End the Annual Seal Slaughter

Canada is a beautiful country. I filmed my first television acting role there, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1963. It was an episode of “The Littlest Hobo,” and I was four years old. I played Cindy, a little girl who climbs out of the back of her parents’ station wagon to rescue her teddy bear whom she dropped out of the window. Her parents, unaware she’s climbed out, drive off, leaving Cindy alone in the woods. The little girl is ultimately rescued and reunited with her parents thanks to a heroic German Shepherd. I enjoyed my visit to Canada, although filming outdoors in November it got pretty chilly at times.

Canada is home to extraordinary animals like grizzly bears, caribou, bison, and humpback whales. But Canada is also home to the shameful, brutal murder of hundreds of thousands of baby harp seals. It’s the largest mass slaughter of marine mammals in the world.

Every spring, soon after the babies are born, seal “hunters” go out onto the ice floes in the waters off Eastern Canada, and bludgeon and hack seal pups to death for their skins. They crack open their tiny skulls with heavy clubs and hack them to death with a type of pickaxe called a hakapik. There is nowhere for the pups to hide and no means of escape. The ice is stained red with the pups’ blood as their mothers bellow and moan pitifully for their slaughtered babies. Not only is the killing savagely brutal, post-mortem surveys show that more than 40% of these helpless white balls of fluff are skinned while they are still alive.

The Canadian government refuses to acknowledge their part in the savage killing, but it is the Canadian Coast Guard that relay the seals’ locations to the killers, and Canadian Coast Guard cutters that break through the ice to lead the killers to their innocent prey.

Activists like Paul Watson and his organization, Sea Shepherd, have led the fight against the Canadian seal kill. To thwart the killers and make the seal pups’ fur undesirable to them, they stain the pups with henna dye, painting a red stripe down their backs. A dyed baby seal is a seal who will live to grow up.

To hide Canada’s complicity in the slaughter from the rest of the world, the Canadian government has gone so far as to pass a law called, with colossal irony, the “Seal Protection Act,” which does nothing to protect seals and makes witnessing the seal kill by civilians a criminal offense. Taking photos or videotaping the seal killers as they club and hack baby seals to death will land you in jail.

Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd are not deterred, and risk prison to record the brutal killing and share the images they capture with the world. As a direct result, the United States, Mexico, India, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Taiwan, Switzerland, and the 27 nations of the European Union have banned trade in seal products. Thanks to the activists’ bravery and leadership, the worldwide market for seal products is fast collapsing.

Yet, Canada is not the only nation still engaged in the slaughter of baby seals for their skins. Russia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, and Namibia are, too. Please urge them to stop the slaughter by leaving a message at the Facebook pages for all those nations’ American embassies and consulates.

Canada: https://www.facebook.com/CanadaNY/

Russia: https://www.facebook.com/RusEmbUSA/

Norway: https://www.facebook.com/NorwegianEmbassyinWashington/

Finland: https://www.facebook.com/FinnEmbassyDC/

Iceland: https://www.facebook.com/swedeninusa/

Greenland (autonomous region of Denmark): https://www.facebook.com/DenmarkinUSA/

Sweden’s and Namibia’s embassies have no Facebook page, but you can contact them by email at:

ambassaden.washington@foreign.ministry.se

info@namibianembassyusa.org

 

Peace to ALL the animals with whom we share the planet!

Major Clothing Manufacturer Bans Exotic Animal Skins

Good news for all animals and compassionate humans! Last week, fashion retail giant PVH Corp.—the parent company of Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, and Van Heusen, among other brands—announced that it is banning exotic animal skins across all its brands. PVH’s decision will save countless snakes, alligators, crocodiles, ostriches, and other animals from being warehoused and killed for their skin.

Every animal skin purse, belt, or shoe made is the product of a violent, bloody, and painful death. In the exotic animal skin trade, alligators’ necks are hacked open and metal rods are shoved into their heads; snakes are pumped full of water to loosen their skin, which is then peeled off, often while they’re still conscious; and feathers are yanked out of ostriches while they’re still alive.

