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Countdown to WFFF

Worldwide Fur Free Friday (WFFF) is a day when people across the globe unite against the fur trade.

Please join Fur Free SA with a tweet storm on Friday 25th November 2016.
This link will access the event for more details.


A tweet sheet will be posted on Thursday. Watch this space.

Every tweet counts!


#FeelFreeFriday ~ 93


Perth-born fashion designer Kym Ellery recently faced criticism from animal activists and PeTA for including fox and rabbit fur pieces in her pre-fall 2016 collection, modeled in Paris this year.

After tens of thousands of people signed PeTA’s petition and bombarded Ellery’s social media with anti-fur messages, Ellery has made the ethical choice to drop fur from her clothing label. From 2017, the label will no longer feature items made with fur.

Hopefully more designers will follow suit!

Dedicated to all nonhuman animals who live and die for human greed.


#FeelFreeFriday ~ 55


Protest action works

Accolades to Nicole van Gemert of the Dutch anti-fur group Bont Voor Dieren!

This week, after an appeal in January 2015, the appeal court has upheld the mink fur farming ban in the Netherlands. The Netherlands has been the third-largest producer of mink fur after Denmark and China, so millions of minks will be spared from a life of torture.

It has been a turbulent journey, which I have tracked since 2012

Read more:



December 2012, the Dutch senate passed a ban on mink farming, largely due to investigations done by Bont Voor Dieren that revealed appalling conditions on fur farms. The aim was to phase out mink farming over ten years.

 As the Dutch fur farmers were not offered any compensation for loss of income, in May 2014 this ban was reversed. 

In the words of Nicole van Gemert,

‘Ever since our foundation, Bont voor Dieren has put up a battle against the Dutch mink breeders. We have had to endure some major setbacks, the overturn of the mink ban last year being the absolute low point. But perseverance kills the game: not only is the mink ban back in force, all expansions of mink farms carried out since the ban was announced are now illegal.’





Hugo Boss is a luxury brand name that appears on clothing as well as perfumes. Animal fur has been an integral part of Hugo Boss’s fashion house.

hugo boss1

Fur in Hugo Boss’s fashion house – a thing of the past

The luxury fashion brand has now pledged to go completely fur-free as from Autumn’s 2016 collection.

Hugo bossHugo Boss joins a growing list of fur-free brands and retailers, including Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, Zara, and ASOS.

Claire Bass, Executive Director of Humane Society International/UK states

“Every designer or fashion label that features real fur contributes to normalising what is in actual fact a grotesque industry. It’s all too easy to forget that behind every fur trim collar or gilet lies the pain and suffering of once living, breathing animals… So by setting a new trend of compassion, Hugo Boss is showing that it is never acceptable for animals to die for the catwalk, and that’s a fashion craze we really hope other luxury brands will follow.”


Feel Free Friday posts are meant to be uplifting, so I will spare you the details of the despicable bear bile farming that is rife throughout Asia.

The Asian Black Bears, also named Moon Bears because of the crescent mark on the chest, are primarily exploited in this industry.  

Asian Black bear - moon bear

Moon Bear

This post is dedicated to all the people who tirelessly campaign to rescue some of these thousands of bears from their lives of torture.                                                      

Are they here yet

Photo credit: Animals Asia

Animals Asia has rescued more than 100 bears who now live in peace on a sanctuary in Vietnam.

Read more about this campaign @


Have tissues on hand, as it is a deeply moving story.                  

Ti Map,

Ti Map – a bear rescued from bile farming – who felt grass for the first time in 14 years.                                                                                                                     Photo credit: Animals Asia

Recently Animals Asia won the fight to release the Halong Bay Bears. To date only two bears, Sam and Simon, have arrived at the sanctuary.

Read about the rescue here: http://bit.ly/1dI3ti1

Although this is a handful of the thousands of bears used for bile farming, it has raised awareness worldwide.

Feel free to support this campaign in any way that you can.

Dedicated to all nonhuman animals who live and die in captivity!


This post is dedicated to two Lion cubs, George and Yame and the compassionate humans who took them on an extraordinary journey to safety.

George and Yame 5

George and Yame (2015) – photo by Meike Grohnwald

Made to perform in a travelling circus in Europe, George and Yame had a miserable start to life.

Things worsened when they were sold to a Spanish woman who ran a theme park, Terra Mitica Park, Alicante. Tourists paid 10 euros to pose with these lion cubs.

It is reported that, in order to keep the cubs small and easy for tourists to handle, they were fed watered down milk to stunt their growth.

This meant a prolonged and agonising death for George and Yame.

It was a fortunate day for the cubs when American CJ Munoz and her Spanish husband Luis rescued and helped nurse George and Yame back to health in Madrid.

