Issue 1.1 Monday, April 7, 2003

Fur Shame
by Jessica Vihvelin
I recently read an article on fur; it was intended to be a shocking expose on fur industry’s use of cats and dogs for their pelts. The article described how consumers may be unknowingly purchasing fur made from cats or dogs, instead of the usual minx, fox or chinchilla. It is appalling to think that someone would see the cruelty in murdering ‘cute’ animals for fashion yet fail to realize that wild animals used for fur suffer just the same.

Each year millions of fur bearing animals are put to death for fashion. Mink, foxes, chinchillas, and raccoons and yes, cats and dogs, are bred for their fur or ensnared in leg hold traps in the wild. Animals –whether they be cat, dog or mink- bred or trapped for fur suffer horribly. Period. This fact is true regardless of which species they belong to.

Animals bred for fur often live in tiny, feces and urine caked cages, and are most often exposed to the elements. Boredom and stress produce abnormal behavior such as pacing, self-mutilation, and even cannibalization of cage-mates.

Having survived the elements and cruel conditions common to fur farms the animals then face death by anal or vaginal electrocution, while completely conscious, to go through the intense pain of a heart attack. Other preferred methods of murder include suffocation and neck breaking. Such techniques are favored by the fur industry simply because they tend to preserve the quality of the pelt, despite the intense pain for the animals.

A cat or dog will not suffer any more or any less than another animal as it is used to make fur. To distinguish between species and suffering or to prioritize “right to life” is nothing short of inanity and is nonsensical.