Animals raised for their skin are kept in squalid, severely crowded conditions on farms, which create a major breeding ground for a wide of range of zoonotic pathogens like salmonella, E. coli, and even coronavirus. Banning the harvest and use of animal skins will not only spare much suffering and encourage consumers to shop high-quality vegan materials but also has the potential to help stop the next pandemic before it starts.

Alligators are social animals and use a range of bellows, growls, hisses, and roars to communicate with each other. They make great mothers, too, and are known to use tools. One of the biggest misconceptions people have about alligators is that they will chase and hunt humans. Generally, when alligators spot humans, they’re likely to swim away (if near water) or avoid confrontation. When they’re not killed for boots and fashion accessories, they can live for up to 50 years.

Snakes are generally shy animals and not looking for humans to bite. Caught asleep or off-guard by a human walking by, a snake will seek first to escape. If its path is blocked or the human makes what looks to the snake like aggressive moves, it will defend itself. Wouldn’t you? Many snakes have colorful striped or patterned skins, beautiful to look at in nature, but sad and cruel to see on someone’s boots or belt.

It took ten years of urging and action from PETA and other animal rights activists to persuade PVH to choose compassion over cruelty and join the ranks of Brooks Brothers, Jil Sander, Chanel, Diane von Furstenberg, HUGO BOSS, Victoria Beckham, Vivienne Westwood, and many others in banning exotic skins. A spokesperson for PVH Corp. said the move is part of the brand’s “long-term strategy to drive fashion forward for good.”

No animal should be raised or captured to be killed to use its skin, fur, hair, feathers, or shell.

Peace to ALL the animals with whom we share this planet.

More Than 100 Countries Have Banned Leg-Hold Traps, Why Not the USA?

My character on “Lassie,” Lucy Baker, was introduced in a three-part story in the spring of 1972. Lucy Baker was a nature-loving deaf girl who befriends Lassie and the two have many adventures together. In one of those first episodes, titled “Paths of Courage, Part One,” Lucy has a beloved pet wolf named Mountie. A sadistic sheep herder shoots Mountie and I have a tearful scene as the wolf dies in my arms. It turned out to be one of the most memorable scenes of my acting career.

The wolf playing Mountie was tranquilized so that he would lay quietly in my arms, as seen in the accompanying photo. I felt horrible that this poor wolf was tranquilized for a scene, but that’s what happens to a lot of animals in TV and movies; they don’t ever get to live their lives the way nature intended. Luckily for Mountie, he had a good-hearted trainer in the person of Pat Derby. Pat Derby later became an outspoken advocate for animals, and I’ll tell you more about her in my forthcoming book. Anyway, my job was to kneel over Mountie and cry my eyes out. I was given very specific instructions not to put my face near his; a wild animal, especially when tranquilized, may react badly to his space being invaded. I heeded my instructions and was very, very cautious.

The director called for action, and I began to sob pitifully over my mortally wounded companion, all the while taking care to avoid putting my face near his. The wolf must not have been fully tranquilized because, as my tears fell he began to rouse. At first, I’m sure I was the only one to notice, but when he slowly lifted his head to look at me, I could sense a nervous stir among the crew.

The wolf began to lick the tears from my face. I was startled, but continued acting, unwilling –afraid, is the better word – to break the scene. It was so sweet – and so scary. The more I cried, the more the wolf licked my face. It dawned on me that this big, beautiful animal was trying to console a weeping little girl with kisses!

My instinct to carry on while the camera rolled proved a good one. The resulting footage of Lucy sobbing over her dying pet, with the wolf tenderly kissing his grieving companion goodbye, was nothing short of remarkable. Ever since then I’ve always had a special place in my heart for wolves.

Did you know that legislation was finally enacted a few years ago to stop the slaughter of wolves by hunters using high-powered rifles from inside low-flying airplanes and helicopters and other horrific acts? Did you also know that this past March, with a stroke of the pen, the president rescinded the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule and opened the door for hunters to chase down and shoot wolves, bears, and other animals within Alaska’s national wildlife refuges? Yes, both the House and Senate approved a measure to repeal the legislation that largely banned hunting and trapping of Alaska’s most iconic animals on more than 76 million federal acres, the largest land-based, federally-protected area in the United States.

