Animal w-activists

North Shore News
May 25, 2012THE red paint bombing of several Lower Mainland businesses to draw attention to the practices involved in the fur trade is attention getting but ultimately defeats the purpose of the animal rights activists behind it.

Tossing buckets of red paint at store windows or spraying a truck outside the home-based Capilano Furs attracts our gaze for about a nanosecond. Then the paint is cleaned up and it’s business as usual.

Yet many people do have sympathy with those fighting cruel and inhumane trapping and farming practices in the fur business.

There are still debates to be had about the morality of the fur business. Despite being banned as inhumane in many countries, leg-hold traps are still the most common form of trapping in Canada. Some animals farmed for their fur are likely kept in reasonable conditions. Others probably aren’t.

The same, however, could be said of factory-farmed chickens and feedlot cattle that supply our supermarkets.

In the bigger picture, anti-fur activists have been largely successful already. Fur doesn’t have the same cachet as it used to, thanks in part to the effective efforts of more mainstream activists.

Among the general public, stepping out draped in fur is now far more likely to be considered gauche than elegant. Fur has become a social taboo – thanks to the efforts of activists who didn’t have to break the law to get their point across.

That taboo speaks louder than the act of any vandal.