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Submitted on
March 24, 2013


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For the more pro-fur people out there this will probably sound like another mind-numbing "no duh!" writing; if you can think of more frequently said misconceptions about fur please state them so I can update this journal! For those who are less familiar with the topic maybe this could help clear out some common misconceptions that surround fur. After all, there are a lot of opinions and blatant lies thrown around when it comes to a sensitive topic like fur, so it's hard sometimes to seek out the real story. To help, I'll make the format of this more reader-friendly than my typical writings:

First, the classic "fur comes from animals that are skinned alive!"
Oh this one just makes those of us who enjoy fur cringe. The short story is that animals are not skinned alive for their fur. The long version of this whole topic is quite stomach-twisting if you ask me. There's a rather well-known video still available online today of a tanuki/raccoon dog/Finnish raccoon (call it what you will) being skinned alive. In the same video they also show a fox who they were going to skin alive, but gave up on trying to do so because it was too hard (gee, ya think?!). Anyone who has ever skinned an animal, especially skinning it to make sure there aren't any cuts or slips, and especially on a thinner skinned animal (like fox) would tell you it's not always the easiest thing in the world. So why would you take a tricky task and make it harder by trying to skin something that is trying to attack you and squirm around? Remember, with a business time is money, so even if you have absolutely no soul and don't care about the pain you're inflicting, or even the pain that could come to you because you have an animal with sharp teeth and claws attacking you, it's still a lose-lose situation. Not only that, but an animal that's still alive will bleed more, which can ruin the fur, and it'll make it easier to make holes, which devalue the pelt. If your pelt isn't up to quality it won't sell on the fur market, simple as that. If anyone has seen the video of a supposed "fur farm" (it was actually a scent farm) where the guy electrocutes a fox anally (which was done in Illinois, where fur farms cannot legally use electrocution as a means of killing their animals), I hope you'll be pleased to know that of the 100 or so foxes he killed he was unable to sell any of them on the market because they were raised in such poor conditions and had bad fur. (… ) So in short, skinning an animal alive was done as a paid animal rights stunt which you can read more about here… and here resourceclearinghouse.blogspot… and is a horrible idea from a business, personal, and ethical perspective. But hey, that's good news! That means there isn't anyone out there skinning animals alive for fur! At least not in the industry. The only bad news here is that animal activist groups have been caught in the past with stunts like these, for "the betterment of animals".

Sorry lads, but fur isn't murder. It's killing animals, but certainly not murder:

The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.
Kill (someone) unlawfully and with premeditation.
(definition taken from Google, emphasis added...also murder can refer to a flock of crows)

But wait, you meant to say it kills animals unnecessarily, right? That was the real message behind "fur is murder"? I concede that fur for fashion is mere vanity, and thus technically an "unnecessary" killing of animals. However, if you want to look into that, please consider the fact that you are currently on a computer. I bet on a wooden desk. In a building, with all of its fixings. Now tell me, where do we derive the materials for such things? They certainly don't grow out of thin air! Looking at my apartment, I could name off a whole large list of things I have that I don't, figurines, video games, crafting supplies, well, the list goes on, you get the picture. Now people can get mad about fur, but don't get mad about, say, faux fur. Did you know that fuax fur is essentially plastic, and is derived from petroleum? ( faux fur… ->acrylic…  ->plastic…… ->petroleum… ) And that stuff is toxic in all forms through out its entire existence, even Wikipedia knows that (… ). We've probably all heard of the big BP oil spill, but did you know that in the US alone there are about 70 smaller oil spills happen EVERY DAY? (… and… ) And that right there doesn't just kill a few animals like a coat, it kills by the masses, even animals who are "saved" and brought to be cleaned off have an uphill battle just to survive (something I learned at my college last year...also learned we have a facility specifically for treating birds from such disasters:… ), and it destroys an entire ecosystem (… ). So that's right, something like that plastic case your video game came in could have helped the industry who killed more animals than fur farms ever could. For you wood lovers, content with using a renewable resource that takes less and is less damaging to produce than plastic, I just want to say stop by my place for a visit any time. Once you see the clear cut areas, the sections of trees that are obviously newer than the sections around them, only looking better by the bare patches in comparison, I think you could picture how it isn't exactly good for the environment. And let's not get started on drag trails and stream damage! (… ) And there's pollution, noise pollution, building of new roads, use of heavy oil and gas guzzling machinery....etc. So yes, animals do die for fur, however if your concern is how many animals you're killing take a heavy look around you. It's fine if fur isn't something you want to support, but if you're going to bash others for it don't be surprised if they turn the tables on you like I have done here. In the end, it's sad, but we're all "murderers". You can read a little more about this topic on my other journal here:… It's safe to say all of us who live in the modern world have "blood on [our] hands", as the popular anti-fur slogans go.

"Those fur farmed animals endure horrible treatment!"
As I mentioned before, bad conditions produce bad furs. Bad furs don't sell on the market. The person who raises animals poorly and expects to get paid for their fur will end up in a lot of debt. A fur farmer, like any animal farmer, puts a large investment in their animals. They have to pay for the land, pay for the permits and licenses, pay for the caging, pay to get the animals themselves (in the least for start up and to maintain a breeding stock they'll need to bring some fresh blood in every now and then if they're to prevent inbreeding, unless it's a huge farm), they pay for food, they pay the water and electricity bills, they pay vet bills (yes, many will or are legally required to vaccine their animals or treat injuries!), they pay for bedding (den boxes in many places are a requirement, and just as well they're a good idea), and finally they invest a lot of time and may have to pay others to help them out with all of the work. They have to know these animals well, know about genetics if they're going to compete on the market, etc. You don't just catch a fox from the wild and start breeding them for their fur and end up with piles of money, nu-uh, doesn't work that way! What's more, in many countries there are strict laws and regulations for fur farmers. Then farmers can follow additional criteria for special certification. These laws cover things like cage size, access to clean water and food, exposure to the elements, medical treatment, and euthanasia. There ARE such things as animal cruelty laws in many places. And there's even the Origin Assured program (… ) to help you know if your fur is coming from such places. Here are a couple videos that feature ACTUAL fur farms that are rather representative of typical modern fur farms:…… (and some websites about regulation:………… and about the certification program here in USA… )