Once again, the killing of hibernating bears and wolves from airplanes and the slaughter of cubs and pups in their dens is permitted in one of America’s last great wildlife refuges. Legal again are airborne hunters scouting, chasing, and and killing brown and black bears. Legal again are trapping methods like steel-jawed leg hold traps, wire snares, and the luring of bears with food so that they may be shot at point-blank range. Despite years of relentless work by over 70 groups, many of them made up of Alaska citizens, the law that protected these majestic wild creatures on the people’s land – land specifically created to protect and conserve wildlife and habitats in their natural diversity – has been senselessly and tragically wiped away.

Steel jaw traps are banned or heavily restricted in many US states. Such traps inflict excruciating pain not only on the targeted animals, but also on any other animal that unknowingly sets off the trap, for these traps do not kill on impact, they snap shut on the leg or other body part when the victim steps on it. The trap inflicts deep puncture wounds to prevent the animal from writhing around and pulling itself free. Imagine slamming your hand in a car door with teeth and waiting in excruciating pain to die of shock, exposure, dehydration, starvation, or infection.

Leg hold traps, also banned in many countries around the world, are used primarily for foxes, coyotes, wolves, and lynx. These traps, which consist of a metal footplate with curved jaws and powered springs, break and crush the animal’s limb. Immobilized, the animal is trapped where they are, easy prey for predators, and without shelter from harsh weather conditions. Many become so desperate to escape they attempt to chew or wring off their trapped limb, breaking their teeth or bones in the process. When they don’t return to their den, their babies are left alone, unable to fend for themselves, and they die, too.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States spoke of the recent ruling saying, “What the Senate did should outrage the conscience of every animal lover in America,” adding, “The passage of this bill means that we’ll see wolf families killed at their dens, bears chased down by planes or suffering for hours in barbaric steel-jawed traps or snares.”

Although the repeal of the law was signed by the president, there are still ways to reduce the suffering for these animals. The main way is to stop buying fur products and to encourage others to do the same. Many animals are hunted for their pelts, and if there is no demand for them, there will be less reason for hunters to trap them. We can also spread awareness about this heinous slaughter, send letters to our representatives in Congress, and sign petitions to end the horrific torture caused by these practices.

Many animal rights groups are calling for a ban on inhumane traps. Although the situation is sickening for animal lovers, there is hope. More than 100 countries have banned leg hold traps while 85 nations have banned steel jaw traps; let’s add the United States to those lists!

Peace for ALL the animals with whom we share the planet!

 

 

Fur Is Only Beautiful on Animals

A mother searches through the forest for food. Her babies are back in the den, safe for now but hungry, and even though its cold she must leave them, if only for a while, to keep them fed. Spotting something in the brush she cautiously approaches for a better look.

CRACK! CRUNCH! With the speed and force of hundreds of pounds of spring-loaded pressure, the six-inch steel jaws of a leg-hold trap snap shut, shattering the bones in her foot making her unable to escape the horror. The mother howls in dire pain and fear. The trap is anchored to the ground by a short chain and metal spike, so she can’t even drag herself away. She is trapped and will never see her babies again.

The fur farmer will eventually go into the woods and check his traps and if she is still alive, dash out her brains with a club – a bullet, after all, would damage the pelt and that’s the last thing a fur trapper wants; he must preserve the pelt so that women and men can wear these murdered animals as a fashion statement. But hours or days may pass, and she slowly dies in agony from exposure, dehydration, or blood loss. Knowing her babies wait back in the den, she tries to chew off her own leg to get to them. If she is successful, she will die anyway. Without their mother, her babies will soon die, too. A family will be cruelly killed so that someone, somewhere may have a pair of fur-lined gloves, a jacket or a decorative muff.

