Karen Messier's Letter
Karen Messier’s Letter (click image to read)

“And the saga continues”,

she said as she opened the newspaper (The Montreal Gazette) to see that Dr Alan Herscovici of the The Fur Council of Canada chose to write a ridiculous and biased response to Karen Messier’s letter to the editor. Let’s get to it, so that you can form your own opinion before I give  mine.  Believe you me, I do have an opinion.

Karen Messier has a right to her opinion about fur, just as some people choose not to wear leather or eat meat, but that doesn’t mean these industries shouldn’t exist. Most Canadians accept that humans do have a right to use animals for food, clothing and other purposes, so long as this is done responsibly.

The modern fur trade is an excellent example for the responsible and sustainable use of natural renewable resources, a cornerstone of environmental conservation.

Only a small proportion of abundant wild populations is used;  never endangered species.

The Canadian fur trade also takes very seriously the responsibility to ensure that animals are treated humanely. Trapping methods are regulated by provincial wildlife departments and must comply with the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards.

New codes of practice developed by the National Farm Animal Care Council ensure that farmed mink and foxes receive excellent nutrition and care. A national farm inspection and certification program is being developed, but producers already have a strong incentive to follow the codes because this is the only way to produce high quality fur.

True, we now have synthetic fibers to keep us warm, but most of these are made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource.

The fur trade played a central role in the history of Montreal and Canada, but it also makes sense today as we try to develop a more environmentally balance lifestyle.__Dr Alan Herscovici

Confined Mink in Squalid conditions
Confined Mink in Squalid conditions

I very rarely get and stay angry in my advocacy because I feel that in doing so, I am less productive.  Unfortunately, I tend to focus on the anger  which does not help the animals for whom I advocate and they are, after all, my primary concern.    However, Mr Herscovici’s biased point of view did draw my ire to the forefront. His industry supported “facts” are nothing more than  drivel which attempts to dupe the consumer by filling our heads with euphemisms of sustainability, humane, codes and care. The fact of the matter is that this industry and others of its ilk, prey on defenseless animals, either trapping, capturing or breeding and confining them all, for our wants, not needs.

So, I crafted a response, eliminated many words and thoughts  in order to be succinct (no rambling allowed)  in hopes that my letter would meet the newspaper’s criteria  for brevity.  This is the result.

Industries relying on animals’ suffering for profit are exploitative and indefensible. Using personal choice as a justification for supporting said industries is complicit.

Euphemisms abound in all death for profit industries. Calling sentient beings “natural renewable resources” is industry myth spinning which dupes consumers into buying items created from the misery of animals.

Mr. Herscovici does not provide links to support his opinion that trapping wild animals is “the cornerstone of environmental conservation”.

Trapping only non-endangered species is not a justification for the practice. Treating animals as commodities and killing them is inhumane.

The photos of Jo-Anne McArthur, a Canadian photojournalist documents the truth.  Google the SPCA raid nearly two years ago on a QC fur farm to see the ongoing and unconscionable confinement and abuse of animals for their fur.

Oil use creates a fraction of the environmental and species devastation caused by our view that animals are here for our own use, whether it be for fashion, food, entertainment …. Refer to Cowspiracy for the facts.

confined and Injured Silver Foxes
Confined and Injured Silver Foxes

I thought it was pretty good considering the restrictions regarding word count and I awaited anxiously to see if my two cents would make print. Two days later, I was delighted to discover that it did. But, my goodness, the powers to be at the newspaper truncated it, chopped it, shortened it,  added their own words in the first sentence of the last paragraph (wrongly quoting Mr. H. I might add)  and essentially turned the entire comment into bullet points.

Were they looking to save space or were they protecting the establishment by removing some of my key remarks?  Did they remove the references  I provided to support my points because a letter to the editor is merely an opinion piece? Of course, I will never get the answers to my questions and it is probably not worth musing about for very much longer. But I would like your opinion and to this end  I am including the “newspaper shortened” version of my view.

Industries profiting on animals’ suffering are exploitative and indefensible.

Euphemism abound. Calling sentient beings “natural renewable resource” is industry spin.

Trapping only non-endangered species is not a justification for the practice.

Treating animals as commodities and killing them is inhumane

Alan Herscovici says synthetic furs are mostly made from petroleum. Oil use creates a fraction of the environmental and species devastation caused by our view that animals are here for our own use, be it for fashion, food or entertainment.

Save a Tree, Wear a Beaver
Save a Tree, Wear a Beaver
Humane and Legal Leg Hold Trap
Humane and Legal Leg Hold Trap

The website of the Fur Council of Canada is filled with indoctrination and unsubstantiated information about the humanity and sustainability of an industry that is vile and indefensible. They even have an education program for teachers and their children – a marketing program that is  more abhorrent than targeting our youth with  sugared cereal  commercials  and  violence in video games.

Annie’s Vegan View

Other species are not “natural renewable resources”. There is never a “humane” way to use and ultimately kill  animals. Foxes, mink, wolves, coyote and so on are not “fur bearing”, but rather living, breathing, sentient beings.

It is vital that we call out all industries which exploit animals for their euphemistic and myth making spin which protects their vile practices and promotes the exploitation of other nations of animals.

Write your local newspapers and contact these industries through their websites to voice your disagreement.

Time to stand up and be heard.

May all beings be happy and free.



Pro Fur Propaganda in Mainstream Media: Part 2

2 thoughts on “Pro Fur Propaganda in Mainstream Media: Part 2

  • March 27, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Hi Anne, finally catching up with other blogs!

    No surprise that the Fur Council would rush in to defend their industry practices, as does any individual or organization that profits from animal cruelty. I thought your original letter was succinct enough, but yeah, newspapers usually edit and shorten any responses.

    I was lucky enough that a letter I wrote about a year ago wasn’t edited TOO badly (although of course I thought my version was better), but holy moly, they really put yours on the chopping block! And it’s frustrating when they remove helpful context. I know it likely won’t help, but I would have been extremely annoyed as well.

    But it makes you wonder, how much if any of Dr. Alan’s letter was cut? Unfortunately, editors have their biases too, and you never know how much of an impact that has on what their readers end up seeing. I share your frustration my friend!

  • March 30, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Hi Friend,
    Yes, the Fur council of Canada has much to answer for. Unsubstantiated facts about the sustainability of the fur trade reduces other species to the status of commodities, really gets me riled up. And using their propaganda to indoctrinate children and to legitimize murder is way beyond unconscionable.
    My annoyance about my letter being chopped is not personal, but rather more global in perspective. I am sure that it was altered to support a bias as the number of words did not exceed what I have seen regularly in other Letters to the Editor. Heaven forbid we should ruffle the feathers of the fur industry.
    I have since written another Letter to the Editor regarding carriage horses in BC. It did not get published. I am writing another one this morning in response to a high school student who is a vegetarian and wears leather. How the two are related, I am not really sure, but there is quite a bit of inaccurate info in the letter which needs clarifying.
    Thanks for the moral support, Friend.
    Take care,


Leave a Reply