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OUT OF GRANNY’S CUPBOARD – when you inherit a fur item

 fox with its own fur    MY FUR BELONGS TO ME

I would never describe myself as pushy. In fact I would make a terrible salesperson. In a desperate attempt to make money I once tried to sell hats at Stutterfords Store. Yes, younger generation, there was a time when people other than the Queen of England wore hats (see link below showing the Queen in a fur hat). This venture into the wild world of hats only lasted a day, as I could not be sycophantic enough. I liked the word sycophantic from the first time I heard it. Sycophantic is what cats are NOT but at times what cat lovers become when trying to please their feline masters.

That aside, in order to pursue my anti-fur campaign I had to approach all sorts of people. I think what I considered a bold expression might have been interpreted as a fanatical, mad fur-lady look, as people started to avoid me. What was more interesting, though, was the sheepish response I got from certain women in their 50s when discussing their attitudes to fur. I learnt that this look said,  “I have a fur in my closet, even though I am appalled by the fur trade. Surprisingly, this group is fairly large and faces a dilemma as to what to do with this inherited item. One woman even told me she was keeping her granny’s fur in the deep freeze – I kid you not!

But what does one do?  Here are some options:

    1) Bury it in the garden and say a prayer.

     2) Donate it to a film/dramatic company to use for costumes.

     3) Give it to the homeless.

     4) Give it to an anti-fur organisation to spray with red paint for demonstrations.

     5) Shift the decision and leave it to the next generation.

Please everyone this is a serious issue that faces many people and might even be one that I will have to face. I know for a fact that my ex mother-in-law has a fur coat in her closet.  My fear is that in an irrational  moment she might leave it to me. Please help!!

Article on the Queen who wore a fur hat and mitts on Christmas day!



That moment of knowing

Investec Ltd, South Africa: End your lease with Erich Fischer Furriers and stop making money from the fur trade!


When people asked me as a child,“what do you want to be when you grow up?” my answer was not an “animal warrior” let alone an “anti-fur activist“.  The only understanding of fur for me, at that age, was the fur left behind on the couch by Candy and Floss our family’s cat and dog respectively.

As things turned out, I became a clinical psychologist and so I became interested in the human-animal interaction. I learnt that when a young person is cruel towards animals invariably it leads to anti-social behaviour in that person. Conversely, learning to nurture and care for animals fosters an ability to empathise with other humans.

I loved Candy and Floss and for as long as I can remember I have been sensitive to animal rights issues. Yet the struggle  against the fur trade never crossed my mind until March 2012.  South Africa is a country where if the temperature drops below O degrees C we consider it a national disaster. So when I passed Erich Fischer Furriers (a shop in Johannesburg that sells fur garments) that day in March, I was horrified to realise that there is still a demand for fur garments in South Africa. From that moment on I knew my mission in life was to work towards getting the fur industry banned in South Africa. It is strange how life works – I went out for lunch and came back an anti-fur activist.  The task of getting fur banned in a country such as South Africa, where animal rights are not a priority, is daunting.

But I must never forget, “… that every step forward is also a step on the way to the end. -Milan Kundera

Did  any of  you have that “Aha” moment when you realised you were going to be an animal activist?


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