I urge you to take a minute and watch this video by fellow animal advocate Bill Maher. Isn’t it time we stopped thinking that fur (and feathers) are hip fashion statements, and see them for what they are, the remains of an animal, killed for human vanity?

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, such as the one described above. 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 for all seasons. Compassion: now that’s a hip fashion statement!

Peace for ALL the animals with whom we share the planet!

Stop the Slaughter of Baby Seals

In 1963 I traveled to Canada to act in my first television role. I played Cindy, a little girl who climbs out of the back of her parents’ station wagon to retrieve the teddy bear she dropped. Her parents, unaware she’s missing, drive off leaving Cindy alone in the woods. The tiny girl is ultimately rescued and reunited with her parents thanks to a very special German Shepherd. The show was called The Littlest Hobo, and it was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Canada is a beautiful country, and home to extraordinary animals like grizzly bears, caribou, bison, and humpback whales. But Canada is also home to the shameful, brutal murder of hundreds of thousands of baby harp seals. It’s the largest mass slaughter of marine mammals in the world.

Every spring, soon after the babies are born, seal “hunters” go out onto the ice floes in the waters off Eastern Canada, and bludgeon and hack seal pups to death for their skins. They crack open their tiny skulls with heavy clubs and hack them to death with a type of pickaxe called a hakapik. There is nowhere for the pups to hide and no means of escape. The ice is stained red with the pups’ blood as their mothers bellow and moan pitifully for their slaughtered babies. Not only is the killing savagely brutal, post-mortem surveys show that more than 40% of these helpless white balls of fluff are skinned while they are still alive.

The Canadian government refuses to acknowledge their part in the savage killing, but it is the Canadian Coast Guard that relay the seals’ locations to the killers, and Canadian Coast Guard cutters that break through the ice to lead the killers to their innocent prey.

Activists like Paul Watson and his organization, Sea Shepherd, have led the fight against the Canadian seal kill. To thwart the killers and make the seal pups’ fur undesirable to them, they stain the pups with henna dye, painting a red stripe down their backs. A dyed baby seal is a seal who will live to grow up.

To hide Canada’s complicity in the slaughter from the rest of the world, the Canadian government has gone so far as to pass a law called, with colossal irony, the “Seal Protection Act,” which does nothing to protect seals and makes witnessing the seal kill by civilians a criminal offense. Taking photos or videotaping the seal killers as they club and hack baby seals to death will land you in jail.

Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd are not deterred, and risk prison to record the brutal killing and share the images they capture with the world. As a direct result, the United States, Mexico, India, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Taiwan, Switzerland, and the 27 nations of the European Union have banned trade in seal products. Thanks to the activists’ bravery and leadership, the worldwide market for seal products is fast collapsing.

Yet, Canada is not the only nation still engaged in the slaughter of baby seals for their skins. Russia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, and Namibia are, too. Please urge them to stop the slaughter by leaving a message at the Facebook pages for all those nations’ American embassies and consulates.

Canada: https://www.facebook.com/CanadaNY/

Russia: https://www.facebook.com/RusEmbUSA/

Norway: https://www.facebook.com/NorwegianEmbassyinWashington/

Finland: https://www.facebook.com/FinnEmbassyDC/

Iceland: https://www.facebook.com/swedeninusa/

Greenland (autonomous region of Denmark): https://www.facebook.com/DenmarkinUSA/

Sweden’s and Namibia’s embassies have no Facebook page, but you can contact them by email at:

ambassaden.washington@foreign.ministry.se

info@namibianembassyusa.org

 

Peace to ALL the animals with whom we share the planet!

San Francisco Bans Fur Sales, Plus a Guest Essay by Priscilla Feral

A candid photo from 1975, taken on the steps of City Hall while shooting on location for the police drama The Streets of San Francisco. San Francisco is a beautiful city. I’ve been there many times. Soon the city will be even more beautiful when the ban on the sale of fur takes effect on January 1, 2019. San Francisco joins a growing list of cities across America that are banning the products of a cruel and bloodthirsty trade.

