The figurative language and metaphors about human defects and virtues that appeal to animals are especially harsh on the fox. The only exception may be the endearing fox of The little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 1943). But from Aesop’s fables in the sixth century BC, to the Pinocchio of Collodi in 1882, the fox and the vixen are presented as negative, dangerous and despicable characters.
Several of the meanings of the RAE include those judgments about the animal that are revealed in everyday language. Zorro means: 2. Person very devious, cunning and overlapped. 3. Person who affects simplicity and blandness, especially by not working, and does things slowly and heavily. 7. Prostitute. 9. Drunkenness.
In Spain they kill each other every year two hundred thousand foxes, although according to Asturian Hunting Association it is “a little valued piece, so it is not the object of scheduled hunts, and may be killed in the course of other large or small game sets.” Reality contradicts this: every year local or national fox hunting championships are organized, financed and organized by public administrations and hunting federations, whose objective is to kill the largest number of foxes in the shortest time.
Next Saturday September 18 will be presented Fox friend, a book that aspires to counteract this negative image, the false beliefs and popular legends about this unique animal, which justify the harassment it suffers and its hunting as a “sport” or “recreational activity”. The event will be at eleven o’clock in the morning at the Cabinet of Natural History, headquarters of the Marley Wolf Association, within the framework of the First Day of Zorro (Calle de la Victoria 9, in Madrid), and will feature the presence of several of the authors of the book.
Fox friend, publication coordinated by Free Fox Association and launched by Hades editions, brings together collaborations of 37 authors who, with literary, artistic and scientific approaches, build a powerful case against discrimination, hunting and the extermination of the fox. For the volume, they have contributed texts, poems, images and rigorous scientific information.
For Nietzsche’s Horse, I have spoken with Alicia Roa, spokesperson for the Free Fox Association.
Since when has this association existed, what are its objectives and what activities do they carry out?
The association emerged in 2018 with the aim of making visible the persecution and massacre to which our precious fox is subjected. In Spain there are many groups and associations in defense of the wolf and other animals, but the fox did not have any space of its own in which to talk about what they do to it, what is happening, so we created the association in order to to make it visible and to reverse the image that the rural world has left in the collective imagination of this born survivor.
In this association we dedicate ourselves to various activities related to the defense of the fox (also of other animals, although our main focus of attention is our dear fox). Since our appearance we have held rallies, talks, direct activism, ransoms, complaints, collection of signatures, support for other causes and, something of which we are very proud, we proposed to create a World Fox Day, and we achieve it with campaigns in multiple languages. Today it appears in virtual spaces that January 26 is World Fox Day. Our goal is to achieve the definitive abolition of fox hunting in Spain.
When was the idea of making this book born?
About two years ago. In animal and environmental activism there are great writers, illustrators, cartoonists, scientists, anthropologists, photographers. A book was needed to dignify the image of our precious fox, which culture and art have systematically condemned, since it always appears associated with deplorable moral values, even the devil. Why not take advantage of that talent to try to turn around that popular imaginary so unfavorable and so unfair that for years it has falsified the image of the fox?
What response did the people who have collaborated give?
It was incredible. Everyone we proposed to was enthusiastic, generous and proud to be able to help this cause. Some collaborators in turn invited others and the result was a beautiful, unique and original book, which provides 37 different views of the fox from all points of view. There are texts on anthropology, biology, poems, prose, drawings, photographs, vignettes and even a score that has the title of the book itself. With the money raised we want to put up a poster against hunting in the Madrid Metro.
Why was this book necessary?
I will respond with the prologue of Fox friend, which expresses, in essence, our objectives, both with the book and with the Association:
Because he is hunted, trapped, poisoned, hunted in every possible way, and even killed in his own burrow.
Because it is considered a vermin to be exterminated, without any kind of regard.
Because folklore and art have falsified and morally condemned him in most of his representations.
Because he is branded a ladino, cheater, dirty, creeping …
Because we have invaded their habitats and we have taken over all the space.
Because the time spent killing him far outweighs the employee in protecting him.
Because it is invisible to the administrations and to a large part of the wildlife protection entities.
Because it is a wonderful animal, essential, shy, intelligent, like everyone else …
Because it is fair to give him back what we have taken from him.
For all that and much more. This is not just a book by the fox or for the fox, it is a book with the fox.
With you, fox friend, we are.
This is your tribute.