No to fur

Fur industry: Is the end in sight?

Posted by oneandonlyhypnos on January 20, 2010

Crosspost: empathy for animals blog

Is the end in sight for the fur industry? The most cruel and superfluous industry in existence has been targeted by both animal rights AND animal welfare groups (such as the RSPCA) for decades. And – especially within the EU – more and more cracks are appearing in this international framework of organized animal cruelty. Fur production has been banned in Ireland, Scotland, England, Austria, Croatia (not even a member state of the EU), … partial fur bans already exist in traditional fur producing countries such as Holland, Denmark and Sweden.

The recent fur fashion ‘outings’ and extravagancies by celebs is supposedly bringing back fur, but to me it is now clear that the end is coming for this cruel and disgusting business.

Why am I so convinced? Well, in the wake of recent animal welfare scandals on scandinavian fur farms, an investigation was conducted by Danish officials, and the results of this investigation proves what animal activists have been saying. Yes, officials are agreeing with activists as far as I can gather.

So, now nobody can deny it: it isn’t isolated, it isn’t staged, sure as hell the animal activists didn’t ‘torture’ the animals themselves to make pictures of it and blame it on ‘innocent breeders’… or any of that other crazy nonsense.

Here is an intersting article (in danish): mink suffer on fur farms

If you want to read it in full, use google translate (or learn danish :D). I will translate only a segment:

På de farme, vi har besøgt, har jeg set mange eksempler på grov og uansvarlig behandling af dyrene, og avlere, som ikke følger enkle lovkrav, der skal forbedre minkenes velfærd, siger ledende dyrlæge for veterinærrejseholdet, Flemming Marker, til avisen.

Summary: On the visited farms, many animals were found that were treated in an unresponsible manner. Breeders were found not to follow the law that was put in place to improve the welfare of mink (according to Flemming Marker).

The article also stated that the animals were clearly suffering and seemed to agree with the picture painted by animal activists of fur farms.

I think it is great that officials in a traditional fur country are speaking out against the practices in fur farms. This – to me – is a clear sign that we are heading in the right direction (to bad for fur fashionistas and designers).

Even better is that countries such as Norway and Danmark are supposed to produce the best fur in regards to animal welfare (and don’t forget the so-called ‘origin assured label’). Any honest, right thinking person cannot dismiss the facts: fur is cruel. The facts and reports are out there. Animal welfare activists are against it, animal rights activists are against it and even more and more vets and officials seem to be calling out the sector.

I hope this will one day happen in countries like the USA or Canada, where – as far as I can gather – the laws and control measures put in place, are far more lax than here in the European Union. What do you think? Is this the beginning of the end for fur? Or shouldn’t we be celebrating just yet?

If you would like more information about the recent fur industry scandals in Denmark and Norway, I’ve written a post about it some time ago with much more information: Minkbreeders charged with animal abuse

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Fur: minkbreeders charged with animal abuse

Posted by oneandonlyhypnos on January 20, 2010

Crosspost: Danish minkbreeders charged with animal abuse

Last week I made a post about the ‘battle’ between animal welfare / animal rights advocates and the fur trade. Recently Ireland banned the breeding of animals for fur and joined other European countries such as Croatia or England. The last few months gruesome images of the fur trade sparked a ferocious debate in Norway and Denmark (Denmark already banned the breeding of foxes for fur). Animal activists literally crawled over fences in both Norway and Denmark to be able to document the real conditions in which the animals live day to day (so no announced visits like you see on the news).

You can find my previous post here: hope for the future

If you haven’t read it yet: do so now…and see with you own eyes how the fur industry responds to criticism (like putting out a bounty on animal activists and such).

The images were made by animal activists of animal rights group Anima in cooperation with Danish TV2 and Extra Bladet. After the images were aired it apparently became clear to the authorities that this could not continue any longer. And yes: fur breeders are being charged for animal abuse.

The fur industry tried everything they could to stop the broadcast of the documentary on TV2…and of course they seize the opportunity to claim how well their animals are being taken care of, never forgetting to mention how extreme and dangerous those vegetarian/vegan animal rights activists really are (fur folk love to do that to divert attention I guess).

But what seems to work in Canada or the US didn’t work here in Europe.

According to the Danish newspaper ‘Politiken’:

De 34 avlere, som blev afsløret i dyremishandling, talte blandt andre Dansk Pelsdyravlerforenings formand, Erik Ugilt Hansen.

So, 34 breeders were charged with animal abuse…among others the chairman of the fur breeders association Erik Ugilt Hansen.