Priscilla Feral is a longtime friend and President of Friends of Animals. This past week, Priscilla published an op-ed piece in the New York Daily News calling on the nation’s fashion capital to join the ban. Priscilla and I agree it’s about time.

 

Torture goes out of fashion: Momentum builds for a ban on NYC fur sales

by Priscilla Feral

New York City prides itself on being a fashion capital, with designers who create the most innovative looks on the world’s stage. Now it’s time for the city to truly become fashion forward — to take its lead from powerhouse designers such as Stella McCartney and Michael Kors, and cities such as San Francisco, Berkeley, and West Hollywood, all of which are making the most important fashion statement of all by banning the sales of fur.

Furs is not fashion. Compassion is. More than 60% of Americans find killing animals for fur amounts to cruelty, according to an Angus Reid survey.

The signs that fur is over are everywhere.

Not only have McCartney and Kors shunned fur, as have Gucci and Versace, but so have New York City-based fashion houses Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss.

Manhattan’s fur district has steadily declined. Where 450 fur factories once operated, now just a handful do – evidence that society’s desire for a product that depends on the slaughter and suffering of 50 million animals a year has waned. It’s been six years since an essay about the district’s demise was headlined “Last of the Furriers.” That is nothing to lament.

Fur is not only cruel to animals, but its production is toxic. Each mink skinned by fur farmers produces about 44 pounds of feces, which adds up to 1 million pounds produced annually by mink farms. Fur farm byproducts can leach into waterways.

Meanwhile, vegan fashion is in vogue. Faux fur revenues reached $250 million in 2010, with a predicted growth rate of 30% a year. And buyers are turning to cruelty-free fashion with gusto.

Why then should the city continue to prop up a declining, polluting, cruel industry? Neither the federal government nor the state of New York has regulated the sale of fur products except for the sale of dog and cat fur, which is generally prohibited under federal law.

Until the federal or state government decides to regulate the sale of fur products from other animals commonly used in the fashion and apparel industries, New York City is free to limit the sale and distribution of these products.

Thus, we have proposed City Council legislation to amend the administrative code of the city of New York in order to prohibit the sale, offering for sale, display for sale, trade, gifting, donation, or other distribution of an animal fur product. We have already spoken to several Council members who are supportive and expect to introduce legislation this fall.

Critics might say New York City will lose money. But there are a variety of immoral ways to earn revenues – and we should always shun them.

As San Francisco noted in its fur ban legislation: “The sale of fur products in San Francisco is inconsistent with the City’s ethos of treating all living beings, humans and animals alike, with kindness.”

The New York City Economic Development Corp., in its Fashion NYC2020 study, called on the city to become a hub of fashion-industry innovation. A fur ban gives designers and retailers in the city this very opportunity to be leaders in vegan fashion, build a commitment to protecting the environment, and send a message that animal suffering and slaughter for the sake of expensive clothing – only affordable to the 1% percent anyway – is over.

 

America’s Largest Wildlife Refuge is a Refuge No More

My character on “Lassie,” Lucy Baker, was introduced in a three-part story in the spring of 1972. Lucy Baker was a nature-loving deaf girl who befriends Lassie and the two have many adventures together. In one of those first episodes, titled “Paths of Courage, Part One,” Lucy has a beloved pet wolf named Mountie. A sadistic sheep herder shoots Mountie and I have a tearful scene as the wolf dies in my arms. It turned out to be one of the most memorable scenes of my acting career.

The wolf playing Mountie was tranquilized so that he would lay quietly in my arms, as seen in the accompanying photo. I felt horrible that this poor wolf was tranquilized for a scene, but that’s what happens to a lot of animals in TV and movies; they don’t ever get to live their lives the way nature intended. Luckily for Mountie, he had a goodhearted trainer in the person of Pat Derby. Pat Derby later became an outspoken advocate for animals, and I’ll tell you more about her in my forthcoming book. Anyway, my job was to kneel over Mountie and cry my eyes out. I was given very specific instructions not to put my face near his; a wild animal, especially when tranquilized, may react badly to his space being invaded. I heeded my instructions and was very, very cautious.

