Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fur is green: ethics and fur

As I promised in my post on the Touch of luxe blog, I visited the campaign website fur is green

And as I thought, this campaign site of the canadian fur council makes for some great blogging material. The entire "fur is green" campaign is breathtaking. Logic or reason doesn't seem to matter much...

The site is divided in three parts:

1. fur is eco-logical
2. animal welfare
3. people & cultures

The topic of today: animal welfare

fur is green: animal welfare

The first impression I get is that they are trying to deflect any form of sensible discussion. These quotes are a nice example of it:

In North America, about 95% of the people eat and wear products from animals

The fur trade accounts for about one-quarter of one percent of the animals we use for food, clothing and other purposes each year. About twice as many unwanted pets are put down in humane shelters

So if you read between the lines (not to difficult here) it is quite obvious what they say. Many animals suffer and die anyway, so why care? Why not care about something else?

As if the fur industry is rectified by other industries or by roadkill. I guess polluting the oceans is ok because so many of us drive cars? And after all, aren't those millions of cars more polluting than an oil tanker destroying a natural habitat? Following this train of logic, we shouldn't worry about anything and we would wind up destroying ourselves... very logical. And not uncommon in discussions about fur. This shows how weak the position of the fur trade really is. They usually try to avoid a direct discussion.

fur is green on fur farming

When humans raise animals, they have a responsibility to provide for their welfare and prevent unnecessary suffering

Like the suffering for a totally unnecessary luxury fashion item such as fur? A fur collar, some trim, a fox tail,...

Farmers are responsible for their animals’ care from birth to death. Mink are generally euthanized with bottled carbon monoxide gas

Gassing them to get their fur isn't euthanasia. It is slaughter. This isn't a sick dog that is being put down by a vet to end its suffering.

Farmed mink are fed with leftovers from abattoirs, fish plants and other food-processing -- they ''recycle'' wastes that would otherwise go to landfills

The "leftovers" from slaughterhouses are also being used as petfood and about a million other things. As if the fur industry is a key player here.

Naturally they also claim to be a well regulated industry that cares about animal welfare. And why do they care? This is why:

There is a strong incentive to respect these codes because there is no other way to produce high quality fur; farmers who do not care for their animals will not remain in business very long.

So the reasons to care about animal welfare are selfish? But is it true? Is animal welfare that important to them and is the fur trade an ethical industry?

Let's see:

1.Norwegian veterinarians want to ban fur farming.

2. danish fur: two out of three mink farms break animal welfare laws...Also fitting that the fur is green campaign just happens to refer to the danish fur industry as a fine example of animal welfare.

3. Norwegian fur farms exposed

4. just watch this video:

Up Against the Wall / Kniven på strupen from Ola Waagen on Vimeo.


The fur industry an ethical industry? The fur trade and animal welfare don't seem to fit together.

They also mention trapping, this is a subject that I will cover in the future. But yes you guest it: traps, snares and what else not aren't humane.

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