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  • Dissection: The Fur Connection

    "We get them while they’re still nice and steamy hot."
    -employee, Nasco
    Fur. According to a recent LA Times poll, 50% of the US population finds wearing it to be objectionable (Another poll put this figure as 2/3), and its not hard to see why.

    Every year,at least 40 million animals are killed for coats, to trim hoods, line gloves, etc. Most of these animals are captured in traps such as the the steel jaw leghold, so brutal that it is banned in most civilized countries, and several US states. However, a growing number of animals are being ranch raised in mass production factory farms, where minks and other animals are confined in crowded, filthy, disease ridden, stress filled, 10 by 12 by 24 inch cages wire bottomed cages. Intense boredom leads them to exhibit neurotic behaviors such as pacing and self mut ´ilation. About half of today’s minks are mutations, strongly disposed to serious chronic diseases, including bleeding membranes, painfully deformed sex organs, total deafness, or a constant habit of perking their heads.

    Other deformities include blindness and crippling. Despite the intense suffering wrought at their owns hands, remorseless fur ranchers often deny sick animals veterinary care, as the death of an individual animal is often economically preferable to the cost of care.

    No federal enforcement provisions are contained within the Animal Welfare Act for the humane treatment of animals in fur farms, slaughter methods, and inspections are not mandated.
    Because of the lack of standards, cost, not compassion, is the only criterion for choosing killing techniques, including home-made electrocution boxes, painful gassing, decompression, cheap injections by untrained workers, cyanide, manual or mechanical neck breaking, strychnine poisoning , vaginal, anal, and oral electrocution.
    One method involves placing minks in a box attached with a hose to an automobile exhaust, a technique used in Nazi gas chambers during the holocaust.

    According to Dr. Ethel Thurston of Beauty Without Cruelty, "If a cooling and filtering mechanism is not included for the exhaust is not included, the animal’s lungs are injured before they lose consciousness, and their death is terrifying and painful. Animals have been observed to be merely rendered unconscious, and revive when the skinning begins . " Because of increasing awareness of these atrocities, the fur industry is in decline.
    This is where the dissection industry comes into the picture. Biological supply companies now offer skinned, ranch raised minks and foxes in their catalogues. Traditionally, skinned mink carcasses are fed to the still living minks, a process referred to as "recycling back into the industry."
    While creating an additional market for mink carcasses will not save the fur industry, the income the carcasses provide may allow individual fur ranchers to stay in business slightly longer than they would otherwise, allowing thousands to suffer as the fur industry bides its time for a financial comeback.
    Clearly, the preserved flesh trade has no more concerns for the rights of animals than does the skin trade, as is evinced in the gruesome ways that they kill animals such as frogs, rabbits, and cats.
    To kill an animal in order to mutilate its insides is not morally justifiable, and the fact that the act is performed under the auspices of science does nothing to change this. Animal rights are not luxuries to be considered seconds to human interests, they are serious ethical concerns on the same level as human rights. This does not detract from human rights, instead create a more a compassionate ethic that respects the rights of all.
    Besides, teachers have strongly criticized dissection on educational grounds for decades, and recent evidence indicates that classroom dissection is highly traumatic and often emotionally scarring for the student. A growing number are also challenging all animal research on scientific grounds, arguing that factors such as species variation make it literally impossible to apply data obtained from one species to another. Not only does dissection share these flaws, but it also inspires blind obedience in animal methodology, rather than the scientific approaches that are far more important to modern medical research.
    If the schools in your town still dissect, why not bring them into the 20th century?
    To learn more about the fight against classroom dissection, contact these organizations:

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
    501 Front St. Norfolk, VA 23510
    Phone" 757-622-7382 Fax: 757-628-0786.
    Email PETA http://www.peta-online.org/contactus.asp
    Web: http://www.petakids.com/disindex.html

    Ethical Science & Education Coalition, 333 Washington Street, Ste. 850, Boston, MA 02108-5100 http://www.neavs.org/esec/index.htm TEL: (617) 367-9143 F: (617) 523-7925

    The National Anti-Vivisection Society, 53 West Jackson Blvd., Suite 1552, Chicago, IL 60604
    Phone: (800) 888-NAVS or (312) 427-6065
    Email address: feedback@navs.org
    Web: http://www.navs.org/education/education_main.cfm?SectionID=Education


    In Defense of Animals, 131 Camino Alto, Suite E, Mill Valley, California
    94941 Phone: (415) 388-9641 Fax: (415) 388 0388 E-mail: ida@idausa.org
    Web: http://www.idausa.org/campaigns/dissection/dissection.html

    Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine,
    5100 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Ste. 400, Washington, DC 20016
    Phone: 202-686-2210 Email: pcrm@pcrm.org
    Web: http://www.pcrm.org/issues/Animal_Experimentation_Issues/elem_sec_alternatives.html

    World Animal Foundation http://worldanimalfoundation.homestead.com/WAFDissection.html

    Last Chance for Animals Dissection Quiz http://www.lcanimal.org/edu/edu_005.htm

    This site is a project of:
    Wetlands Preserve
    Phone: (775) 871-7473
    Fax: (501) 633-3476