To the Editor of THE EAGLE:

If you are thinking of buying fur items for this holiday season and beyond, think before you buy. The fur industry
doesn’t want you to know the horrors of fur harvesting and fur farming. Therefore, most people who buy fur are unaware of the extreme cruelty of the industry and the suffering of the millions of animals that are used for fur garments. Even "just a little" fur trim on coats, boots, scarves, hats and gloves is fur from a creature who lived and died in pain.

Ranch, or fur farm animals, are raised in tiny, overcrowded, filthy cages until they are killed by being suffocated, electrocuted, poisoned, gassed, hung, drowned, or beaten to death. All of these helpless animals, most of which are rabbits, fox, raccoon, coyote, mink, chinchilla, etc., live their unbearably miserable, short lives with fear, stress, disease, parasites, and other physical and psychological hardships. Animals who are captured in the wild suffer for days and die excruciating deaths in traps. All this cruelty for the sake of vanity, resulting in an unnecessary global fashion industry that makes billions of dollars annually. Several revealing websites available are "FurIsDead.com," "Killed for your Coat" and "Fatal Fashion."

Think compassionately when shopping this winter season. "Faux" fur products are affordable and provide more warmth while preserving the same look. Thus, real fur products are not even needed -- especially in our current economic climate. Synthetic material winter accessories, beautifully woven and crafted in unique designs, are colorful, soft, fun, long-lasting, and no living thing is harmed in their manufacture.

The holidays are a time for peace and kindness. Please keep our furry friends in mind when you shop and join the rapidly expanding list of people who deeply care about animals and the environment and who are going fur-free, with love in their hearts.

CLAIRE BOSMA

Pittsfield