Angora Wool

Many people love the look and feel of angora wool. Most people however would be appalled to find out how their lovely angora sweaters, scarves, hats and gloves were made.

Most animals used in our society for human consumption – be that in the meat, fashion or entertainment industries – are neglected,  ignored – treated as property.  Often they are unnecessarily abused as well. They rarely, if ever, receive veterinary treatment when they need it. They often go without food and even without water.

And these are just the basics that all creatures need.  Animals need enrichment and to socialize. Farm animals rarely are treated humanely even on so called ‘humane farms’.

Are you ready to see how angora rabbits are treated?  People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals recently did an investigation in the UK and here is what they found:

If this upsets you, you can do something! Stop buying angora wool! Stop buying any wool.

Tell people about it!  Share this blog!

Get involved to support animals:

Let companies know that you do  not support this by taking action!

No animal should be treated in this way.  No animal should be left in a cage by itself. No animal’s injuries should ever be ignored.

Not every angora rabbit in this industry has it this bad, but they all suffer.  Ask yourself is it worth it for a piece of clothing?




Dear Justin Trudeau

I just saw a great video addressed to Justin Trudeau. It talks about he and his family being bundled up in fur coats and blankets in press photos and in a family Christmas card.

I  wrote him (well the Liberal Party) a letter supporting this video. Here it is:

Hello Mr. Trudeau,

Please take an honest look at this wonderful video that was made just for you!

This young woman speaks her heart very well and I passionately agree with her. As an animal rights activist myself, and a volunteer for an organization based in Vancouver called Fur Bearer Defenders, I also ask that you reconsider supporting this cruel industry.

In June of 2014, one of my very first blogs was about this very subject:

I am not asking that you become vegan or even vegetarian, but I am asking you to seriously think about the animals whose lives are taken needlessly for fashion. Fur is not necessary for survival here in Ottawa, nor in many parts of our country where these coats are so popular.

And as the woman in this video says, the Canada Goose company is no longer a Canadian business. So, why support them?

Please teach your children the greatest of compassion – that towards innocent animals who need us to not only protect them, but definitely to not hurt, abuse nor exploit them either.

Please stand with us as we try to protect the most innocent of creatures.

Thanks for listening,

Linda Orrell


Make The Connection

When we wear fur, we are taking the life of an innocent animal.

For what?  For warmth? Because there are no other options to keep warm?

No-for fashion!  We don’t need fur in our societies.  There are so many other options for keeping warm in our cold climate.

I would ask anyone who wears fur to take a look at the industry they are supporting. It is not a pretty picture.


An animal (or many animals) died for your fur trim or fur coat. It didn’t just die either-it was most likely cruelly treated, cruelly trapped, and cruelly killed too.

Maybe it lived on a fur farm for its whole life deprived of contact with other animals, and deprived of proper food and clean water. Animals used for fur are deprived of veterinary care too when they need it. Or maybe the animal was caught in a leg hold trap. Animals lay in leg hold traps without food or water and in severe pain, often for days on end waiting for the trapper to return to kill it.

According to one website:

“Some animals will even bite off their own limbs in a desperate attempt to escape. The fact that an animal would sever her own limb shows how horrible the experience of being caught in a leg hold trap is. A study in Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge found that 27.6 percent of mink, 24 percent of raccoon, and 26 percent of trapped fox would actually bite their limbs off in hopes of surviving.”

Help ban the use of cruel traps by educating others and signing petitions. Here is one of many:

If you have fur trim on your coat or boots you are supporting an inhumane industry. An industry that keeps animals cramped in small cages, often sick and dehydrated.  An industry that uses animals to make money – an industry that doesn’t care about the lives of those animals – that doesn’t care if they become hurt or injured or if they have to wait for days in misery before the trapper returns to kill it.

And if you think domestic animals are more important than wild ones, well they are accidentally getting caught in these traps too:

Here is one such story:

How often do I see a person with fur trim walking their dog after work? Many fur farms in other countries use cat and dog fur that is imported to Canada.

Are you sure that fur on your coat or the fur on the toy you bought your pet isn’t from a cat or a dog?