If you read some Danish, you can read it all here: Politiken article on fur

I hope these images and the discussions it will spark in Denmark and other countries will wake up some people to the reality of this unnecessary and cruel product.

Don’t wear fur: You don’t need it to keep warm, you don’t need it to look good (and since when is that an excuse?), you won’t die because you aren’t wearing fur (animals will, for nothing)…

Here is some more information about the hideous conditions in which fur bearing animals live (danish): fur

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The fight against the fur industry

Posted by oneandonlyhypnos on January 20, 2010

In Europe a battle is waging…the struggle between ethics and empathy on the one hand and profits, cruelty and indifference on the other. The last few years have been hard for animal activists, but not without result. Recently Ireland became yet another european nation that banned fur production: Ireland bans fur
Ireland now joined countries such as England, Scotland, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, …

The struggle against fur is also mounting in traditionally pro fur countries such as Norway or Danmark. Recently Danmark outlawed the breeding of foxes for fur out of ethical concerns, and now the fur industry is again feeling threatened. Danish TV2 plans to air images taken of 32 different Danish fur breeders showing the deplorable conditions in which the animals live, newspaper Extra Bladet will also do an exposé. And just like in the US, the fur industry is going beserk. Norwegian Animal Rights group Nettverk for dyrs frihet (network for animal freedom) made a fitting post about it on their blog. (If you just happen to read norwegian, here it is: Danish minkbreeders panicking

Basically Danish fur breeders are trying everything to counter the truth about their bloody business. They issued a ‘bounty’(crazy right?) for information about the people who took the images of the minkfarms,they linked the footage to illegal activities (releasing of minks in the area) … and more of the same Shenanigans that also happen regulary in the US or Canada. But here comes the good part…Extra Bladet is actually defending the cause of the animals and is fighting back. Even better: journalist Miki Mistrati openly declared that the fur industry is just trying to divert attention from the terrible conditions in which the animals live.

Now why do I find this so exciting and important? Well, for starters this means that we are making progress and that opinions and views are shifting in our society. More so here in the EU then in the US (example: only +- 40% of US citizens are against fur). The climate is also quite different. I have never observed american/canadian reporters defend animal activists, causes or groups (or at least not as explicit as we get here).

What does all of this mean? For one thing: things are looking up for the animals. Now that fur is being tackled even in traditionally pro fur nations, vegetarianism/veganism is on the rise too. In Danmark alone the Danish vegetarian union doubled their memberships. In Ghent and other cities here in Belgium we know have one vegetarian day a week,… I can keep on going like this for quite some time. This tells me that there is hope for the future, and that a step by step approach is helping society evolve.

But what puzzles me is this: how come we don’t see such results in Canada, Australia or the US? This is where you come in. I want to know. What do you think is the major difference between the animal activism and the ‘climate’ in Europe and the US/Canada or Australia. I often wonder about these things and I honestly find it staggering that with so much work and effort, there is so little result. What do you think: How come? Is a different strategy needed for certain countries? Are some countries just hopeless causes? Did something go wrong? Does the opposition (special interest groups) have more power or influence in certain countries and how do we stop them?

This post was crossposted on the vegansoapbox and appeared originally at the empathy for animals blog

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Victory in the fight against fur!

Posted by oneandonlyhypnos on April 4, 2009

The fight against fur once seemed to be an almost impossible undertaking, but more and more victory seems to be within our grasp.

Recently major retailer JC Penny decided to go fur free! Even better is the announcement that the italian Benetton group will go fur free as of 2010. (link )

With their new fur-free policy, Benetton and all of its influential brands are sending a powerful message that cruelty has no place in fashion,” said Andrew Page, senior director of the Fur-Free campaign for The HSUS. “We are thrilled to recognize Italy’s largest retailer for setting a new standard of compassion — one which will undeniably reverberate throughout the global fashion industry.”

In order to improve the moral of everyone who fights fur – and to utterly destroy the good mood of fur loving fashionistas): allow me to present you with a list of recent victories and evidence that this cruel international trade is being taken into a stranglehold…

