Jasmine – A Fierce Young Animal Advocate
I had the opportunity to chat with Jasmine about her animal activism. She is bright and articulate with a razor sharp focus and an understanding of what is right and wrong that should make adults sit up and pay attention. Politicians – take notice – this means you Kathleen Wynne!
Not shy about expressing her opinions – Jasmine is an outstanding person in animal advocacy in Canada – and I am so pleased that she took the time to consider these important questions.
Thank You Jasmine For Being A Contributor To ABH Kids!
How old were you when you thought that animals have equal value to people?
I’ve been raised to respect animals all my life. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them as having less value than people.
Why did you become a vegan? Was it a gradual choice?
I’ve been vegan all my life. My mom and dad became vegans a year before I was born.
Why do you think that animals mean so little to many people?
It’s difficult, especially for younger people to be brought up to respect animals when we are bombarded by negative messages about them. Messages like they are property, disposable, and it’s acceptable to exploit them. If people knew an animal could feel pain, fear and love but was enslaved and tortured for a steak or glass of milk – they would find it a lot harder to support these industries. So these industries spend a great deal of money so people don’t think this way.
Why are you attracted to the fight against the fur trade?
My mom is a wildlife rehabilitator so I spend a lot of time being around wild animals. Wild animals are made to seem like a nuisance, disposable and killing them is part of conservation. None of which is true. We don’t need fur to keep us warm, it has no functional purpose. I find a lot of people don’t know how they get fur and believe the lies they are told from terms like “green washing.”
I got involved because furbearing animals are only seen as a dollar sign to to the fur industry, but to me, I see them as an important part of our ecosystem.They need to be protected, and as animals capable of feeling many emotions, they should not be exploited.
When leg hold traps have been banned in over 80 countries – why do you think Canada still uses them?
You would have to ask the Canadian Government about this one, because 90% of the people I speak to are against leg-hold traps. It’s obvious the Government cares more about what the trappers want, than how the majority of people in Canada feel about it.
Do you think that people who wear fur understand the pain and suffering in the fur industry?
Many of them have no clue, but that is the purpose of the fur industry. To green wash people into believing in untruths so they can make money.
What would you say to Beyonce or Miley Cyrus or Lady Ga Ga if you could speak to them about the fur they wear?
I would speak to them like anyone I else I speak to. Tell them the truth about the face behind the fur they are wearing, and hope they chose compassion over fashion.
Have you spoken directly to the executives at Canada Goose?
I would rather speak to their customers than speak to the company. If consumers don’t buy their products, they have nothing to sell. These companies care about the money, not the person spending the money.
What message do you have for fur stores?
Fur stores sell products people buy. Change what the person buys and you change what the store is selling. I’d rather speak to the consumer. They are a victim of the fur industry as well. They are lied to about fur, and unknowingly support a horrible industry, only interested in making money from killing animals.
Are your close friends involved with your cause?
All my friends are big supporters. I am very lucky to have to many great people in my life who believe in me, and the causes I support.
What does your school/teachers think about what you do?
I have been homeschooled for 3 years.
How many anti-fur demonstrations have you had so far?
I have organized one campaign that went on for 10 weeks, and it was attended by many people. I help my mom with wildlife, and I am a junior c0-existence ambassador for Coyote Watch Canada. Even though I may not be running an anti-fur campaign right now, I’m still really busy helping in other ways.
How can other kids help?
Young people can help by getting involved and speaking up for animals who can’t speak for themselves. It’s also very important to ask questions and know that you have a right to know the truth and to be heard. I saw an amazing sign a young girl was holding in a picture, it said ” the power of the people is stronger than the people in power.” Great words to remember.
What are you going to do next?
My mom and I are very busy running a wildlife centre, working with Coyote Watch Canada and trying to stop the spring Bear Hunt. Right now I would say the one thing that concerns me the most is the spring bear hunt. The Liberal Government thinks it’s okay to shoot bears during cub season. Anyone who knows anything about bears knows this is wrong. We only have black bears in this part of Canada.
These bears are very gentle and non-threatening. They can’t even have babies until they are 6 years old and hunters kill most of them before they are a couple of years old. There are not too many bears left – it’s very difficult for them. Human-bear conflicts can be resolved without lethal choices. The bear hunt isn’t about nuisance bears, it’s about politics and that isn’t acceptable. I encourage people to learn more about bears and how to stop the spring bear hunt, and please don’t vote for people who support it – the Liberal party! http://bearwithus.org/
How can other people help you?
Get involved with the spring bear hunt, educate people about the fur industry and support Wild Earth Refuge, our wildlife centre so we can continue helping injured and orphaned wildlife. We have a facebook page and a website. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wild-Earth-Refuge/567136360008602
Do you think people are starting to pay attention to animal issues in Canada? Our animals laws are very dated – about 1892.
I think most people are concerned with animal welfare, but the world is run by industries who exploit them, so the laws don’t get changed. I know so many compassionate people who are determined to change how animals are treated, and every day we take another step closer to ending their suffering.