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Jane, our newest AAF member, writes about her experience on the stall in Frome 7th April 2018

The Fox’s Voice

Living where I do, in the middle of a field, there is no escaping the hunt, as they run riot across the fields, horn sounding, dogs baying. Each time their presence deeply disturbs my heart, I am unsettled and anxious until the light fades and they leave.

The causes I support are many, but this is the first cause I have actively rallied behind in person, out on the streets, engaging with real people. It felt good to actually do something, to be involved, to give a voice to the foxes who cannot speak for themselves.

Talking with people on the sunny streets of Frome I heard support for the fox and I heard misinformation. I saw reluctance to get involved, I saw big hearts wanting to do their best to right the wrongs perpetrated towards wildlife. Blood sports divide a room, they divide a community, they divide a country, people are passionate on either side. Supporters of blood sports justify it in the name of tradition, in the name of wildlife management, and some couldn’t care less to justify, they just enjoy the chase.

These illegal hunts have no place in our enlightened society; they are overwhelmingly unsupported by the public, who call for change. Some people will not want to speak with you, and that’s ok, others though will welcome a chance to share their stories, to sign a petition, to offer their contact details so they can become involved in whatever way feels right to them. We all start somewhere and somehow, but the important thing is that we start.

Many do not know what really happens to foxes and their countryside companions; they make judgements from a base of misinformation. This is where we can step in, to provide a reality check, to gently nudge a conscience, to open a mind. We offer informed information about the truth behind fox hunting, shedding light on the myths. Encouraging people to sign petitions, to write to their MP, to join us on the streets, and we do this with a smile and a leaflet. We have to be the medicine, which dilutes the bullies’ poison, which clears the minds of those who unbeknown to them are fed lies about fox hunting.

If we truly wish to see a society where the fox is left in peace, we cannot be part of the problem; we can only be part of the solution. For that to happen we need to be present, we need to be visible, until we are no longer seen as angry activists, but educated allies for wildlife.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Frome, chatting with passersby, and with stall holders at the vegan market, listening to their stories, offering them stickers to wear with pride, declaring today they have done something positive to bring about change.  I met some really interesting people, who proudly wore their passion for change, who talked about injustice and a future for their children where enlightenment towards the wild things was common place.

Fox hunting is not an isolated cause; it is a symptom of a greater issue, one that sees the world tipped out of balance. But where there is passion there is hope, I urge you to bring your passion to the streets, join our friendly group, engage with people,  give it a go, be that change, become a voice for foxes.

Jane Struver