"They kill them in horrible ways!"
No, again there are regulations created by veterinarians and scientists that regulate how animals may be legally killed in many places. People hear horror stories of electrocution, head bashing, and gassing. These are common means of death, yes, however they aren't considered cruel or illegal in a lot of places, provided you follow the guidelines. Smaller animals like mink are commonly gassed on fur farms. It takes no more than 15-30 seconds to kill the animal, where they essentially go to sleep and never wake up. It's a very silent death, not stressful on the animal, and not all that painful if at all. Electrocution typically requires the animal be rendered unconscious first, however even if the animal is not unconscious it dies within seconds. You don't live long when you have tons of electricity flowing through your body, that's why a lightning strike can kill you. If anyone has seen the video that spread around Facebook not long ago where a fox was electrocuted you'll see they'll hold the animal there for a longer period of time "just in case", however it takes mere seconds before the animal is dead in most cases. It's a more "violent" way to die, much like a gunshot between the eyes, however it's extremely efficient. Skull bashing/knocking an animal on the head/whatever you want to call it is also done on animals farms with animals that this method will kill instantly, and it's vital it's done correctly on the right spot of the head and with a heavy enough object. Many places require you to demonstrate you know what you're doing if you're going to use this form of killing. Same is true for cervical dislocation/neck wringing/neck breaking (all terms are the same thing); it can be humanely done if done correctly, leading to a very quick and rather painless death due to how quick it is. Killing isn't a pretty business, there's no way around that, it's not going to look pretty and most of us aren't going to like it, but in the end a quick and painless death is the best we can hope for. (… )

"Most fur comes from China, which has no animal protection laws!"
This is a claim PETA people would make, because PETA has this listed on their site. However, this statement is a bit of a trap. Fur doesn't come from China in the raw as a large producer; China is not one of the top 5 fur producing countries in the world (who provide something like 85% of all fur on the fur farm market, if not more). China IS the biggest exporter of fur items however. How can this be? China buys up a lot of fur from the fur market to make them into garments or accessories or what have you. This is then exported. Ever notice how a LOT of stuff you buy has a "Made in China" sticker or engraving? Yeah, fur items aren't exempt from that. So a lot of fur PRODUCTS come from China, however China is not a big fur producer (there are not a lot of fur farms there). What's more, China is rather notorious for lower quality fur products due to their lack of regulation; inbreeding and worse conditions means poor fur. If the furs you see are cheap, they may be coming from China. This also points out the importance of knowing where your fur comes from though, because it is important to know who and what you are supporting. (……… )

"Well what about hunting? We don't need to hunt anymore! It's just cruel and barbaric!"
Many people seem to be surprised to know that wildlife and habitat conversationalists are a lot of times in support of hunting. People say hunting isn't necessary, that nature balances things out, right? First off, may I point out that nature balancing things out isn't a pretty picture: starvation, disease, competition to the point of fighting to the death...really nasty ways to die. And to boot it'll affect the entire ecosystem, I've watched it happen with overpopulated Canadian geese in my parent's neighborhood. Goose population grew, lake became poisoned by their poop, their direct competition with the mallard ducks was so great the duck populations are still practically non-existent on that little lake today, which has also contributed to the bald eagles who visit the lake to start going after other bird species such as the coots rather than baby mallard ducks, which is discouraging those species from coming to the lake now, which lessens the biodiversity, then along with the combination of this event and idiots releasing koi into the lake there are now very low populations of other carp fish (koi eat the eggs) and the crawdad population is low which has left the leeches with fewer options so they have started latching onto people when this had never happened before, there was also great human intervention to clean up the lake because people were getting rashes from swimming (I can only imagine what it did to animals who relied on the water) and since this incident we have not seen any river otters who would visit the lake nor the fresh water jellyfish. So, it's not so simple as "too many deer, deer die off of starvation, everything is peachy again". When you pull on one string of a web you pull the entire web, not just one section.
There's also human expansion and human intervention with wildlife to consider. There are over 7 billion people in the world right now, and last I checked the trend is still growing. We have to expand out to accommodate everyone. When we spread out, that makes less habitat for animals, whether we segment their habitat or just flat out demolish it. We don't like a lot of animals, like bears, coyotes, wolves, and mountain lions, or even buffalo, elk, and bison, in our back yards with our pets and children and livestock and gardens. Where are the animals to go? They have to condense. The habitat that's left can still only support oh-so many animals. This makes a problem. Additionally, we have intervened with nature to create populations that grow and thrive, even with some loss because of our intervention (like hunting and culling). Once you start managing nature you can't stop, because we have literally altered the ecosystems. To stop would mean destruction on a mass level.
This brings us back to hunting. Hunting directly contributes to culls that we have created the need for (if nature had been left to its own devices this entire time we probably wouldn't need them...however, some animals adapt to urban lifestyle better than others, some are favored unintentionally, so unless we want to allow mass extinctions we have to keep messing with nature's system). Additionally, hunting actually creates revenue for WILDLIFE AND HABITAT CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION! Yes, hunting can HELP! Not only does it save us tax dollars by letting people pay to hunt rather than us paying government officials to go do it, but the taxes on the guns, bullets, and sales from the permits all go back directly to the states to help fund wildlife and habitat conservation and restoration efforts (the money cannot be spent on other things, learn more at these websites:………. Hunters were the first true conversationalists, because if you want to hunt you NEED the animals to thrive. That's why so many hunters feel threatened from wolves being brought back into the lower 48 states which are lowering elk populations; if the population gets too low hunters can't hunt them anymore. There are set limits on how much game can be hunted, and these numbers are made by scientists who have to figure out every hunting season what the habitat can handle and what the animal populations can afford to lose before they're in trouble. And even with that, just because someone buys a hunting tag doesn't mean they'll actually kill or even see what they're hunting for. Looking at the wolf hunts alone, which I outlined my math for in this journal… , there was a total of 31,212 in 2010 in Idaho who purchased wolf hunting permits and never shot a wolf, and a total of $376,915.25 raised for animal conservation from those hunts! Talk about a good chunk of change!
Finally, let's look at the basic ethics of hunting. Many people find it 'unfair' that we can use guns and technology to help us hunt animals. It's "unnatural". However humans evolved with our brains. There are other animals out there who use tricks and tools to get food. There are fish who "shoot" down bugs by spitting a stream of water at them, spiders are trap-masters, apes and certain birds know how to use a stick or sharp object to get at juicy grubs, animals hide their scents and even tracks naturally, predators stalk prey or wait in ambush, some animals will make mock calls of other animals to either lure that animal in or even lure in animals that HUNT the animal they're mimicking (that, of course, they'll hunt, turning the would-be hunter into the prey), and some bugs even farm other bugs. We're not all that original in truth. The only thing that really sets us apart are our guns. A great gun won't make your aim any better, it won't help you track down an animal, it doesn't help you at all if you don't know how to use it, all a good or powerful gun will do is make a quicker, cleaner kill. People say our technology is overpowering, but think about this: would you prefer we went around with weak guns that take several shots and would would animals, leaving them to die of injury and infection and probably predation from other animals, or a powerful gun that kills the animal with one shot? As far as humane conditions go, I think the more powerful gun is the nicer one to the animals involved. You can buy all the fancy technology you want but in the end if you don't know how to shoot or track you're out of luck. And quite frankly a bullet is one of the quickest ways you can go. Most predators rely on blood loss and suffocation, or even just eating their prey alive, as a means of death. There's also poisons/toxins/venom, skull/vital organ crushing, and simply being torn to bits. Those are NOT pleasant ways to go (Don't believe me? Try choking yourself until you pass out, and be sure to put a lot of pressure on your trachea like a predator would). If I were to be hunted by anything, my preference would go to a human with a gun in their hand over any other predator in the world.
If you want a realistic view of hunting, here's a GREAT page written by someone who actually hunts for sustenance:…

