I just can’t believe that people still wear fur.
On November 11th, Sherri Shepherd came on stage on “The View” wearing a mink coat. She showed it off proudly, proclaiming that she had bought it from a charitable organization.
I suppose some people just don’t know what happens to any animal involved in the fur industry. And then, sadly, some people just don’t care. I don’t know which camp Ms. Shepherd is in, but I’m disgusted either way.
Eighty-five percent of fur skins used for human clothes come from factory farms. Minks are the most common animals found on fur farms, and they are packed in cages so small that they can only move a few feet in any direction. Living in such small spaces is particularly distressing to minks who, in the wild, may live on up to 2,500 acres of wetland. Not surprisingly, minks self-mutilate while in captivity, biting their skin, tails, and feet. They also pace endlessly, a coping mechanism and a sign of deep distress.
The methods used to kill not only minks but all animals on fur farms are especially gruesome because of the care taken to maintain the quality of the fur. There are either clamps attached to or rods forced into their mouths to electrocute them. Rods are sometimes forced into their anuses. Strychnine is used to poison them and paralyzes their muscles in the process. They could also potentially be gassed or have their necks broken.
Obviously, there are no federal humane slaughter laws.
Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg, but I hope it will encourage you to educate yourself on the fur industry. I like to remember what Gandhi said:
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Rebecca Grazulis is a Chicagoan, a vegetarian (yes, you can be both), a wanna-be yogi and a former high school English teacher in a period of career exploration. For more information, you can e-mail her or visit her website.