When I was in my early 20s, I went to my boyfriend’s graduation, and I was so pleased to wear a mink stole given to me by my godmother. I had no idea of the awful suffering and brutality I was wearing. As I grew older I was enlightened, thank goodness, to the cruelty inherent in the fur trade as well as in other animal industries. After I learned the truth about the fur industry and the suffering of the poor animals whose pelts I wore, I took that mink stole, streaked it with red paint, purchased a horrible leg hold trap from a thrift store, and used them as visual aids in protesting against fur. Now I’d like to share with you what I learned about fur, in the hope that you won’t buy your loved one anything made from those poor souls this Christmas, Hanukkah or at any other time.
Here are some facts you need to know about the fur industry and the most common ways fur-bearing animals are killed in the US, Europe, and China, the world’s largest exporter of furs:
People admiring a fur coat or fur-trimmed garment in a store window or glossy magazine are likely unaware that animals like mink, fox, coyote, beaver, rabbits and raccoons are clubbed, electrocuted, and even skinned alive for their fur. Anal and genital electrocution is a common and agonizing method of slaughtering fur-bearing animals. To accomplish this, fur farmers stick an electric probe in the mouth and anus of a living, suffering fox or other animal. Try to imagine the terror felt by these poor animals. When the farmer turns on the electric current, the animal seizes uncontrollably until it dies an excruciating death. Fur farmers favor this method because the animals are electrocuted from the inside out, limiting damage to the animal’s pelt. New York is presently the only state in which this ghastly practice is illegal.
Eighty-five percent of the fur industry’s “harvest” comes from animals held captive on factory farms, where they are crammed into severely crowded, filthy wire cages, and often skinned alive. Mink are known to go insane inside these tiny wire cages; many undercover animal activists have filmed the poor creatures going round and round in circles for hours on end, making high-pitched screeching noises.
One billion rabbits are slaughtered each year so that their fur can be used for trim in clothing, craft items, or for lures in fly-fishing.
One-third of all fur sold in the US comes from animals killed in steel-jaw traps. The fur farmers set out these traps in the woods. The heavy steel traps slam shut on an animal’s limb, shattering the bone, which causes excruciating pain and leaves the animal stuck and starving, sometimes for days.
The huge conibear trap crushes an animal’s neck by applying 90 pounds of pressure per square inch, leaving the animal to suffer for up to eight minutes while he or she slowly strangles to death. These sadistic traps are set not only on land, but are also positioned at the bottom of shallow ponds to kill beavers who swim by building their homes or collecting aquatic plants to feed their families.
In China, more than two million cats and hundreds of thousands of dogs are bludgeoned, hanged, or bled to death, or simply skinned alive for their fur, which is then exported to the US.
I beg of you, if you or anyone you know still wears fur or fur trim, please let them know about how cruel the fur industry is. Faux fur is a compassionate and cruelty-free alternative this holiday season or any. Want to do something really kind this holiday season? Instead of wearing a fur coat to your next party, how about donating it to PETA so they can use it in their provocative protests against cruelty? You can contact PETA at the address below.
Remember. . . FUR TRADE = DEATH TRADE.
Attn.: Fur Campaign
501 Front Street
Norfolk, VA 23510
Peace for ALL the animals with whom we share the planet!