"What about trapping! Animals suffer in traps a ton!"
I actually contacted a trapper the other week to ask him about what he does for a living. It was interesting because he uses snares, which are banned in my state. He said in his years of trapping he has never had a single animal in his traps show any evidence of being attacked by another animal. Most of the time when he checks his traps the animals are dead because he uses snares, but when they're not he said his partner will try to calm the animal while he comes behind them and clocks them in the head with a really hard death blow, killing them instantly (mind you he traps foxes and smaller animals mostly). Now one downside to traps is they themselves aren't selective, however this is why set up is important. If you trap the wrong animals you could face legal consequences, and no one wants to deal with that. Trappers have to know an animal and its behaviors well enough to get that animal, out of ALL the places in the WORLD, to step on some small plate to set off their trap and be caught. It's not something you just decide you're going to do one day, you have to know what you're doing. You also have to know the legalities of it (it's required in most places that traps must be labeled with your name, checked daily, and removed during the off season). Trappers can't just set traps anywhere, and when they are set on public lands I know I've seen it around here where the trapper put up a map showing where his traps were so no one or their pets got stuck in them. Not all trappers mark their traps like this, but point is they consider your safety as well a lot of times. They bait their traps with things like urine, not juicy steaks like anti-trappers put in their silly videos (yes, I've seen videos where they put a whole steak on the trap, which of course their dog went for and "got caught" -the dog was never ACTUALLY caught by the trap, mind you-). More-so it seems trappers will rely on location, location, location. It's required in many places to check your traps daily, not to mention it's not a bad idea. And let's not forget that fur isn't the only reason humans use, wildlife conversationalists, wildlife biologists, you know, people who are out there to help animals or study them. How do you think they collar animals to study in the fist place? Keep track of populations, especially ones that are illusive? Catch invasive species that threaten native ones? Catch animals that need medical attention? Yup, they use traps too! A lot of people advocate for traps like the cage trap, and my wildlife professor (who is an active wildlife biologist who works in the field and has had to catch many birds and small animals for his studies) had some horror stories about animals eating the caught animal through the bars of those, or since he was catching tiny animals like mice of them dying of dehydration/starvation before he could check his traps (which he did every 24 hours minimum). No trap is necessarily guaranteed safe, as with all things in life, however I think you could see how a foothold trap in those cases would be more advantageous than a cage trap (at least in the foothold the animal can defend itself, or move around a little to look for food/water if it's very close by). Traps have two basic designs: hold the animal, or kill it instantly. Here's a video about leg hold traps, which many seem to have a problem with:… As for instant kill traps, they usually work well. Regardless, a lot of areas have outlawed them. Remember when you see videos of animals struggling in a trap, someone is videotaping them and that animal, like any healthy wild animal, is trying to get away from a potentially dangerous human. It's going to thrash and try to get away. This is why most hunters check their traps with a gun handy, in the case of larger animals often times with a gun that can get a good shot at a distance. This way they don't have to get close and stress the animal out, though I've heard people who trap say the animals usually calm down once they realize they can't get away. I'm sure it depends on the animal. Also, modern foothold traps which are commonly used have been improved since the days of toothed steel leghold traps people always seem to think of when trapping is mentioned. Many traps are rubber padded, have a gap minimum so circulation won't be cut off, have a swivel on the chain so animals don't twist their leg and injure it, etc. Here's a video of a gal sticking her hand in her traps just to prove how they don't hurt and don't break bones like everyone seems to think they do:… Notice how it didn't break her finger bones, which are smaller than most animal legs? She used two different traps, too, one which gets used for animals like foxes, the other which is used for animals like coyotes. If she can stick her hand in without saying ouch, bleeding, breaking bones, etc., I think it's safe to say an animal's leg would be pretty safe. (…… )