George and Yame 2

    Yame – photo from http://www.mirror.co.uk

George and Yame in Madrid

      George and Yame in Madrid George and Yame 3                     photos from http://www.mirror.co.uk

Thanks to many kindhearted people funds were raised to fly George and Yame to South Africa where they now are recovering on a sanctuary near Johannesburg (My home town 🙂 ) They can never be released into the wild so will spend the rest of their lives here.

George and Yame

                    George and Yame on their first day in South Africa – photo from CACH

Two key South African players in this scenario are Kevin Richardson also know as the The Lion Whisperer and Campaign Against Canned Hunting (CACH).

CACH was founded by Chris Mercer and is a registered wildlife charity that is working towards banning the captive breeding of lions for the canned hunting industry.

Read more on CACH’s blog @


Richardson does not believe that lions should be mastered and dominated. His words sum this up beautifully, “A lion is not a possession; it’s a sentient being, so you must pay attention and develop your bond like with any relationship.

Here is Richardson bonding with George and Yame. I guarantee you a warm feeling if you watch to the end.

George and Yame 1

  Feel Free George and Yame – photo by Meike Grohnwald

Dedicated to all nonhuman animals who live and die in captivity!


Namibia, a country on the West coast of Africa and bordering on South Africa, is known for its deep red sand dunes and rugged coast line. sand duneSadly, every year the red intensifies on these dunes, from the blood of massacred Cape Fur seals – hence “fifty shades of red” (The Seals of Nam).

Seals of NamDespite numerous actions being taken against the Namibian government, Cape Fur seals continue to be bludgeoned to death.

According to the Namibian government, these marine mammals are killed to protect fish stocks. This, however, has been disproved by studies that have shown that the seal population on that coastline has no significant economic impact on the fishery industry. 

Campaigners against this annual “cull” argue that the seals are killed in order to sell their fat and fur.

It is the seal pups who are beaten to death with spiked clubs for their soft fur. They are only a few months old when this happens.                 

Newborn Cape seal pup

                  PLEASE BE MY VOICE

The male seals are killed for their genitals, which are sold in Asia as an aphrodisiac.                                                                                                             clubbing seals 

The Seals of Nam, a South African organisation, campaigns against the senseless killing of seals in Namibia, for commercial purposes. 

seals of Nam 1

This organisation was founded by animal rights campaigner Pat Dickens in 2010 and is now extremely influential globally. The Seals of Nam collaborates internationally with other organisations that fight to conserve our oceans and all life that rightfully inhabit its waters. 

The Seals of Nam has initiated many actions against the brutality inflicted on the Seals in Namibia and offers logistical support” to like-minded organisations.

In its own words:

“We will continue to fight for an end of the Namibian hunt. We believe it to be unsustainable, illegal, immoral, uneconomical and a violation of human rights as well as basic animal welfare standards”.

For further information here is the Facebook link of The Seals of Nam  https://www.facebook.com/TheSealsOfNam

Petitions that can be signed:




harp seal 1

                                         PLEASE BE MY VOICE


WORLDWIDE FUR-FREE FRIDAY: Johannesburg meets in solidarity

 WFFF is an annual event when people from all over the world speak in a united voice against the despicable fur industry.

In solidarity, Johannesburg, South Africa is holding a protest in the same area as where there is a fur shop.

As I have been part of the organising committee, the past couple of weeks have busy preparing for this gathering.

Our request to participants, as follows , gives you some idea of how our demonstration will unfold.

~It would be appreciated if you could wear black or/and red.

~Please bring a flower(s) to be placed at a memorial for all those senselessly killed for their fur.

~There will be an opportunity for people to say a few words in memory of these innocent beings.

~If you have an inherited fur coat that you want to give away, feel free to bring that as well.

~Placards and pamphlets will be provided at the venue.


WFFF 2014



The witness

Free online viewing! http://www.tribeofheart.org/screeningroom 

Last Sunday I was invited by a group of animal loving people to watch the documentary The Witness ~ one man’s emotional journey to becoming an animal activist, particularly around the despicable fur industry. It was comforting to view this moving documentary with others who cared – the circulating tissues were indeed reassuring. 

Before presenting the background to The Witness, I would like to share some thoughts that were raised on Sunday.

One task of an activist is to make others conscious about the ethics of an issue. Surely, though, being aware is not enough? It is one’s conscience that ultimately drives us to try and change an injustice. 

According to Wikipedia:

  • Consciousness is the state of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. It has been defined as: sentienceawarenesssubjectivity, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind.
  • Conscience is defined as an aptitudefacultyintuition or judgment that assists in distinguishing right from wrong. Moral judgment may derive from values or norms. In psychological terms conscience is often described as leading to feelings of remorse when a human commits actions that go against his/her moral values and to feelings of rectitude or integrity when actions conform to such values.

The topic of vivisection came up and we wondered how people could torture animals in the name of science. It struck me that the word conscience is con – science i.e. against science. Those who commit atrocities in the name of science are rewarded for having no conscience. They lack compassion and justify their actions by stating that animals are not sentient beings. In this way these scientists can disconnect from the pain they inflict onto animals in the name of (hu)mankind. (Hu)man kind??