1. In recent years fur breeding was made illegal in the United Kingdom, Austria, Croatia and Bosnia Hercegovina.
2. In Holland the fur farming of foxes and chinchilla’s has been outlawed. And now parliament is discussing outlawing mink fur farming as well.
3. Fox fur farming has been outlawed in Sweden and is currently being discussed in Denmark.
4. Pressure in mounting in Norway to pass legislation against the fur trade, especially now that disturbing footage has been made public of norwegian fur farms. Fur farms that were supposed to be amongst the best in the world…Where have we heard that before? If you want to see the footage, visit this forbypels.no
5. Cat and dog fur have been made illegal in the European Union (such legislation is still necessary in the US). And yes, much cat and dog fur is being used in fur products. French customs officers recently confiscated a large batch of illegal dog fur trim.
6. In Ireland, pressure is mounting to outlaw fur farming
7. Israel is well on it’s way to become the very first fur free nation in the entire world. Knesset member Nitzan Horowitz proposed legislation that will outlaw not only the production of fur, but also all import of this unnecessary and cruel product. More information can be found on the site of the international anti-fur coalition

One of the reasons for the proposed ban is again, dog fur…

Last month, a report on Israel’s channel 10, led by SPCA Israel and International Anti-Fur Coalition, had revealed that items from the top fashion chain stores to cheap toys in bazaars, that what was being sold as fake fur was indeed real fur. Lab tests had shown that several articles taken from leading Israeli brands and sold as fake fur were made of dog and rabbit fur!

This is just the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to the fight against fur. It would seem that some sense of decency, morality and empathy is going to win out against fashion whims and vanity. At least let us hope so. Untill then, I will march against the fur industry. Are you with me?

Than lets march on…

And yes, I do like to play command and conquer, perhaps a bit to much…

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Pink and Ricky Gervais: best anti-fur clip ever

Posted by oneandonlyhypnos on March 10, 2009

As I have said before, I don’t always agree with PETA, but this new video released by the animal rights group is well done! Thumbs up on this one. Check it out for yourself:

This is the way to do activism. It’s short, funny and to the point. It gets your message out there and hopefully will help people reconsider what they put in their wardrobe.

If anyone reading this thinks he or she can defend the international fur industry: go ahead. Try me! As far as I can see it’s gross, unethical, wrong and cleary unnecessary. There, I’ve said it.

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Go naked or wear fur

Posted by oneandonlyhypnos on March 6, 2009

A funny youtube clip…I couldn’t resist. Apparently they want to step into the footsteps of Christy Turlington and others in the PETA campaign: I’d rather go naked than wear fur.

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Official: Madonna is the worst dressed celeb

Posted by oneandonlyhypnos on March 5, 2009

…according to PETA. I can’t say I don’t agree. Recently PETA announced the ‘winner’ of the ‘worst dressed celebrity 2009 contest’.

The contest is being organized yearly by animal rights organization PETA via their website, where visitors get to choose who’s made the worst fashion statements.

I don’t necessarily agree with PETA all the time, but this contest is great. It sends out a nice signal that fur is wrong and wearing it promotes clear and totally unnecessary suffering.

The release on their website is accompanied by this interesting video by Tim Gunn on fur:

Now on to the celeb bashing *evil grin*

PETA on madonna:

When you see Madonna in fur, you realize why nobody has copied her style since 1984. We know that she’s on the prowl for a young cub, but someone needs to tell Madge that wearing fur doesn’t make you a cougar.

The very familiar Olsen twins are in the spotlights again:

Since fur adds 20 years and 20 pounds, maybe Mary Kate and Ashley think their matronly wardrobe will deflect the gossip about bulimia. Somewhere, someone is missing a matching pair of Bigfoot bobble head dolls.

You can find the rest on their site peta.com

I’m note going to bother with posting my own view on fur again. For those interested, here is my previous post that should explain my view: fur

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the animal friendly battlestar

Posted by oneandonlyhypnos on March 4, 2009

I have a confession to make. I’m addicted to science-fiction. I loved it all my life and I never can get enough of it. Like many, I’m a fan of Battlestar Galactica. It’s not only a great story with theological and philosophical questions being raised throughout the whopping story line. The cast seems also attentive of the plight of animals.

Recently Jamie Bamber posed in a PETA campaign against bear fur: Bare skin, not bear skin

Jamie Bamber

PETA states on it’s furisdead.com website:

he series has been so full of exciting plot twists and surprises that it’s anybody’s guess right up until the last minute, but fans can always count on Jamie Bamber’s character, Lee “Apollo” Adama, to fight for justice and help those in need—and always look really good doing it! It didn’t surprise us that Jamie is like that in real life too. That’s why he bared his skin in PETA’s newest ad to help save black bears killed for their fur.

Each year, countless black bears in Canada are shot and killed, often in front of their cubs, using a cruel practice called “bait and shoot,” which is banned in British Columbia and many U.S. states. Their fur is then sent to the U.K. to be used to make caps for the Queen’s guards.

