.
“I think the reason why Dani wouldn’t let me in is because he was scared a kid like me might shut down his business”, Jasmine said.
We couldn’t agree more.
Today is Jasmine’s 11th birthday, and here at APFA we’ve been working on a surprise for her for the last couple of weeks. Because Jasmine’s unwavering commitment to animals has moved us so much, we are presenting her with a lifetime membership to the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals. We’ll be presenting her with the certificate later today.
Jasmine– you are a true hero, and your commitment is inspiring to all of us! While so many of us continually fumble over what we can teach the young people of our world, perhaps it is time we stop and consider what they can teach us.
The animals thank you too, Jasmine.