Now, back to Eddie Lama, the man who became conscious and then acted on his conscience.

eddie Lama

Eddie was a construction contractor, from tough Brooklyn, who transformed into an animal advocate. Eddie is probably the last person one would expect to be an animal activist, as he was raised with an ingrained aversion to animals. ‘Eddie avoided animals for most of his life, until the love of a kitten opened his heart, inspiring him to rescue abandoned animals and bring his message of compassion to the streets of New York’. With humor and sincerity, in the award-winning documentary, THE WITNESS (43 minutes), Eddie tells the story of his remarkable shift in consciousness (http://www.tribeofheart.org/sr/sr_witscreeningroom_english.htm).

This documentary exposes the horror of factory farming, trapping and farming wild animals for their fur.

It is truly inspirational and well worth watching!

“FOXY” said the sheep: the power of language

AN APOLOGY FOR THE ANTI- SHEEP LANGUAGE IN MY LAST POST (i.e.sheepish).  According to vocabulary. com, sheep aren’t the smartest most confident creatures. They are meek and docile and always clustering together as  if they’re ashamed to be alone. When you’re sheepish you’re like a sheep – embarrassed or bashful, esp. for having done something wrong or foolish.

There are, however, different opinions. Professor Jenny Morton, a neuroscientist at University of Cambridge, claims that sheep have been greatly undervalued for their intelligence. See link below
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/8335465/Sheep- are-far-smarter-than-previously-thought.hs

According to PeTA “sheep are gentle individuals who, like all animals, feel pain, fear, and loneliness. But because there is a market for their fleece and skins, they are treated as nothing more than wool-producing machines”(link below). Not to mention the meat market!       http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-clothing/wool-industry.aspx                                                                                                    Peta 


Given that I live in one of the most aggressive cities in the world, I think MEEK AND DOCILE ARE QUALITIES TO VALUE. Fellow Jo’burgers, imagine a meek taxi driver! Well that is in the same category as “if pigs could fly” or “ if fish could ride bicycles“.  Furthermore, if we looked down on creatures because of their stupidity a fair chunk of the human population would qualify (my friends and family excluded:).

Well, all this rumination (couldn’t resist) about “sheepish” led me to think about the word “foxy”, which is slang for sexy. Others, too have wondered about the word foxy, as indicated by the comment, “I’m foxed by the origins of the expression ‘foxy lady’. My own explanation is that it had something to do with  furs ladies wore that made them look sexy”.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       foxy 

Not to let my learned friends get the better of me, I checked Urban dictionary. com, which states that foxy evolved  from the ancient British word Foxismonitism, meaning attractive or sexually appealing. In other words, foxy refers to women and not foxes. So where did people get the idea that wearing fur is sexy? Clearly from his advertisement below, Fischer is trying to reinforce this idea.                                                                                                faHow sexist and offensive! 

 I can only think that designers, wanting to sell fur garments have promoted this image. What do you think?

For the record, I would rather be seen dead than wearing the skin of any murdered animal, but I do realise wearing a sheepskin jacket to a cocktail party is inappropriate. But wearing a mink or fox stole is totally unacceptable. I have even pledged not to buy woolen garments anymore. PeTA explains why above.

Still on the topic of sheep and foxes. Recently while having breakfast with an acquaintance the topic of fur came up – initiated by me of course. A good way to tell who your true friends are is to constantly talk about one’s particular bugbear (hope this isn’t anti-bug or anti-bear) and see who still calls. I was totally gobsmacked (another favourite word) when this person stated that she had a fox coat and did not see it as a problem given foxes were vermin and killed farmers’ lambs. My instinct was to spit into her cappuccino when I remembered causes are won by good argument and not vulgar acts. To be honest I did not  know what to say other than farmers should fence off their properties better. Also that foxes are in fact omnivores and do eat berries etc.

How would you have argued the point?  The  link below is research published in June 2013 on this issue.


In any case 85% of furs for commercial use come from fur-farms.  The cruelty in battery-farming foxes is recognised. In 1995 the Sweden’s Animal Protection Ordinance was amended. Foxes were required to be kept in a way that allowed for natural behaviours, such as digging. This legislative change rendered fox farming economically unviable and all Swedish fox farms closed by 2000. Denmark followed suit in 2009 and banned the farming of foxes. The Coalition Against Fur Farms unfortunately has traced numerous fox farms in North America – http://www.coalitionagainstfurfarms.com/

It was the word “vermin” that really got to me. Vermin is a term commonly applied to small predators—typically because they consume resources which humans consider theirs, such as livestock and crops. It seems that by labeling animals as vermin it gives certain people the right to exterminate them.

There are some days when I have to agree with Agent Smith from the Matrix        (a Science Fiction film for those who only watch Jane Austen)

Agent Smith, It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet “.

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