Jambie Bamber is not the only one on the cast who cares about animals. Tricia Helfer is a huge animal lover and has lended her face to several campaigns, including this PETA campaign:

Besides the PETA campaign, she has made donations to the Richmond Animal Protection Society (R.A.P.S.).

You can find more information on her blog

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Liz Hurley loves her fur

Posted by oneandonlyhypnos on March 3, 2009

I’ve heard and read some weird and wacked out statements before in order to defend the fur trade. But this is absolutely insane. Elizabeth Hurley has recently become the new face for Blackglama. In an ad she poses in mink fur coats. During the last couple of months, this attracted some media attention. This article is the paramount of fur madness that I have ever seen. You can read this nice pice of prose here.

After nearly suffering a heart attack, caused by the rethoric and flawed logic in these statements and crazy reasoning, I decided to write of my frustrations in this little rant…

Here it comes

In Iceland, parts of the shore where the seals congregate were sold as agricultural assets. Farmers would facilitate the natural seal colonies, protecting them from predators, and once a year they’d cull them. But since the seal market has collapsed, so have the care and value of the shoreline, and so have the seals. All over the North Sea, their populations are fluctuating. They’re caught in fishing nets, shot by fishermen. They hang around ports and fish farms like water foxes. The seals have gone from being valuable, protected and plentiful, to being waterborne vermin and endangered, because we have removed their value thanks to ignorant squeamishness and class politics.

sealing is however still happening in Iceland! And yes, the number of seals in the entire North Sea is declining. But the reasons are not the ‘evil’ ethical consumers who refuse to wear fur. The BBC reported in 2002 that seals are succoumbing to a disease called the phocine distemper virus (PDV). This isn’t the first time either:

On 11 July, the scientists reported on the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat’s website that more than 1,400 dead animals had been recorded in Scandinavia and nearly 60 on the Dutch coast.

They wrote then: “The mortality of harbour seals during the 1988 outbreak in the above areas was estimated at 40 to 60 % of the population.

“It is hard to predict how many seals will die during the current PDV epidemic and this will depend on different factors, including acquired immunity, pollutant load, and general health status.”

Indeed, the number of seals has continued to decline the last couple of years, but not just the seals. As the Telegraph
reported the number of sea birds has dropped as well. Is that because we don’t turn them into coats? Or could it be that the causes of these problems are somewhat more complex than what you and certain furriers would claim? Seals are being shot, that is correct. Far to often even and totally legal (so far for sqeamishness. But it is clearly not the only problem. As we can also read here: link

There have always been people who are funny about their relationship with animals — vegetarians who got religion, a few people who swept the street in front of them so as not to hurt a flightless fly — but the majority of us, the vast, vast majority, have gone on eating anything dumb enough to taste good with chips, and squashing cockroaches wherever possible. But that odd prejudice, the fatwa on fur, has become automatic and universal in our select and ethically compromised bit of the First World. The virulence and viciousness of fur vigilantes mean that few of us now bother to brave the spittle-flecked venom of that nylon Taliban of self-righteous pressure groups and dim, new-age absolutists. The argument against fur has always been more about class and money than dumb critters.

Aside from the fact that this entire piece of prose is full of contempt for just about anyone who is against fur (which is the majority of the british, dutch, belgian, german, austrian public (and many other countries). It show the clear lacking – or unwillingness – of understanding why the public feels making animals suffer for a piece of luxury fabric is wrong.

With this remark about eating dumb animals the writer tries to defend wearing fur by comparing it to something else…eating meat. This is typical and fundamentally flawed. I refuted this sort of wacked out thinking in my previous blogpost. You can find it here: is fur the same as leather?. I don’t need to go into it further here.

The writer also seems to claim that only people in ‘the first world’ are opposed to wearing fur. This is not true either. Fur farming has been made illegal in Croatia: link. Croatia is as you well know a former member of the USSR and a so called Second world country. The majority of the population is also against fur, just like many ‘evil’ western folks. This country has also outlawed seal products of the inhumane canadian seal hunt. source. Mexico isn’t that found of seal fur either, but they aren’t the ‘First world’. source

Opposition to the fur industry seems to be more of a world wide phenomena. It’s not about being poor or rich. That’s just pure nonsense and rethoric. It’s not about class and money. This shows a clear lack of understanding of the WHY. This is the why:

What is the WHY of wearing fur. Vanity as far as I am concerned.

Now…on with the provocative statements:

Of all the animals that we kill for our personal use, mink have by far and away the easiest passing: well fed and unstressed, they’re gently gassed.

