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26 April 2000 Issue
Excuses For Fur

* Many people's whole way of life depends on the fur trade

The greatest strength of humankind lies in its endless ability to adapt. People can change their way of life given the opportunity (and they must be given that opportunity) but for the animals that are killed there is no life, they have lost everything.

* Killing animals that we consider damaging to the environment

Culling is a term which usually describes the killing of animals that we consider to be in some way damaging to the environment. In other words pests. We arrogantly exclude from this solution the single most damaging animal of all....ourselves.

Of the tens of millions of animals killed for their fur every year the vast majority are either farmed or trapped in their natural habitat where, as part of a natural ecosystem, they pose no threat to the environment.

* Animals suffer in the wild anyway

Animals can, and often do, suffer in the wild but that does not give us a reason or excuse to add to their suffering.

* Most fur animals are killers themselves

Some animals are predators. They have to kill other animals in order to survive. Human beings choose to kill animals for material profit, vanity and because they like the taste of them. It is not the same thing at all -- the predators have no choice, we do.

* Fur animals are bred for it

Animals bred specifically for their fur are not only deprived of their lives, but unlike their wild counterparts, they are also deprived of their freedom. Fur farming is therefore an even greater abuse of animal rights than hunting and trapping.

In the wild, a mink will defend a territory of 2 1/2 miles of riverbank or 22 acres of marshland. An arctic fox ranges over anything from 2,100-15,000 acres and yet on fur farms these animals are kept in tiny wire mesh cages. Such is their frustration that they become psychotic. Many are driven to cannibalism and self-mutilation.

* I didn't kill the animal

The animal was killed for you and at your expense. Your money will also finance the slaughter of many more.

You don't have to physically kill something (or someone) to be guilty of their death.

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