"Fur is WASTEFUL! They don't even use the whole animal!"
Wrong! Fur farmers pay a lot of money for their animals, so it only makes sense to use the whole animal if you can profit from it, right? Hunters and trappers may use the parts of their animals as well, though that varies a lot more. Fur farms will render the fats of animals into oils...mink oil is actually quite useful, for example. Not only mink farms utilize the whole animal, but here's a short blip from Fur Commission USA about what the US does with our mink (our most fur farmed animal):…  So that's essentially the case with farmed animals, and in the case of hunted animals it may be more common for a hunter/trapper to leave the carcass out for scavengers. Considering prime furring season is winter, when conditions for most animals are the most harsh, it'd be pretty nice for a hungry animal to stumble across a carcass already opened up (no fur on it when it's skinned!) like that. Of course many hunted animals are eaten, or the meat is even donated (there was a recent bout where a bunch of donated deer meat was destroyed rather than being donated to a food shelter, because the FDA couldn't grantee the meat was a good enough quality due to the fact that it came from wild the mean time, people are still starving on the streets. Thanks FDA!). Animals that aren't edible for humans may also be fed to pets, or certain scraps that the hunter won't eat are fed to their pets.

"Well we still don't NEED to kill animals for fur! This is the 21st century!"
Most of us don't need fur, this is true. With modern comforts we can instead reap other aspects of the world rather than kill a few animals. No, instead of a warm fur coat I can just burn more propane and electricity using my heater, contributing to global warming, pollution, and the destruction of habitats. Instead of that warm fur coat I could throw on a blanket, made with dyed synthetic fibers or blended fibers (like a polyester blend) that came from the petroleum I discussed earlier, or maybe cotton from a big industrial field that used to be native habitat ruled by many species rather than a single plant crop that uses the most pesticides out of any crop in the country and large amounts of water. Did I mention cotton is resistant to dyes, and thus needs more? Dyes that then become toxic sludge? Yeah, there's that, too. BUT HEY, AT LEAST I DIDN'T KILL A  COUPLE OF WOLVES OR SINGLE BEAR OR A DOZEN FOXES OR A FEW DOZEN MINK OR BEAVER OR RABBITS! (you know, mink is a fur I don't understand people wanting, it's not soft 'cause of the guard hairs and...I dunno...I just don't dig it I guess, haha) And it's not like the fur industry is tied in closely with the agricultural business where they each take in one anothers excess (read about it here:… and… and… ). In some areas I think it's worth mentioning it's still cold enough to justify fur. Pound for pound nothing will warm you like fur. Additionally, pound for pound leather is a very protective material (as someone who rides, well, rode a motorcycle -pot growers stole it-, something like that is VERY important to me). Mind you leather is just fur with the hair taken off, so if you're going to bash fur please make sure to remove all leather possessions from your household first (belts, fancy shoes, jackets, gloves, accessories, bags, maybe even furniture). Now, if you live in an area with a windchill or excessively cold weather fur might be an appealing option. A trim on your hood can protect your face, an inner lining can keep you warm, and, well, an outer coat may be flashy but it is also a lot less likely to freeze like synthetics, and it'll help protect you against harsh weather conditions. Mother nature did a great job designing fur to be functional! We just can't beat it, simple as that, we're not God. Do we all need to run around wearing fur? No, certainly not, for a lot of places that would be impractical. However there's more than just function. Why do people wear jewelery? Aside from looking "nice", that is. We have certain things that have an emotional and personal connection. I have this with my tails that I like to wear. It expresses who I am, it makes me feel better about myself. I'll admit it makes me nervous when I wear them in public, I'd prefer it if no one could see I'm wearing a tail, I'm not wearing it for other people to notice or gain attention. I'm wearing it for me. Then there's also a spiritual/religious side to furs and pelts. To some there is a great connection to be had with wearing fur, having ceremonies with fur involved, or otherwise connecting to fur in some way. I am not one of these people personally so I cannot go into detail about it, however denying someone their spirituality isn't right, especially when it is perfectly legal and does not infringe on your rights or life in general. Finally there's also cultural uses of fur. My college, Humboldt State University, just hosted the 6th annual California Big Time & Social Gathering (April 6, 2013). This event is meant to share some historical culture from native tribes, with live dance and music demonstrations, information booths, I'm sure speakings from native tribes (I essentially missed the event and just went there at the very end for clean-up duty, unfortunately), and there are also some natives there selling things to the general public. One thing I did have the opportunity to witness were some dances performed by a local tribe (I want to say the Wiyot, but I could be wrong), and I noticed each of them had used a pelt as a quiver to hold their arrows that they held through out their performance. The pelts themselves were different types of fox and some of the more decorated (and possibly more traditional, since arctic and silver fox aren't really native to this area...though the fur trade also included natives in the past) quivers used otter pelts. Such artifacts were part of their culture and one part of their heritage, just like the Yurok Sumęg village (up at Patrick's Point, northern California) that they will use culturally from time to time as well (I think they will use the grounds to teach younger tribe members about their culture, though I'm sure there are other uses as well). Just like denying spirituality, it's not kind to deny culture or historical reenactments or other ways of remembering and honoring one's past. To completely stop people from using fur and leather would be cutting out some of the artistic or traditionally practical aspects of their culture.

"It's thanks to fur that so many animals are going extinct!"
No, this would be thanks to poaching (which is illegal and not supported by the fur trade, or many pro-fur people). The exotic pet trade is more of a threat to the extinction of animals than legal animal harvesting in most places in the world. There are rules and regulations designed to protect animals, and plenty of watch dogs to make sure people abide by these laws. Recently on Tumblr an outcry was had at someone who shot a red winged blackbird, which isn't an endangered species by far but is still not legal to shoot, and this outcry came from pro-fur/taxidermy/bones/dead stuff people because these people know their animal protection laws-a lot of times they have to to avoid getting into legal trouble themselves. Someone who works with real fur and bone and leather helped get people together to catch some guy who hunted a hawk in the US (very illegal!). There are people watching, whether they're in the pro-fur community or legal authorities, and they are "tattle-tales" not afraid to get law enforcement involved.