The director called for action, and I began to sob pitifully over my mortally wounded companion, all the while taking care to avoid putting my face near his. The wolf must not have been fully tranquilized because, as my tears fell he began to rouse. At first, I’m sure I was the only one to notice, but when he slowly lifted his head to look at me, I could sense a nervous stir among the crew.

The wolf began to lick the tears from my face. I was startled, but continued acting, unwilling –afraid, is the better word – to break the scene. It was so sweet – and so scary. The more I cried, the more the wolf licked my face. It dawned on me that this big, beautiful animal was trying to console a weeping little girl with kisses!

My instinct to carry on while the camera rolled proved a good one. The resulting footage of Lucy sobbing over her dying pet, with the wolf tenderly kissing his grieving companion goodbye, was nothing short of remarkable. Ever since then I’ve always had a special place in my heart for wolves.

Did you know that legislation was finally enacted a few years ago to stop the slaughter of wolves by cowardly humans using high-powered rifles from inside low-flying airplanes and helicopters? Did you also know that last year, with a stroke of his pen, the president rescinded the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule and opened the door for hunters to hunt and kill wolves, bears, and other animals within Alaska’s national wildlife refuges? Yes, both the House and Senate approved a measure to repeal existing legislation that protected Alaska’s most iconic animals on more than 76,000,000 acres, the largest land-based, federally-protected area in the United States.

Once again, the killing of wolves and hibernating bears and the slaughter of cubs and pups in their dens is permitted in one of America’s last great wildlife refuges. Legal again are hunters scouting, chasing, and and killing brown and black bears from airplanes and helicopters. Legal again are trapping methods like steel-jawed leg hold traps, wire snares, and the luring of scavenging bears with food so that they may be shot at point-blank range. Despite years of relentless work by over 70 groups, many of them made up of Alaskan citizens, the law that protected these majestic wild creatures on the people’s land – land specifically created to protect and conserve native American wildlife and habitats in their natural diversity – has been senselessly and tragically wiped from the books.

Steel jaw traps are banned or heavily restricted in many US states. Such traps inflict excruciating pain not only on the targeted animals, but also on any other animal that unknowingly sets off the trap, for these traps do not kill on impact, they snap shut on the leg or other body part when the victim steps on it. The trap inflicts deep puncture wounds to prevent the animal from writhing around and pulling itself free. Imagine slamming your hand in a car door with teeth and waiting in excruciating pain to die of shock, exposure, dehydration, starvation, or infection.

Leg hold traps, also banned in many countries around the world, are used primarily for foxes, coyotes, wolves, and lynx. These traps, which consist of a metal footplate with curved jaws and powered springs, break and crush the animal’s limb. Immobilized, the animal is trapped where they are, easy prey for predators, and without shelter from harsh weather conditions. Many become so desperate to escape they attempt to chew or wring off their trapped limb, breaking their teeth or bones in the process. When they don’t return to their den, their babies are left alone, unable to fend for themselves, and they die, too.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, spoke of the legislative surrender to special interests, saying, “What the Senate did should outrage the conscience of every animal lover in America,” adding, “The passage of this bill means that we’ll see wolf families killed at their dens, bears chased down by planes or suffering for hours in barbaric steel-jawed traps or snares.”

Although the repeal of the law was signed by the president, there are still ways to reduce the suffering for these animals. The main way is to stop buying fur products and to encourage others to do the same. Many animals are hunted for their pelts, and if there is no demand for them, there will be less reason for hunters to trap them. We can also spread awareness about this heinous slaughter, send letters to our representatives in Congress, and sign petitions to end the horrific torture caused by these practices.

Many animal rights groups are calling for a ban on inhumane traps. Although the situation is sickening for animal lovers, there is hope. More than 100 countries have banned leg hold traps while 85 nations have banned steel jaw traps; let’s add the United States to those lists!

Peace for ALL the animals with whom we share the planet!

 

Don’t Give the Gift of Suffering and Death

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

PETA
501 Front Street
Norfolk, VA 23510

Peace for ALL the animals with whom we share the planet!