Raccoon Tail

Last night at 3am while I lay on the sofa with insomnia I posted on my Instagram feed a carefully cropped photo of a woman I saw the other day wearing a racoon tail as a fashion statement and I called her a “Loser Fur-Hag“. Some of you were upset by my comments and said that as a vegan I should have been more compassionate and I shouldn’t have insta-shamed her.

10727256_733869546697353_505236859_nOk. I hear you. I hear that my words could be hurtful … but when I saw that dismembered tail hanging from the back of her pants my thoughts weren’t of that woman’s feelings. All my thoughts were of that poor beautiful racoon that was hunted, murdered and cut up into pieces for a fashion statement.

Most people think of racoons as nuisance animals and like rats, crows and squirrels they are murdered every day without any thought because they are encroaching on our space. Well … truth is we are encroaching on their space and they are just trying to survive in an environment that no longer includes them. We have paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

I spend 99% of my day patiently being compassionate towards people in my surroundings who are not vegan. Throughout my day I try and plant hopeful and positive seeds of vegan change in a gentle and non-judgy way but every once in a while when I see someone being so utterly overt with their lack of compassion towards animals I lose my shit.

Cute-Raccoon-Image-07Truth be told – when I looked at this raccoon tail – all I see is my dog’s tail. Can you imagine if someone walked up to Fergus, chopped off his tail and wore it as a fashion statement?

To me – it’s the same crime. Dog = cat = racoon = chinchilla and seeing that tail hanging of the butt off that ignorant woman made my blood boil.

We did such good work in the late 80’s/90’s shedding light onto the horrors of the fur industry. Fur wearing was on a steady decline because of our radical action towards the industry. Where is that now? What is this generation of compassionate humans doing to stop the fur trade? From what I see in pop culture – fur as a fashion statement is bigger than ever. That means we as a community are failing. Maybe it’s time for all of us to step up our activism.

We need to be the voice for animals!!!

I’m not saying that my insta-post was good or bad – I’m just saying it is what it is. Using a pejorative term like “fur-hag” isn’t the nicest thing I could say – but I challenge you to take a look at your own instagram feed. Are you making fun of hipsters with beards? Are you mocking Renee Zellwegers face? Are you bashing a restaurant because your meal wasn’t perfect?

You don’t have to like everything I post on Instagram but I am entitled to my opinion. I mean … it can’t all be about cute dogs, food and selfies. 😉

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31 Responses to Raccoon Tail

  1. Lou says:

    I can’t blame you, Sarah… Cutting animal products from my life is a process, and I’m far from done, but my intentions are pure. FUR is something I can’t understand, though, and never have. We don’t NEED it. We have countless other options (compared to shoes, for example, where it’s a bit harder to find options). I would only question this statement: “What is this generation of vegans doing to stop the fur trade?” I would replace it with “What is this generation of compassionate humans doing to stop the fur trade?”

    Sending much love and a big hug,


  2. Shannon says:

    Love this post…And I loved what you called her :o) You could have called her worse. Regardless of what you called her you are right…You are entitled to an opinion. I agree 100% that fur is NOT a fashion statement but a statement of pain and hurt. If we don’t speak up for animal rights who will? If she just chose to hang a carrot from her behind she might have looked WAY cooler don’t you think?

  3. Naomi says:

    Yeah, I’m with you. Your feed, your opinion. The point of instagram is to share your life, your opinions in photos. It’s not like you were showing her face.

    On another note. Feelings vs life. Well, I know where I stand. That racoons life far more valuable than anybody’s feelings. Period. Period.

    We had a mama racoon move into our roof this spring. Horribly inconvenient. Loud, and the damage (oooooh the damage) that was done. BUT. Would I hunt her and her babies? No. In fact when one of her babies fell off the roof, and Mama desperately tried to get him back to the top and couldn’t, my husband and I provided a ladder. Why? Because watching any critter suffer is a terrible thing that eats at your humanity. And both mama and baby were suffering. A week later they moved out, and now we have a giant tarp until the spring when the roof can be fixed. And all the trees have been properly trimmed back so that they can’t do that damage again.

    Raccoon tails, or any fur for that matter is in terrible bad taste on so many many levels. And unless it’s pointed out the ignorant will keep buying it. So kudos. Your opinion does matter. And I’m glad your compassion falls on the side of life rather than so called ‘fashion’.

  4. Maria says:

    It is funny that people were judging you for being judgmental. I hear you though, living in Wyoming I have to hold in so much (otherwise I would be constantly raging) and it always eventually spills over in an angry rant. It is quite a conundrum. When to let out your feelings and when to hold back. You feel what you feel.

  5. LolaLion says:

    Thank you! Don’t censor yourself or dumb it down for other people. She is literally wearing a section of preserved flesh from a murdered animal.

  6. rockandrollvegan says:

    So ridiculous that people would be upset. Its an opinion not shaming. This uber sensitivity over being called out on bad, unethical, cruel behavior is absurd.
    Fur is death and cruelty its not cool and its not hip.
    I love that you snapped a pix and shared your experience of it. 🙂

  7. Sue says:

    Totally irrelevant but I don’t think that is a raccoon tail, much too long and bushy looks more like coyote or fox. Still a stupid fashion statement.