"What about cat and dog fur being mislabeled as other types of fur?"
Cat and dog fur is illegal to buy, sell, or trade in many countries. In some it IS legal though, with dog fur often coming from meat-dogs (raised just like food livestock in other countries) and cat fur coming from feral cats, in the case of Australia invasive cats who are taking a huge toll on the native wildlife to the point of near extinction. However, for a lot of countries it is illegal to import, and it is checked. When you work with fur it becomes easy to tell fur types apart, even from animals that are similar like a coyote versus a wolf, or bobcat versus a lynx. If someone tries to pass of dog or cat fur as something else, it'll probably be caught, and that person will face legal consequences. It's extremely unlikely you'll get mislabeled fur that was actually a cat or dog. If you do, you should enter the lottery. (… )

"And real fur being labeled as faux fur?"
Faux fur and real fur have a lot of differences. For starters, most faux furs don't look realistic. Faux fur will have a fabric lining instead of leather. They smell different when burned. They also burn differently; burn a piece of your hair (preferably NOT still on your head!) and burn whatever you think may be real fur. Faux fur will kinda melt and shrivel, real fur will actually burn just like your own hair. The tips of the hairs usually look different. Most faux furs you'll run across don't have multiple colors on each strand of "hair" like real fur. They also don't have different color patterns like real fur. They usually don't have a different undercoat and guard hairs like real fur. There is usually a harsher texture to synthetics. Here's a couple of online guides in case you ever have your doubt, but in general real fur won't be mislabeled as faux fur because that would mean a lower price and thus loss of money:……

"Well what about people who own the pelt of a _______(insert animal here). They're endangered!"
A lot of people who pull the "endangered species" card are talking about grey wolves from what I've seen, which THANKFULLY aren't listed as endangered anymore! In fact, as of right now they're listed as least concerned with the population trend currently stable (… ). Yay wolves and their come-back! =)
As for other species, you can check for yourself to see if they're endangered, threatened, or listed as least concerned here: Remember, it's illegal to hunt an endangered species most of the time. We have protection laws for a reason!
Usually if a pelt is from an endangered species it's illegal to buy, sell, or trade. If you DO see someone trying to buy, sell, or trade an endangered species or otherwise illegal animal part feel free to call them out on it, but make sure you know what you're talking about first. Some people own pre-ban pelts, which have to have documentation to prove they were obtained before the species was banned from the trade of its parts. For these pre-ban items, some may be sold or traded within state lines in the United States. Other countries I couldn't say. Laws vary as sporadically as by region, so it's tricky to know what is and is not legal. For example, here in California I cannot have mountain lion parts unless they are pre-ban. In the mean time, you can buy, trade, and sell mountain lion parts, and even hunt mountain lions right next door in Nevada. So before you get on someone's case, make sure they're actually breaking the law first. If you think they may be, question them and find out if they know what they're doing, if they have legal papers for what they posses, etc. Get a second opinion on it, and third and fourth. If the person IS indeed breaking the law, then raise a stink about it, but make sure you at least look it up first! Here's a wonderful page with a basic outline of animal parts laws made by lupagreenwolf… (Keep in mind Lupa cannot offer you legal advice and this page may not be complete. It is a starting point, further research may be necessary).

"People can just use faux fur!"
People could use faux for for things like making fake taxidermy mounts,artwork, clothing, accessories, etc., however that doesn't make it any more kind to animals (as ironic as that sounds). Remember how I said faux fur is plastic? It seems like faux fur can be made of a couple different materials, such as polyester or acrylic. Now for polyester, I'm just going to quote directly from the book, "Stuff: The Secret Lives of Everyday Things",
     "From the oil field to the garment factory gate, making my shirt's polyester released one-fourth the polyester's weight in air pollution, counting nitrogen and sulfur oxides, hydrocarbons, particulates, carbon monoxide, and heavy metals. These pollutants impair breathing, aggravate lung and heart diseases, and suppress the immune system, among other harmful effects. Making the polyester also released 10 times the polyester's weight in carbon dioxide, helping destabilize the global climate."
And not stopping at being made, faux fur has to be dyed, which uses a lot of water, machinery, and the actual dyes itself:
       " of the dyes did not adhere and were carried off in the wastewater stream. Textile dyes are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as hazardous substances." (Again, quoted from the book Stuff: The Secret Lives of Everyday Things...great book if you ever want to read it, and very short and easy to read as well)
So I've said this already in a way before, but replacing real fur with faux fur may actually inadvertently kill more animals by association. It is more harmful to the environment through its entire process of creating it as a fiber, from extracting the oil to processing to dying and even to disposal.

