Fur farm liberation in NY Times 10/17/13
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

By Karen Dawn, DawnWatch
October 2013

"Many wildlife biologists disagree; escaped minks are thriving in Britain, New Zealand and elsewhere. For his part, though, Mr. Young says that is not the point. 'The animals on these farms are bred to be killed. Thatís a 100 percent certainty,' he said. 'If even one animal gets away and survives, thatís a success as far as Iím concerned.'"

The Thursday, October 17, New York Times includes, on page A18, an article titled, "Raids to Free Minks Up Ante on Animal Rights."

Reporter Michael Wines opens with:

"Next to their white clapboard house on a rural road here, in long rows of cages set beneath the roofs of seven open-air sheds, Virginia and Gary Bonlander are raising 5,000 minks. Or were, anyway, until two Saturdays ago, when the police roused them from bed at 5 a.m. with a rap on their door.

Outside, 2,000 minks were scampering away ó up to 50 top-quality, full-length and, suddenly, free-range mink coats."

Thatís a good reminder that every full length mink coat comes from the miserable, caged lives and painful deaths of forty animals.

The article also provides information about the vital duties of the Department of Homeland Security:

"The two camps also call each other terrorists. Indeed, mink liberation is a federal crime under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, and animal rights extremism is duly monitored by the Department of Homeland Security, according to a 2012 Congressional report."

We read that the fur farmers have boasted that all but 180 of the mink were caught, and that the rest cannot survive in the wild, but the article ends with information disputing that claim and a quote from Animal Liberation Press Office representative Peter Young:

"Many wildlife biologists disagree; escaped minks are thriving in Britain, New Zealand and elsewhere. For his part, though, Mr. Young says that is not the point. 'The animals on these farms are bred to be killed. Thatís a 100 percent certainty,' he said. 'If even one animal gets away and survives, thatís a success as far as Iím concerned.'"

[Ed Note: Peter Young represents Animal Liberation Frontline.]

The issue is complicated. Mink are carnivores, so a massive release can decimate local wildlife. Every mink saved can mean thousands of local birds, frogs and mice killed directly, and even more animals killed indirectly as an ecosystem topples from a large release. But the media achieved -- the photos of furry little animals lined up in cages, or dead in freezers, in a paper where traditionally the portrayal of mink is in glamour ads for Bloomingdale's -- can have a positive effect. We can add to that positive effect with letters to the editor.

The article, with those photos, is online

The New York Times takes letters at letters@nytimes.com  and instructs:

"Letters should preferably be no longer than 150 words and may be shortened to fit allotted space. They must be exclusive to The Times (no prior submission to, or publication in, any other medium, including the Web). They should generally refer to an article that has appeared within the last seven days. We reserve the right to edit letters. To be considered for publication, letters MUST include the writerís name, address, current location (where you are writing from) and daytime and evening phone numbers at your current location (for verification, not for publication)."

Yours and the animals',
Karen Dawn


DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. If you forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts please leave DawnWatch in the title and include these parenthesized tag lines.

Please go to http://tinyurl.com/254ulkx to check out Karen Dawn's book, "Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way we Treat Animals," which will give you background on any issue covered by DawnWatch. When it was first published in 2008 it was chosen by the Washington Post as one of the "Best Books of The Year!"


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