If you care about animals, stop buying and wearing fur. If we don’t buy it they won’t continue to make it.

Stop fur farms where animals live out their entire lives in misery.

Stop the use of leg hold and other traps.

Read more here:

The Impact of Our Choices

When autumn turns to winter, and people pull their parkas out readying themselves for the cold weather, I get so sad all over again. So many of those parkas have fur trimmed hoods. I know you have seen them – they are everywhere!

Each year, activists around the world try to make people see where fur comes from, and how the lives of so many animals are taken for this unnecessary ‘decoration’.

I get optimistic again over the summer thinking that maybe next winter those coats with the fur trim will no longer be fashionable, and the Canada Goose company will be out of business, but for many years now, I have been wrong.

People everywhere – women and men – are wearing these coats with fur trimmed hoods made from the skin and fur of innocent animals.

These animals were simply living their lives and suddenly found themselves stuck in a leg hold trap or worse, were bred to live in tiny cages until their untimely and violent deaths, never having even a day of freedom.

Fur comes from animals-if you like animals don’t buy fur. You are encouraging the murder of more innocent creatures if you do.

It’s very hard to understand – though I remember myself not knowing the impact that my choices were having not very long ago. I have only been vegan for six months so up until then my choices were having a huge impact on animals – the milk, butter, and cheese I ate as well as the wool, leather and down that I wore.

When you know, you can never look back – but until then, you may not be aware of how much hurting you are causing.

We like to think that even if we are eating and wearing animals, there must be some humanity in the system.

There is not.

Even “humane” treatment usually ends in death. Killing is not humane.

And most animals that we use are bred for us and so, have no freedom – have no life at all. These sentient beings suffer so terribly for us and usually pay with their lives. We don’t need to do this. Not at all. Not for food, not for clothing and certainly not for entertainment.

Most facilities have to treat animals as things because of time and money constraints.

Think wool: Sheep on factory farms are so violently handled while being sheared – some die while being sheared just from the violence of the act. Sheep shearers are often paid by the number of sheep they shear rather than by the hour.

Think milk: Cows are repeatedly impregnated so they can produce milk. Their newborn calves are taken away immediately so we can have their milk.

Think veal: Newborn calves are taken away from their mothers just after birth and put in a dark place alone and afraid until they are killed for us to eat.

Ever hear of slink leather? That is the skin of an unborn calf-yes an unborn calf stolen from its mother usually while she is being killed for meat. I could not even believe this was possible until I read about it and saw a website selling slink leather products.

Eggs? Only females needed- male chicks are suffocated in garbage bags or ground up alive as soon as they are born. If you eat eggs, you support this cruel practice.

Pigs: In many countries gestation crates are still the norm. Pigs are forced to live their entire lives in tiny crates that they cannot even turn around in and are repeatedly impregnated. Once born, their babies are quickly taken away from them. Any parent could relate to that pain for both mother and baby. And sick piglets are “thumped” to death – their heads smashed on the ground until they die. Or, they are just put out with the trash while still alive.

Older animals are put out with the trash while still alive too if they are sick.

You might say that it can’t be that way everywhere… and I agree. But it happens far too often and if I partake of it in some way, then I am guilty of helping this sick system continue.

We need to evolve. Animals are miraculous – spend time with one – you can’t help but see the miracle of any creature if you spend the time to look.


How can we continue to do what we do to them? How can we stand it anymore?

We should be ashamed.

Let’s start to protect them by leaving them alone.

Get Uncomfortable about Animal Rights

boy an drabbit

I saw a photo today of a little boy sleeping with a rabbit. I thought at first how beautiful it was, and then I thought of that boy older, eating rabbit and wearing their fur on his fashionable coat. I was sad because truly the boy, and each of us, probably genuinely cares about animals – we love them even-but there is a strong and intentional disconnect so that our world can be sanitized of the reality these animals face and we can eat them and wear them without thinking about what is really happening.

