As a society, we have become comfortably unaware.
We buy groceries, clothes, computers, jewelry, cars, and many other things all without ever considering where they come from or the terrible damage that is often done in making them – to animals, to the environment, and of course, to humankind as well.
TV, media and celebrity hype just make us want more and more of it.
As consumers, we need to start looking at where things come from and what is happening in order for us to have vast amounts of these items in our stores.
Case in point: Fur and fur trim.
I believe that people are naturally compassionate and I also believe that generally, people love and care about animals. So why are we buying and wearing fur?
If we thought about it, we certainly wouldn’t want to support such a cruel and merciless industry, but we don’t think about it-we think about how nice the fur coat is or the fur-trimmed boots are and how great they will look on us or how much better we’ll fit in with ‘the crowd’ wearing the latest fashion.
The fur often comes from wild animals, free and alive, going about their lives innocently, getting food for their babies, or building homes for their families.
How are these wild animals captured? How long are they kept in traps? What kinds of traps are used?
You may be surprised to learn about laws for trapping animals for fur. In our society, leg hold traps are used quite regularly. Many animals chew their legs off to get away before the trapper ever returns as, depending on the type of trap, it is legal for trappers to wait several days before checking them. Imagine the pain and horror an animal faces in a trap for days without food and water and with a wound from the leg hold trap. Many animals die from blood loss, dehydration or hypothermia while the ones who don’t die, have only to wait for the trapper to return and bludgeon them to death, finally taking them out of their misery.
Over 11 million animals are trapped annually to supply our fur trade. Millions of these trapped animals are tossed aside as rubbish in the end because they are of no value to the trappers.
Leg-hold traps have been banned in the European Union and in other countries as well. Canada needs to follow suit.
And then there are the animals that are raised on fur farms – they have it even worse off as their whole lives are spent in small cages with no opportunity to run wild or to socialize and play. Many go crazy jumping wildly from wall to wall in their cages trying to break free.
The movie, ‘The Ghosts In Our Machine’ depicts the sad and desperate situation of animals on fur farms:
What makes a dog or cat different from a fox or a mink (or a cow or a pig? But I’ll save that for another blog)? They are all sentient beings who feel pain, have social lives and an instinct to survive. And don’t think that our companion animals are not used in the fur trade. They are. You may be wearing them right now. It is currently legal to import and to sell dog and cat fur in Canada.
Yes, many people depend on trapping for their livelihoods but life never has nor ever will stay the same. Things change as people’s values change. Let’s start looking at how we consume.
Animals should not be tortured and killed for something that no person really needs. There are so many ways to keep warm in today’s world. Let’s leave the fur on the animal that truly needs it to survive.