  8. Alix says:

    When I see hurt animals or parts of animals I see my dog too!

  9. Angie says:

    Last time I checked, this was your blog and your Instagram. Aren’t you allowed to express yourself on your own feeds?

  10. Kat says:

    Well said! 🙂

  11. Jennifer Whittall says:

    Way to go Sarah ~ if we don’t speak out our brains will fester.

  12. Kelly Carson says:

    I don’t know if this is a unique fashion statement in Victoria, but I’ve seen these tails on Douglas Street as I trot for my bus after work. Maybe it’s the same hag you saw. Being a perennially polite Canadian I was able to give one of these hags the stink eye while I waited for the light to change, but wasn’t able to shout an expletive at her. Anyway, she averted her gaze, and my bus was coming.

    You are the quintessential vegan example, Sarah. And as others have said; your blog, your opinion. Thank you for being you.

  13. Kathy says:

    I am with you Sarah. Tails belong on the growers of said tails.

  14. Jo says:

    I personally don’t care what you call anyone…and I do not support the use of fur for fashion or any other lame reason but I’d like to know how you know fur sure it was a real raccoon tail? Not faux? I have no problem with fakers when it comes to fashion : fur, jewelry or status brands…I think it shows the world and the ones who actually wear fur and leather that you can look good without killing animals and who the hell takes themselves that seriously that they need to wear such expensive clothes anyways! I want people to recognize me…not my sunglasses lol

    • kristel says:

      Clothing that is labelled faux fur is sometimes not faux. Sometimes it is dog hair from China! I don’t buy anything with fur, even if it says faux on the label. It isn’t necessary and I wouldn’t want to risk it.

  15. Sunya says:

    She is a loser fur hag.Dont be sorry at all. Its the truth

  16. Scott Slocum says:

    I’ve seen people wearing these tails at a kind of fantasy festival, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. People were dressed in costume and enjoying being back in time, “before we all got so politically correct about everything.” Maybe the young people were rebelling against their parents who worked so hard in the 80s and 90s to bring society to that correct awareness of what fur is. Maybe some of them wanted to keep wearing the tails after their weekend, after paying so much for them, thinking that people would see what they had seen in them. But no, that was good work that was done in the 80s and 90s; it had a lasting impact. That’s not what people see in those tails.

  17. A E Walker says:

    Cute-Raccoon-Image-07Truth be told – when I looked at this raccoon tail – all I see is my dog’s tail. Can you imagine if someone walked up to Fergus, chopped off his tail and wore it as a fashion statement?
    Girl, you are spot on with that statement! That is exactly how I feel. Pay no mind to the *Loser-fur-hags’ feelings, they are zombies void of any introspection or compassion.

  18. Amanda says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I’m not sure if you have heard of LUSH Cosmetics, but they are a global company that is constantly actively fighting animal testing. They also campaign on a lot of ethical issues. They will soon be featuring an entire campaign around raising awareness about the FUR trade. Check out their site: http://www.lush.com and stay tuned for more info!

  19. Colleen says:

    A human person was wearing a real, severed animal tail as a fashion statement?!?!

  20. kristel says:

    100% agree with you!

  21. Natalie says:

    Hey Sarah!

    Unrelated to this post… I saw you riding your bike around last Friday. I just wanted to say that you looked really healthy, and I hope you are doing well.

  22. Lori says:

    Well I saw the photo posted a few days ago on your Instagram, I too was in horror thinking about the poor raccoon. I also am hoping that it is fake, although I think when someone wears fake fur they are saying to the public that “fur is fashion” but “fur in NOT fashion” ever!!!!!
    Thanks for posting and I think it is okay to call her a “fur hag”, especially since it wasn’t a recognizable photo of her face!

  23. Grey says:

    I completely agree with your comment, Sarah. The fur industry is a horrific, disgusting practice and we need to be a voice for those animals. Regarding the photo, I’m not sure that’s a real fur tail..I’ve seen similar faux fur tails and accessories..but of course that is beside the point. Even fake accessories send a message the wearing animals is still acceptable.

  24. Kelly Nicola says:

    Oh my gosh, I just hate those fur tails. My best friend (who is vegetarian!) bought one and I was so shocked, I asked her how she could buy that? She said she thought it was cute, and that she asked the shop-owner and they said the tails would just be thrown away anyway (after they trapped and killed and used the rest of the animals fur to line boots or a jacket or something) so using the tail wasn’t wrong because it would have been wasted.

    I didn’t want to get into a fight as we were on a two-day trip together so I buttoned-up my trap, but I just wanted to scream! How does that justify it? It is normalizing the use of fur! It celebrates the murder of an innocent. And from somebody who is usually very compassionate towards animals… it made me realise how easy it is to justify our speciesism when the horrors are seen by someone else. I still get a little queasy thinking about her wearing that tail at festivals.

    Coming from the north, I see a lot of dead animals and fur and heads everywhere, and while I understand that hunting is part of the culture of First Nations, I just get ill thinking about all the unnecessary killing going on for decorations.

  25. vegansfirst says:

    I am not hurt from your post, u are telling the truth. I just love this post. Why we have to kill animals for unnecessary fashion statement?

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