"More animals die for fur and hunting than anything else!"
When I looked on Google I found the number 100 million as far as animals killed for hunting (and this came from an anti-hunting page, so I doubt the number would be low: ). Some less official looking sites said 200 million. Not sure which to believe, especially since doubling the number is a BIG difference. For fur farming, according to BornFree (again, an anti-fur website) over 36 million animals die annually for fur farming (… ). Though that first website declared 40 million die for their fur which including trapping (otherwise a different website listed 30 million from fur farms alone), and I have seen this number on one other website as well as a global estimate (… ). Combined that means 136,000,000-240,000,000 animals could be dying for the fur industry (however this estimate is much too high, since not all animals who are hunted are hunted for their fact, I don't know a single hunter personally who hunts for fur or antlers or trophy animals, a lot of hunters I've known or met hunt for meat. Therefor it is safer to say that less than 136-236 million animals die for their fur annually). Sounds horrible, right? But wait, let's look at some more things. In the US alone, I found two different web pages that say 10 BILLION animals die for our meat industry annually in the US alone (… and… ). That's on the higher side of estimates according to other pages I've found though, but they still ranged in the 9 billion sector. AND those were just for land animals (again, ONLY the US!). According to this little counter more than 150 billion animals die for meat world wide every year (… ). So if you eat meat or dairy or eggs, you contribute to a MUCH larger killer of animals (and for those who want to argue that dairy and eggs don't contribute to the meat industry, let's be honest here, in order to have milk you need baby animals...what do you think happens to these animals? The mothers when they're no longer good for milk? The males who are bred-out who impregnated the mothers? And for eggs, an egg laying hen only has a few good years of egg production before she's deemed to not be worth keeping. The hens don't get put out to pasture, they end up as food, whether it's human food or pet food).
Even if you don't support the meat industry, you still support practices that kill lots of animals directly through harvest. Sorry vegans, this includes you unless you only buy from local small time farmers who don't use heavy machinery and do everything the old fashioned way either by hand or horse/mule/ox, or you grow your own food or forage. Unlike other farming we can't really come up with numbers, since no one keeps track, but it's said that millions die just for our plant crops, and then of course there's plants dying as well if that means anything to you (… ). Let's look at some smaller numbers. For animal testing there are about 20 million animals who die each year (and this is any type of lab testing). On our roads, it's estimated that at least 300 million animals die in the US alone every year...and those are just the ones counted for, so this doesn't include insects or tiny critters, or any critters who weren't reported to animal control or other authorities (… ). Wait, I said smaller numbers, but our roads alone kill more animals than hunting AND fur farming combined! At the higher estimates! Unfortunately other things I had harder time finding numbers on. Oil, for instance, though I did find the number of 300,000 birds dying annually, while there are 300-500 oil spills every year (… and… ). And we get a LOT more products from oil than most would want to believe. Logging was another one I couldn't turn up numbers for, but according to a couple of websites rainforest logging causes an estimated 50,000 species to become EXTINCT every year (… and )...just a note, no, those are not all animal species, but plants are extremely important both for biodiversity and the survival of other species in the local area as well as for our own uses such as coming up with new medicine (who knows, maybe a species of tree or flower or other plant went extinct that could have cured cancer?). So in general more animals die for meat consumption and die as roadkill than for their fur (or hunted meat or trophy mount or thrill or whatever someone was going hunting for). If the numbers I presented here disturb you, be careful about what you buy and who you support when you do make a purchase, and spread the word.


Works Cited (in order of appearance):

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"Chinese Fur Farms: Media Wary of Shock Video." Fur Commission RSS2. Fur Commission USA, 25 May 2005. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

Beaulieu, Sue. "Resource Clearinghouse." Skinned Alive. Resource Clearinghouse, June 1997. Web. 24 Mar. 2013.

"What Is Faux Fur?" WiseGEEK. Conjecture Corporation, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

Burke, Alex. "How Is Acrylic Fabric Made?" EHow. Demand Media, 22 Apr. 2009. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

"How Are Plastics Made?" How Are Plastics Made? Reach Out Michigan, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

Freudenrich., Craig. "How Plastics Work." HowStuffWorks. How Stuff Works, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

The Need Project. What Is Petroleum? Manassas: Need Project, 2001. Venoco Inc. Venoco Inc., 2001. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

"Environmental Impact of the Petroleum Industry." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Mar. 2013. Web. 24 Mar. 2013.…

"Oil Spills." Oil Spills. Partnership for Environmental Education and Rural Health, 2003. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

"Oil & Gas Industry Spills Happen "all the Time"" CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 12 Apr. 2011. Web. 24 Mar. 2013.…

Kearns, Sean. "Rehabbed and Released, Do Oiled Seabirds Survive?" Humboldt State Now. Humboldt State University, 4 Aug. 2010. Web. 26 Mar. 2013.…

West, Larry. "How Do Oil Spills Damage The Environment?" Environmental Issues. About, n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2013.…

"Environmental Impacts of Logging." Environmental Impacts of Logging. Forest Monitor, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

"BACKGROUND." Origin Assured. Origin Assured, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

Chef and British Television Celebrity Merrilees Parker Explores Fur Farming in Denmark. Perf. Merrilees Parker. YouTube. YouTube, 15 Oct. 2009. Web. 24 Mar. 2013.…

Fur Farming Ethics. Perf. EcoFurs. YouTube. YouTube, 8 July 2009. Web. 24 Mar. 2013.…

"Industry Regulations." Fur Commission RSS2. Fur Commission USA, Jan. 2004. Web. 26 Mar. 2013.…

"Fur Industry Regulations." Eastern Regional Conference. Eastern Regional Conference, 2011. Web. 24 Mar. 2013.…

"Navigation." Fur Production and Fur Laws. Animal Legal and Historical Center, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

"Animal Welfare in Danish Mink Farming." Kopenhagen Fur. Kopenhagen Fur, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

"Humane Care Certification." Fur Commission RSS2. Fur Commission USA, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

"US Mink Farms Grow as Chinese Consumers' Demand for Fur Coats Sends Pelt Prices Skyrocketing." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2013. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

"Euthanasia." American Veterinary Medical Association. American Veterinary Medical Association, 2013. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

"Fur Farming." Kopenhagen Fur -. Kopenhagen Fur, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

"Fur Farming." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

"Hunting Is Conservation." RMEF. Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, 19 Mar. 2012. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

"Fish and Wildlife Service." Fish and Wildlife Service. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

Inua, Nuna. "Stop and Smell the Lichen." : Inupiaq Love..... BlogSpot, 10 Apr. 2012. Web. 29 Mar. 2013.…

"As Hunting Declines, Conservation Efforts Suffer." New York Times. The Associated Press, 12 Dec. 2010. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

Destroying the Myth. YouTube. YouTube, 20 Mar. 2007. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

Berk. "Trapping Facts." Trapping Facts. Committee for Responsible Wildlife Management, 7 July 2010. Web. 26 Mar. 2013.

