By: Frank L. Hoffman
Recently it was reported that Burlington Coat Factory was selling what they thought was coyote and fox fur trimmed coats while having sold dog and cat fur trimmed coats. They say they regret what happened, and they most likely are sorry, but they're not sorry that they sell fur. They regret that it was dog and cat fur, because here in the United States and elsewhere in the world where dogs and cats are considered companions and members of the family, such a thing is considered disgusting. But let's put this in perspective.
In Asia, where they eat dogs and cats, their skins are sold, just as the skins of cows and pigs are sold here in the United States to make shoes and coats. After all, the skins of these loving, feeling, and sensitive animals are just "by-products" of the violence on our plates. So why should it make any difference if we wear this violence on our backs? If we look at it this way, it really shouldn't matter. But it does matter when it comes to dogs and cats, because in this light, it touches our sensitivities, even though they are selective sensitivities.
To the left is a photograph of a dog being skinned for its fur and meat behind an Asian open-air market. This is the fur that is ending up on coats, hats and boots. (For more information on the Asian plight of dogs and what can be done about it, see The Dog - Man's Best Friend? - Not for Everyone!)
Isn't it time that we face the fact that we who wear fur from any animal are just as cruel as those who do such "unspeakable" things to our cats and dogs? For once we know the truth about the pain and suffering the fur industry causes any animal, we become participants in their activities if we continue to wear fur. The only way we can continue to wear fur is if we have hardened our hearts so that we can no longer feel the pain and suffering that went into our garment. The more we try to sanitize this violence in our society, the more we end up shooting ourselves in the foot, for I believe it moves us further away from God.