We don’t know about the reality, and definitely don’t want to see it either as it would be far too uncomfortable. When you are thinking about how awful it would be to read articles and to look at the pictures and videos or watch the films put out by animal rights activists, please think about how uncomfortable the animal is when it’s leg is caught in a trap and it’s left for days so you can have their fur on your coat or on your boots, or when it is kept in a tiny cage for the few months of its life it’s allowed to live with no room to move about and no others to socialize with. Or worse, put into tiny cages with so many others that they literally kill and maim each other. Or, when it gets an infection and is not provided veterinary care, but left to rot instead. When it’s stuck in a contraption so tight it cannot move, so that a scientist can pour random solutions into its eyes to see if it’s going to cause blindness or not, or when it is forced to live in its own filth, urine and feces, until it’s put out of its misery. Think about the last days of its life spent in a truck travelling across the country in such freezing cold weather that its sides literally freeze to the sides of the truck. Think about it in equally hot weather without food or water for days on end.


These innocent animals undergo all of this for us. And for things we do not even need. We don’t need fur, we don’t need meat and we don’t need dairy. And we don’t need animal testing for cosmetics or medicines. It’s just our culture that says so. We can change-we can grow to learn a different way of life. It’s not difficult.

Make a change. Even a small one. Protect the animals we care about. Go vegan or vegetarian. Buy products that are not tested on animals. Don’t buy fur. Fight for the animals who can’t fight for themselves.

Look at the realities that they face every day.

Get uncomfortable-they sure are.







Animals need their fur more than we do



As a society, we have become comfortably unaware.

We buy groceries, clothes, computers, jewelry, cars, and many other things all without ever considering where they come from or the terrible damage that is often done in making them – to animals, to the environment, and of course, to humankind as well.

TV, media and celebrity hype just make us want more and more of it.

As consumers, we need to start looking at where things come from and what is happening in order for us to have vast amounts of these items in our stores.

Case in point: Fur and fur trim.

I believe that people are naturally compassionate and I also believe that generally, people love and care about animals. So why are we buying and wearing fur?

If we thought about it, we certainly wouldn’t want to support such a cruel and merciless industry, but we don’t think about it-we think about how nice the fur coat is or the fur-trimmed boots are and how great they will look on us or how much better we’ll fit in with ‘the crowd’ wearing the latest fashion.

The fur often comes from wild animals, free and alive, going about their lives innocently, getting food for their babies, or building homes for their families.

How are these wild animals captured? How long are they kept in traps? What kinds of traps are used?

You may be surprised to learn about laws for trapping animals for fur. In our society, leg hold traps are used quite regularly. Many animals chew their legs off to get away before the trapper ever returns as, depending on the type of trap, it is legal for trappers to wait several days before checking them. Imagine the pain and horror an animal faces in a trap for days without food and water and with a wound from the leg hold trap. Many animals die from blood loss, dehydration or hypothermia while the ones who don’t die, have only to wait for the trapper to return and bludgeon them to death, finally taking them out of their misery.

Over 11 million animals are trapped annually to supply our fur trade. Millions of these trapped animals are tossed aside as rubbish in the end because they are of no value to the trappers.

Leg-hold traps have been banned in the European Union and in other countries as well. Canada needs to follow suit.

And then there are the animals that are raised on fur farms – they have it even worse off as their whole lives are spent in small cages with no opportunity to run wild or to socialize and play. Many go crazy jumping wildly from wall to wall in their cages trying to break free.

The movie, ‘The Ghosts In Our Machine’ depicts the sad and desperate situation of animals on fur farms:

What makes a dog or cat different from a fox or a mink (or a cow or a pig? But I’ll save that for another blog)? They are all sentient beings who feel pain, have social lives and an instinct to survive. And don’t think that our companion animals are not used in the fur trade. They are. You may be wearing them right now. It is currently legal to import and to sell dog and cat fur in Canada.

Yes, many people depend on trapping for their livelihoods but life never has nor ever will stay the same. Things change as people’s values change. Let’s start looking at how we consume.

Animals should not be tortured and killed for something that no person really needs. There are so many ways to keep warm in today’s world. Let’s leave the fur on the animal that truly needs it to survive.