Vantassel, Stephen. "Animal Rights Activists Gloss Over Trapping Facts | National Animal Interest Alliance." Animal Rights Activists Gloss Over Trapping Facts | National Animal Interest Alliance. National Animal Interest Alliance, 14 Jan. 2012. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

Lamagdeleine, Michael. "General Trapping Facts." General Trapping Facts. Wildlife Damage Control, 21 Mar. 2002. Web. 256 Mar. 2013.…

"FAQ." Fur Commission RSS2. Fur Commission USA, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

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Ruef, Joe. "Make Mine Mink." Make Mine Mink. Fur Commission USA, 15 Dec. 2001. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

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Davis, Sammy. "How to Identify Vintage Mink, Fox, Rabbit, Beaver & Raccoon Furs." Sammy Davis Vintage RSS. Sammy Davis Vintage, 8 Nov. 2011. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

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Lupa. "United States-Relevant Animal Parts Laws." United States-Relevant Animal Parts Laws. The Green Wolf, 27 Feb. 2011. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.…

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"Delaware Action For Animals - ANIMALS KILLED FOR SPORT/FASHION." Delaware Action For Animals - ANIMALS KILLED FOR SPORT/FASHION. Deleware Action for Animals, n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2013.

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"The Fur Farm Fallacy." Born Free USA. Born Free USA, 2003. Web. 6 Apr. 2013.…

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"What Is Deforestation?" What Is Deforestation? Kids Mongabay, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2013.…

Taylor, Leslie. "Rainforest Facts." Rainforest Facts. Rain Tree, 21 Dec. 2012. Web. 07 Apr. 2013.…
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Lyrak Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Totally not the point of this journal but... there are freshwater jellyfish? o.o How did I not know this?

As for not fair because we have guns... go look up :iconeskimoscrybe: and find her blog... there's a post on it about how the animals have gotten smart and have found ways to kill hunters. Including birds who will drop stuff in strategic locations to CAUSE AN AVALANCHE. Damn nature, you scary!

AHH here it is! [link] Had to go hunt for it because I LOVED that post.

As for instant kill traps, I think maybe why they are banned is less from a humane standpoint, and more from a "what if you catch the wrong animal?" standpoint. Because with a trap that doesn't kill right away, once you check the trap there is usually some form of release so if you caught an animal that's not in season or something like that, you are more likely to be able to let it go unharmed. But there are regulations on where you can put traps, how big the openings can be, which types are allowed to have teeth (if any at all), etc. Like, for the people worrying about their dogs - if you're wandering off the path where you're not supposed to be, you're more likely to run into a trap. Because I do believe in most states you are NOT allowed to place traps anyplace with regular foot traffic. Plus there are rules on how often you have to check the traps, so animals don't just get left there to starve. All traps MUST be marked with contact info so the game warden knows whose trap it is. So it's not just this huge free-for-all like people seem to think.

By the way, that FDA story turned out to be a big misunderstanding I do believe. I found where somebody from the area commented on the matter. There was a big "oh shit we totally mishandled this sorry" and they're working with the shelter on how to prevent that sort of incident in the future.

I'm with you on not being big on mink fur. I'm guessing it's so common because it's probably one of the easier ones to raise? I dunno. I VOTE FOX FARMS START SELLING SHED UNDERFUR FOR MAKING SWEATERS. I would totally wear that shit.

I take it you never got your bike back then? :( That freaking sucks. Did insurance pay for it at least?

But yeah, I suspect fur farms are probably operating more humanely and with a lot less waste than most commercial food farms right now (let some of these people come to the factory egg farm near me, they may never want to eat eggs again... until I show them my uncle's chickens who are spoiled as all hell).

I want a coat with real fur trim on the hood... my face gets stung like mad in the wind we get here. I'm such a wuss to cold. LOL

I'm with you on the tail thing. I want to wear them, but I'm afraid what people will think (or more importantly, what they will DO - I do not want my tails getting hurt damnit). I know it's becoming a trend so somewhat less likely for me to be noticed, but I haven't seen anyone wearing tails around here so... :\

Oooh red winged blackbirds aren't endangered? I swear I think they used to be at one point, or at least threatened. OMG if that's the case that is AWESOME news. I knew I saw them a lot around here, but then we also have a TON of red-tailed hawks around here. I guess I forget how long it's really been since we talked about endangered species in grade school. (Quick! Change the subject before I have to acknowledge I'm almost 30!)

I know what burning hair is like firsthand. Yes, it was on my head at the time. XD I was like 5 years old or something. And totally ignoring mom telling me NOT to lean backward over the kerosene heater like that. Yeeeeah. LOL

ON A COMPLETELY UNRELATED NOTE while looking up ways to fix my glitter jars, I found instructions on how to tan a snakeskin using only glycerin and alcohol. WUT? I wonder if that works on other hides? Because glycerin is cheap and doesn't harm your hands or anything.
WolfForce58205 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013
Man, started replying to this on my computer then came back later to find my hard drive is busted -_-; NOT MY WEEK!

So, yeah, freshwater jellyfish, haha, until I saw them I didn't even know they were a thing either. They're tiny, at least these guys were, small enough that they absolutely couldn't sting you. Found out the hard way they DO still sting though...put 3 jellyfish in my fish tank, one got eaten by a baby bass I had in there. The bass promptly started to jerk and twitch and tried hard to spit the jellyfish out after he sucked it in his mouth though...sucked for the both of them. I also had the misfortune to learn that jellyfish and fish tank filters don't mix...=( They were kinda like this: [link] Reading that website the picture came from I guess jellyfish spotting are rare, but there were two areas of the lake where they'd usually pop up once every couple of years, for only a few days at a time typically. I remember once I was kneeboarding and when I got in the water and was waiting for the boat to start I was so confused when I noticed there were little blobs coming to the top of the water around me until I realized they were the jellyfish coming to the surface before dropping back down again, haha (I had seen them once before so I knew what they were...the first ever time I saw them one of my friends who had lived there longer told me she saw these jellyfish a few years back and they were safe to touch, so we caught some and other people joined in. It was fun. We released them when we were done, unharmed).

And DANG! That's scary! haha Kinda like how bats and moths constantly evolve new patterns to counter each other. I knew a deer could kill you, but birds causing an avalanche?? O-o; DAYMN! I love this writing, I think I might have to add it to my own journal here. Thank you so much for digging it up for me!

