Helen Mead: I continue to protest in small ways

LAST week my eldest daughter returned a jumper she adored to a shop.

It wasn’t that the top was too small, or shoddily made. She’d splashed out almost £40 on it to wear over New Year, but when she got it home she noticed that it was partly made from angora.

She had watched footage of rabbits, farmed in China for their fur, being plucked alive to make jumpers, hats, scarves, and gloves, for sale around the world.

Horrified, she decided there was no way she was going to wear it and returned it to the shop.

Her stance reminded me of the views I held as a teenager on fur jackets. These were very popular before the anti-fur movement in the 1980s, when celebrities appeared in advertisements wearing blood-splattered fur coats.

A student at the time, me and my friends volunteered to give out leaflets, and help gather signatures for petitions against the fur trade.

It’s good to see young people developing views about such things. I remember a pupil at my daughters’ primary school wearing a bear outfit to school as part of a fundraising campaign to help free moon bears trapped in tiny cages in China, where their bile is extracted for use in medicine.

He can’t have been more than nine or 10, yet there he was at the school gates drumming up support.

I shouldn’t have been surprised by my daughter’s reaction. My children have accompanied me on a protest against the detestable ‘sport’ of fox hunting, and have grown up hearing me rant every time I see a huntsman on the front of a newspaper, which happens a lot at this time of year.

“I’d like them all to be a fox for a day,” I bark, before cursing the horrific practice of getting pleasure from a creature’s pain.

But standing up for what you believe isn’t without its problems.

As a student, I was a member of the League Against Cruel Sports and Compassion in World Farming, but I was urged by one lecturer to leave.

He explained how potential employers could check, and potentially write you off as militant and a bad risk.

I was furious - it wasn’t as if I was going around in a balaclava, armed with bolt cutters, breaking into factory farms. But it worried me.

I would never go over the top to make my opinions known – although I would lie in the path of a hunt chasing a fox – but I continue to protest in small ways: buying free-range meat and eggs, and checking toiletries and cosmetics for animal testing.

My daughter is taking those same, small but, hopefully, effective steps and, for that, I’m proud.

Comments (12)

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9:48pm Mon 6 Jan 14

kim says...

good for her
good for her kim

3:03pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Ken Shuffles says...

I left this girl in a right predicament once just because I didn't want to be unfaithful to anyone. I've made the same mistake with other girls because I didn't want to be unfaithful to anyone else. If I had stayed with this one girl in partiicular for one more second, I would have been very, very, very, ......very unfaithful, so I left without saying anything.
I left this girl in a right predicament once just because I didn't want to be unfaithful to anyone. I've made the same mistake with other girls because I didn't want to be unfaithful to anyone else. If I had stayed with this one girl in partiicular for one more second, I would have been very, very, very, ......very unfaithful, so I left without saying anything. Ken Shuffles

3:07pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Ken Shuffles says...

I didn't want to be unfaithful to the boyfriend of this other girl I was alone with in her thirties and I left her pretty much the same way.
I didn't want to be unfaithful to the boyfriend of this other girl I was alone with in her thirties and I left her pretty much the same way. Ken Shuffles

3:19pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Ken Shuffles says...

Arrived one spiers place 4.30 spoke to brian about a few things and admitted to him I didn't want to be unfaithful with anyones girlfiend even though he claimed he didn't know anyone called Jean on the entryphone marked WEST half way down the right hand column before made my way back to the station for the 6.12 back to sort out my Dads crisps in time. Cried most of my way through lokerbie and carlisle, changed trains making it back to Preston 25 minutes late but managing to climb aboard the iron cockroach from there back to Boomtown with 90 second to spare.
Arrived one spiers place 4.30 spoke to brian about a few things and admitted to him I didn't want to be unfaithful with anyones girlfiend even though he claimed he didn't know anyone called Jean on the entryphone marked WEST half way down the right hand column before made my way back to the station for the 6.12 back to sort out my Dads crisps in time. Cried most of my way through lokerbie and carlisle, changed trains making it back to Preston 25 minutes late but managing to climb aboard the iron cockroach from there back to Boomtown with 90 second to spare. Ken Shuffles

3:23pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Ken Shuffles says...

I thought not being unfaithful was a good cause.
I thought not being unfaithful was a good cause. Ken Shuffles

3:24pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Ken Shuffles says...

It must be the oldest good cause in the world.
It must be the oldest good cause in the world. Ken Shuffles

3:26pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Ken Shuffles says...

?
? Ken Shuffles

4:26pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Ken Shuffles says...

I know women who lie in the path of anything.
I know women who lie in the path of anything. Ken Shuffles

11:50am Wed 8 Jan 14

Ken Shuffles says...

Your revenge is magical to me.
Your revenge is magical to me. Ken Shuffles

11:54am Wed 8 Jan 14

Ken Shuffles says...

Your revenge is like a moment that has been dipped in suger.
Your revenge is like a moment that has been dipped in suger. Ken Shuffles

11:57am Wed 8 Jan 14

Ken Shuffles says...

I love your revenge.
I love your revenge. Ken Shuffles

11:59am Wed 8 Jan 14

Ken Shuffles says...

What can you do now ?
What can you do now ? Ken Shuffles

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