Every year, activists across Canada hold demonstrations in communities from Haliax and Montreal to Vancouver and Victoria for National Anti-Fur Day, a day dedicated to opposing the violence and exploitation of animals in trapped in the wild and who are farmed for their fur.
National Anti-Fur day has been taking place for the past 27 years across Canada. Its intent in simple. You know how fur coats used to be all the trend for movie and rock stars? Well, over the past few decades a great deal of information has been released about the ways we exploit and abuse non-human animals. Just have a look at the incredible work of organizations like the Fur Bearer Defenders and their #MakeFurHistory campaign. More and more information and footage is being released on a regular basis of the inhumane and cruel methods used to kill animals in the wild and on factory farms for their fur. Nearly three million animals are killed each year for their fur in Canada according to Statistics Canada.
Last year, for National Anti-Fur Day Island Animal Liberation, a local animal activist liberation group, held a demonstration outside of Capital Iron who were then selling Canada Goose apparel. Canada Goose is a U.S. based company that produces its apparel in Canada and uses leg-hold traps to catch wild Canadian coyotes for their fur-trimmed coats. Approximately 30 people showed up to that demonstration holding heart shaped signs and asking shoppers to not support Capital Iron until they decided to no longer carry Canada Goose. After accumulating 30,000 signatures on a Change.org petition and holding more demonstrations and leafleting outside the storefront, on January 1st, 2016 Capital Iron notified IAL that they would no longer be selling Canada Goose apparel.
This year, Island Animal Liberation will be taking their demonstration outside of The Empress hotel in Victoria’s iconic harbourfront. From 12-2pm on Feb 13th, they will be outside of The Empress talking to the public and holding signs to raise awareness of the presence of the fur retailers inside the hotel. The Empress is home to two retailers who sell fur trimmed hats, coats, and other accessories. This, on top of their real bengal tiger skin that hangs above the fireplace in the Bengal Lounge and their welcoming of a trophy hunting convention last year for Shikar Safaris made them an easy target for the activists. Island Animal Liberation has started a new petition for this campaign which you can sign and share here.
However, it is not just about the fur sales. There are other fur retailers in Victoria, such as Danier Leather and Hudson’s Bay. So why not target them? Because says IAL, “The Empress has new ownership and is undergoing massive renovations. Now is the opportunity for them to redefine themselves as a business and responsible community member by no longer selling these pretentious fur coats to wealthy tourists who don’t have a reason and probably wouldn’t dare to wear them outside of the hotel in Victoria.”
A call was made to Bosa Developments as to whether they planned on keeping the fur retailers in the Empress’s redevelopment, but at the time of writing Mr. Bosa was not available for comment.
You can RSVP to the event on the Facebook event page here.
Victoria Animal News