Yes, absolutely right. As we could all see in the clip above! I guess free range chickens should envy mink and foxes.

Many furriers and fur fashionista’s claim that the animals have a good life and are ‘put to sleep’ by CO or CO2 gas. They are not put to sleep, but slaughtered…putting to sleep is what the vet does. There is virtually no scientific evidence by the way that proves that these animals die a ‘humane’ death.

Cotton is an ecological nightmare. Our demands for a cheap, inexhaustible T-shirt supply cause more damage than oil wells. Cotton has to be grown as a mono-crop, so you can’t have cotton in your allotment, or sell it in the farmers’ market

Have you ever heard of organic cotton? Of Hemp clothing or other ecological alternatives? Eco-fashion is a hype these days, and it seems the fur industry is trying to ‘green up’ their image.

What about fur trim stiched to cotton or polyester clothing by the way? Or what about jeans? What’s the idea really? Jeans made from mink as the green alternative?

And if you’re still not convinced, then would you for a moment consider your own cushions, your pillow. The feathers inside, the bird fur, where do you imagine that came from?

You mean my synthetic pillow? Or the one in the store with bird feathers from animals killed for meat, who actually were able to walk around and interact and live a somewhat normal life? Yes, I now about intensive farming…an other wrong doesn’t make the other right. And not all farming is the same: free range, bio-labels,…

I could go on like this…The ‘fur warriors’ always come up with the most ridiculous excuses to wear fur. At some times it is tiresome. It is as if any logical argument that has ever been made against these insane practices just evaporates. These people are impervious to logic…or compassion.

And since so many people like the ‘I rather go naked than wear fur campaign’… Here is another clip. This time: Amanda Beard speaking out against fur.

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Is fur the same as leather?

Posted by oneandonlyhypnos on March 2, 2009

I’m fed up with hearing that fur is the same as leather. Why you might ask? Because it is an all or nothing approach to the problem. It’s black and white. Either the wearing and using of ALL animal products is bad, or it isn’t. That is simply not logical, contrary to what some people believe. You must have heard it many times during discussions on internet boards or in real life: You eat meat don’t you? Well, fur or leather is the same…and other such logical fallacies.

Actually this sort of argument is easily refuted. Most fur comes from animals that were killed specifically for their fur, contrary to leather. For leather they are normally killed primarily for food. Off course you could say that killing animals for food is not necessary and that you either most become a vegan or shut up and buy fur coats and kill even more animals (yes, that seems very ethical and quite logical).

This does not make sense, since you can justify just about anything being done to animals this way. Are you against bull fighting? You can’t, because you eat meat. And meat is cruel too! You are against cock fights? Dog fights?

We can go even a bit further and explore how logical this argument really is. By the same reasoning used to defend killing animals for luxury fur items, we could could come to some mind boggling conclusions. What would happen if we applied this way of thinking to…lets say the environment.

Are you against dumping oil into the sea? Why would you? You drive a car don’t you, that pollutes the environment too? It must be ok!!!

I don’t now what you are thinking, but there seems te be a fatal flaw in this all or nothing type of reasoning. You can use it to justify anything that you like. Perhaps it is nothing more than a self serving argument? Think about it.

Some fur fashionista’s could state that the fur industry is cruel, but less cruel than the meat industry. Again, logical errors are being made. You can’t defend the cruelties of one type of industry, by simply pointing the finger at another industry. You could do exactly the same with bull fighting or cock fighting. And some supporters of these practices actually do this (no kidding). Also, I haven’t seen any free range mink or foxes out there on these fur farms where these – essentially – wild animals are being kept in small cages.

This is free range chicken:

free range

This is a caged fox bred for fur:

fox

I don’t know about you, but I do see a significant difference.

Other people will defend fur by pointing the finger at evil animal right activists. This is also not correct. What about traditional animal welfare organizations like the RSPCA? They are also against fur. So are many other organizations. The world is bigger than PETA and their naked anti fur furisdead.com ads. But yes, animal rightists are also against fur. And indeed, I am myself also a vegetarian. But even when I was a meat eater, I was against fur. I always have been, as are many others. I can understand why people eat meat, I can respect that and I will not deny that a vegan diet has some setbacks. When you are a vegan, you have to take B12 supplements for example…because you can only get that particular vitamin from animal products (such as eggs, actually this entire matter is a difficult debate in itself). Do you have to take pills because you don’t wear fur? NO! Do we have to wear fur in order to survive? NO. Is fur humane? NO. Let’s ditch it.

The reality behind the glamour?

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