…… Than wear fur.
Many of us have heard this popular slogan from PETA before, it is from their anti-fur campaign. While I have always been against wearing fur, this slogan never hit home to me until I visited Mt Ayr, Iowa. My friends and I were down there checking out some commercial dog breeders and we came across an awful little place called Midwest Furs. It was so small that we drove right passed it the first time, but not before I caught something terrible out of the corner of my eye. After turning into their parking lot, we saw that this business had left their big garage door open and inside were hundreds of pieces of animal pelts just piled up on the dirty ground. There were skinned animals hanging and the skeleton of, what looked like, a badger or beaver just tossed aside.
I am not naïve, I do realize that places like this exist all over, but I never thought that I would be driving by and witness these horrors so easily. I am so sickened that the people in this town are okay with their children seeing this! It just goes to show the mentality of the people we are up against. I will stand by my promise and not post the worst of the pictures, but I do want to show you some of what I saw that day.
As previously stated, I am not a member of PETA and, although I don’t agree with everything they do, I think that great strides have been taken for animal welfare thanks to them. And thanks to my dear friend, these pictures made it to their blog, The PETA Files. You can see raccoons, foxes, and coyote pelts within these photos. It is disgusting, but the pictures aren’t the worst of it.
How do these animals meet their fate?
The United States traps over 2.5 million animals a year, just so they can be used for fur. Worldwide, 27.8 million animals are farmed.
- Trapping is an awful way for these animals to die. In the book, “Fur Trapping: A Complete Guide” the proper method for killing a trapped animal is to “Hit the trapped animal just forward of the eyes with the stick. While it is unconscious, use your knee or the heel of your shoe to come down hard behind the front leg. This ruptures the heart, and the coyote never regains consciousness.” I was outraged when I read this. To them, this is “humane” but they just don’t want to damage the fur with a bullet hole or more blood. It is sickening. – Interesting fact, many cities like Ankeny, Iowa have made trapping legal within public parks. This makes it very dangerous to domesticated animals and their families when visiting the local lake! Ankeny even posted signs warning people to keep their pets on leashes because of the trapping.
- Iowa currently has 17 fur farms (according to the last known National Agriculture Stats). Animals raised on these farms are kept in cramped confinements and deprived of anything resembling a natural life (much like dogs in USDA commercial dog breeding facilities). Their tortured lives finally end when they are killed. Methods used include gassing, suffocation, or electrocution (through the mouth and anus so that the “product” is not singed or stained with blood). Far from being “humane,” fur farming is characterized by barren wire-mesh cages, isolation, and environmental deprivation so intense that animals often go insane. Animals are forced to endure all-weather extremes, and veterinary care is typically non-existent since it is not cost-effective to treat an animal whose fate is to be turned into a coat. Animals that are naturally solitary are caged together, often resulting in cannibalism, and animals are often left to decompose in cages with live animals.
While researching this, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between fur farms and puppy mills! We live in a grotesque world and it is time for change. Over 69 countries have banned the leg trap (including Italy, Sweden and France) and 19 countries have banned all trapping (including Kenya and Uganda). So with citizens of the United States being so cocky in saying that we are the “Best Country in the World”, why are Americans okay with being known for these atrocities?
Just to paint a picture for you, these numbers show you just how many of one animal it takes to make a fur coat!
|Animal||Number used to make one coat||Method of Catching|
Source: Rauchwarenhandbuch, Germany
What You Can Do with this information:
- If you’re ever in a store that you see sells real fur, please express your displeasure to the manager and ask them to stop carrying it. To view contact information and write letters to notorious companies that sell fur, please visit www.furkills.org/wycd.html. More locally, there are TWO fur stores in Des Moines, Iowa. (One is owned by Mayor Cownie of Des Moines) Places like Hobby Lobby and Kohls also carry fur products!
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper informing consumers of the cruelty inherent in every real fur product
- If you see someone wearing fur (and you are comfortable), politely explain to them why they shouldn’t wear fur. Let them know that, in some cases, hundreds of animals go in to making ONE fur coat.
- Contact IDA for a supply of leaflets to distribute or leave in heavily trafficked locations. We can also send you small pocket cards to hand out to fur wearers. –
- Organize a protest outside of the store! Let people know what goes on in the making of these coats. (remain peaceful!)
- Persuade friends and family to NEVER buy fur. If you know anyone with fur coats inform them that they can donate their coats to IDA so they can be used in anti-fur demonstrations, or to wildlife rehabilitators, who use the fur to provide bedding for injured or orphaned wildlife. As an extra motivator, donors can write the fur donation off on their taxes!
**I want to say that I do not condone the releasing of these trapped animals. YES, they are wild animals, but after living their entire lives in these cages, they would be lost in the wild. The only way things like this will ever end is to EDUCATE our friends, family and coworkers. Share this blog, spread the facts—TELL PEOPLE NOT TO WEAR FUR
For Shocking information on Faux Fur, click here