I think you have a very good point there. Still, I've noticed a lot of people I talk to always bring up the cruelty of instant kill traps. "They don't work right, they're mean, why would you want to kill an animal like that, they just make the animals suffer"...etc., etc. People seem to think you just buy a trap, set it, put it down in some path, plop on a piece of meat, and leave. I swear that's what people think happen with the people I've conversed with online. As if there aren't laws, rules, regulations, and some plain ol' common sense involved!

That's good to hear it was just some goof on the FDA's part then...I was thinking the FDA was going to stop all kinds of meat donations like that =( Glad that's not the case! Still...all that wasted meat o-o

Haha, probably...that or designers just really love the stuff? Who knows. My mom doesn't like mink either. THAT WOULD BE AWESOME! lol I think people who make yarn should partner with fur farmers and brush out the foxes for their shed fur to spin, haha. Man, that would push for some behavior-based-breeding. Would be really cool though! Now if only I knew a fur farmer to suggest that to XD

And no, never got it back, in fact now I'm trying to see about selling my motorcycle trailer (not getting another bike anytime soon). Our insurance completely covered it, even covered the costs of putting on the extras (I think it was actually just a miscalculation on their part, but that's alright if they paid for it XD ). So, good news is we had insurance...I get upset when I see other people riding though (especially in beautiful weather like today! I HATE CRIMINALS!).

Lol, my new jacket would probably help ya out...windburn hurts, I remember once I went to Squaw Valley and my chin got all blistery and was oozing and such from a combination of rubbing against my jacket and the wind and snow hitting it (go figure we planned our trip during a storm, lol, it was funny though there was an ice skating rink and I went on it one day, and all I had to do was stand on the ice and the wind would push me slowly to the other side of the rink XD ). My jacket that I have now though zips up all the way and has eye holes, haha. Makes you look like some kind of burglar or terrorist or something since the jacket is all black and at least USED to have spikes on it (finally got most of those off), but it'd be quite handy in the cold!

The tail fad, except for anime conventions, seems to have finally died down over here. Even when it was going I'd have people yell "Murderer!" at me after I walked by (jerks, at least say it to my face!), or people who would pull my tails thinking they were being cute and ripping them right off the darned safety pins >.< I would get SO mad when people did that! Only happened a few times, more-so I would have people reach and touch the tails gently...which I still hated, I mean, THAT IS RIGHT NEXT TO MY BUTT, THANK YOU, PLEASE ASK FIRST SO I CAN GRAB THE TAIL AND BRING IT TO YOU!! Just as creepy as the few times I've had people just randomly come up to me and start petting my hair 'cause it was "pretty". People are weird O-o;

I thought that too! But nope, they're protected, but not endangered ^_^ Haha, I see red-tails quite often here as well...becomes easy to forget that you're not supposed to see certain animals often when they're frequent in your area. I remember deer used to be a rare sighting to me as a child, then I moved to an area where they were common and it was like, "Oh, a deer..." instead of "WOW LOOK, A DEER! LET'S WATCH IT!" haha.

OH GOSH! lol That's funny, but man so awful! lol Bet you didn't do that twice, eh? (or are you a slow learner like me?)

I saw something about using just glycerin to tan snake skins...tried it on a roadkill snake I found (garter snake), but...well...I wouldn't say it worked. I might have done it wrong, I was also doing it in the summer with roadkill so that could have played a factor, but I had scales falling out and it didn't really meet my expectations of "tanned". If you ever try it out yourself let me know how it turns out!
Lyrak Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Behavior-based breeding... new market for the Russian domestic foxes? :D

My favorite was that we saw a black bear in our yard... reported it to the DNR... they thought we were full of BS. Days later, news reports of black bears returning to Ohio. XD

I don't THINK I did it twice... but I was so little... hard to tell. LOL
WolfForce58205 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013
I would love it so much if they did an experiment like that in the United States (and then to keep it going sold foxes off as pets just like the Russian experiment). Especially if they did it with grey foxes ^_^ I remember reading somewhere once that they are supposed to be easier to idea how they'd know that considering no one has REALLY tried though.

LOL! I think right now there's something like that going on in Oregon? Only with a mountain lion spotting (that'll be hard to find a mountain lion though, they're so darned illusive).
Lyrak Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Exotic pet breeders. They are supposedly tamer by nature and easier to deal with than the reds. Arctics are supposed to be the worst. There are exotic breeders claiming their foxes are domestic when they really haven't been bred for tameness in the same way, or at least not for as many generations as the Russian foxes have.
WolfForce58205 Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013
Oh, that's true. I'd love to see exotic pet breeders actually take on a large breeding project to get genetically tame exotics out there. Wouldn't that be an awesome collaboration?
Das-Mimi Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013
"Most fur comes from China" Hahahahahahaha!! XDDD Errything comes from China!! XD That's freaking hilarious!
WolfForce58205 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013
Pssh, whatcha talkin' about? My stuff is TOTALLY not from China! Like this pencil holder, the sticker says....oh...umm...I mean, this drawyer thingy I got from Target! It's made in....WAIT, I actually meant....OMG, I FOUND SOMETHING THAT WAS MADE IN THE USA! My favorite cups in the house. HAH! (actually I'm legitimately surprised over here...) lol Yeaaaaaah cheap labor and lack of environmental protection laws is kind of awesome to companies looking for the cheapest way out.
Das-Mimi Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013
Hahahahaha! XD Very true, although I do love that age-long joke of all my items being Chinese. Hahaha! I like to try to say them in a Mandarin accent! XD
MattsyKun Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If anyone has seen the video of a supposed "fur farm" (it was actually a scent farm) where the guy electrocutes a fox anally (which was done in Illinois, where fur farms cannot legally use electrocution as a means of killing their animals), I hope you'll be pleased to know that of the 100 or so foxes he killed he was unable to sell any of them on the market because they were raised in such poor conditions and had bad fur. ( [link] )

Wow. I hate my state. Fucking retarded. I'm going to move XD
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