Fight animal cruelty, don't purchase fur
To the editor:
Every year up to 100 million animals are violently killed in the name of fashion. Trappers are responsible for much of this slaughter. Fur-bearing wildlife, such as beavers, otters, raccoons, bobcats, coyotes and other species are captured in brutal leg hold traps and left to suffer until the trapper returns, sometimes days later, to bludgeon them to death. Others are trapped and killed in body and bone crushing Conibear traps. Many non-target animals, domestic as well as wild, are caught every year and simply disposed of.
Nearly 4,000 fur-bearing animals were trapped during the 2013-2014 season, right here in Vermont. This senseless killing resulted in the needless suffering and deaths of many species including beavers, important wetland ecosystem engineers and a keystone species.
Furs are also supplied to the industry by fur farms, where animals are kept in cramped cages until they are executed by means of electrocution, gassing, or neck-breaking — barbaric methods used to maintain the integrity of the pelt. Chinchillas, adorable small rodents native to South America but now almost extinct in the wild, are farmed in Vermont for their incredibly dense and ultra soft fur.
These animals are used to make luxury fur coats and accessories — all unnecessary items that can be easily replaced with faux fur or other materials equally warm and soft. In many cases, real animals are dying horrific deaths to simply supply a decorative fur trim for the hood of a jacket. Consumers can easily choose to be compassionate and make humane and ethical choices when they purchase goods. By doing so, these egregiously cruel practices will over time become a thing of the past.
Winter is rapidly approaching and with it the need to dress warmly. When you buy winter attire, please think twice before supporting businesses that incorporate fur into their garments and accessories. Read labels carefully and err on the side of caution/compassion if you cannot verify that an item is fur-free.
The animals who violently lost their lives for these articles suffered greatly and unnecessarily for an industry that should be obsolete. Only by refusing to purchase fur will their misery end forever. Please save animal lives and choose not to wear or purchase fur.