Why Do We Suddenly Hate Foxes?

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Fox Hunting - Why Have Our Attitudes Changed?

Remember back in the late 1990s, when everyone was proper raging on the side of the fox? We used to see it as a cultural icon of Britain's great countryside, put upon by a load of aggressive, tradition-toting toffs. But now, no one seems to care about our wild, red canid friends. What happened?

Why Have Our Opinions Changed?

Are we so indecisive?

On the 18th of February 2005, we won a great victory: fox hunting became illegal in the UK. However, that seemed to be the beginning of a change of the UK's opinions towards the fox. Before then, foxes were seen as victims of a cruel sport, but since fox hunting was made illegal, the British public saw less in the media about the cruelty they suffered and encountered urban foxes more and more. Late night noises and a few split bin-bags is all it seems to take to turn a piteous victim into the New Rat.

Cute and Clever Canids now Giant Red Rats - How have our opinions changed so quickly?

Cute photo. Shame so many lives had to end to make it happen
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Cute photo. Shame so many lives had to end to make it happen

When Sasha Baren Cohen, as Borat in the original Ali G series, went to a fox hunting rally, we all laughed along at him mocking the upper-class twits who chose to make sport out of violent animal cruelty. As with all good satire he showed how disgusting, illogical and shameful fox hunting (and all other animal blood sports) are by giving the toffs a false sense of security, agreeing with them so they could show their cruel and evil opinions without cloaking them in political correctness. (Why do they do this? Because, I think, deep down they know how ugly it is. They just enjoy it.) Back when the sketch was filmed, all of England who didn't own country estates or guns were right on the side of the fox. Check out the video below.

Nowadays few people even have time to care about the fox, now that they are a more common sight.

Borat Takes on the Fox Hunters - Satire against bloodthirsty animal haters

Borat takes the mickey out of those who hunt animals. But a hunt was still organised and animals still died. Why?

What's Next?

Which animal will be our next victim?

Let's never forget that the reason foxes now scavenge in our towns and cities at night is because we overtook their natural habitat in the first place. Had we been a little more respectful in past times, there wouldn't be as much of a problem as there is now. After all, they're just trying to survive - and it's not like they're attacking us or our children. They want to recycle the rubbish we're throwing away (and poisoning the Earth with) anyway in a very eco-friendly way.

We know some people leave dog food out for foxes, which is kind but can annoy neighbours and make the public opinion of them worse. We're not advocating adopting wild foxes (which is, in itself, a form of cruelty by affection) but rather respect them, allow them to survive without persecution and never actively hurt or show cruelty towards them. Live and let live. Isn't that the mantra we all claim to live by?

Which animal do we victimise next, should we start treating foxes as pests the same as rats or insects (which I also have a problem with - more lenses to follow!)? Deer? Cats and dogs? It would take a lot to change the British people into haters of our innocent wildlife or pets - but, twenty years ago, wasn't the fox an innocent and essential part of our British countryside?

A damning and dark notion.

Join the BBC Debate

The Beeb weighs in on this controversial issue

BBC Radio 4's Rod Liddle recently devoted an entire programme to the discussion about why Britain has changed its attitudes to foxes. He makes a very valid point - that foxes are now regarded as little more than rats to be exterminated without conscience. Listen to the programme here.

Tell Us What You Think - Love Foxes or Hate Them?

I'll admit that I'm the least biased person on this matter. I would like to open up the floor to debate - please keep all arguments respectful, we're not going to get anywhere by descending into name-calling.

How Do You Feel About Foxes

Love Foxes

anonymous 7 months ago

Foxes are a natrual part of our ecosystem and actually do more good than harm. Most of the common debates by fox haters are at human fault as foxes are easy to detter and also it is worth noting that almost mobody has ever caught a disease off of a fox.


anonymous 18 months ago

foxes are good animals but i have ben ataked by them for no reason so i like foxes but i alo like hunting them


anonymous 22 months ago

Foxes like other varmints have to be kept in check or they will simply over populate. In a fairy book world everything will love each other an all will be fine, but thats not how the world operates. Nothing is worse then seeing starving , desiesed animals do to over population. Remember foxes are prone to be carriers of rabbies,I don't hate foxes by no means nor do I want to see them wiped out but this old country boy understands the importance of also maintaning a healthy population, an the only way to do that is by putting a few to rest. LONG LIVE FOXHUNTING!!!


anonymous 23 months ago

What the hell is wrong with humans? We killed 100 million of our own species in the 20th century. Leaves animals alone for Lords sake. We are the sickest & most pathertic creature on the planet!


Sylvestermouse 24 months ago from United States

I happen to love little foxes! We adopted one of our dogs simply because she looked like a fox when she was a puppy. Of course, we would have brought her home regardless because she was starving, but we did call her fox dog from day one :) She just celebrated her 8th birthday with us.


benzwm021 lm 24 months ago

I just saw a fox yesterday as I was driving and thought, "How cute! I never see foxes." How anyone could hate them or any other animal is beyond me. Thanks for your great lens and for shedding light on such a worthy cause!


inkserotica 2 years ago

I have always loved foxes; can't see why they are seen as vermin. I love all animals and am totally disgusted in the human race.


anticruelty 2 years ago Hub Author

Thank you for your comment WordCustard. Indeed, hedgehogs or shrews could be next. It's so nonsensical.


anticruelty 2 years ago Hub Author

Of course I love foxes!


indigoj 2 years ago from UK

Foxes are beautiful creatures and their lives are hard enough in the wild. I can understand why a farmer might not love them but there is no reason for others to hate them or treat them with anything but respect. Like you say, what next? Hedgehogs?

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    Hate Foxes

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       Last updated on November 23, 2012

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      indigoj profile image

      indigoj 2 years ago from UK

      Thanks for bringing the plight of the fox to people's attention. I hope there are still many of us here in the UK who do take the side of the fox. They have enough of a struggle as a result of 'progress' (traffic, disappearing habitats) without humans making life even more difficult.


      anticruelty profile image

      anticruelty 2 years ago Hub Author

      @indigoj: Absolutely. I just don't understand why such a change has been made: they were British cultural icons and loved by kids in children's stories and whatnot: now they're like aggressive scavenging vermin in the public's eyes. It's such a shame. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, it means a lot!


      anonymous 2 years ago

      What a shame that the public has changed their opinion so drastically. My ancestors might feel that the foxes have come to give a lesson to many.


      anticruelty profile image

      anticruelty 2 years ago Hub Author

      @anonymous: Indeed! They have spiritual significance in a lot of cultures. Terrible shame.


      Timewarp profile image

      Timewarp 2 years ago from Montreal

      My favorite foxes are the one's that stole the guy's hat in Grizzly Man, so cute!


      anticruelty profile image

      anticruelty 2 years ago Hub Author

      @Timewarp: You know, I've never seen that movie. Looks like I've got my Sunday morning Netflix activity sorted :)


      KatPalmer LM profile image

      KatPalmer LM 24 months ago

      I agree that we need to stop thinking of how animals are annoying and therefore must be killed. Instead we have to start thinking about how we can live with them. Every creature has merits and deserves to live.


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      anticruelty 24 months ago Hub Author

      @KatPalmer LM: I couldn't agree more. As a species I think humans are so lucky that other animals don't have the same idea of pest removal. Because we'd be for the chop.


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      whats4dinner 24 months ago

      maybe these people ran out of things to do that's why they resorted back into fox hunting. sad fact


      dream1983 24 months ago

      Interesting lens, well done!


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      Snakesmum 23 months ago from Victoria, Australia Level 5 Commenter

      Great lens. Hate cruelty to animals, and foxhunting is just that.

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