Why Do We Suddenly Hate Foxes?
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?
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?
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