Clean your closet and your conscience |

Clean your closet and your conscience

Dear Editor:I had an invitation to the Dennis Basso fashion show benefit for the Aspen Art Museum. Being a fan of not killing animals for our pleasure of expensive jackets, I declined. But I do believe in the importance of art and wanted to support the benefit aspect of this particular event, so at the last minute decided to go. I cannot show my support for art appreciation and not show my disdain for the fur industry.I would like to have faith and believe that if people really made a connection between the suffering and unnecessary pain that goes into the making of fur clothing and the fur coat hanging in the shop window, people wouldn’t buy it. Here are a few facts from the PETA website, Eighty-five percent of the fur industry’s skins come from animals living captive on fur factory farms. These farms can hold thousands of animals, and the practices used to farm them are remarkably uniform around the globe. As with other intensive-confinement animal farms, the methods used on fur factory farms are designed to maximize profits, always at the expense of the animals. – Currently, there are no federal laws providing protection for the millions of animals – including chinchillas, foxes, minks, and raccoons – who suffer and die on fur farms. The fur industry remains completely self-regulated, which means that animals are kept in crowded, filthy wire cages, where they often develop neurotic behaviors and become sick or wounded; and fur farmers kill them by breaking their necks while they are fully conscious or by using anal or genital electrocution. – No federal humane slaughter law protects animals on fur factory farms, and killing methods are gruesome. Because fur farmers care only about preserving the quality of the fur, they use slaughter methods that keep the pelts intact but which can result in extreme suffering for the animals. Small animals may be crammed into boxes and poisoned with hot, unfiltered engine exhaust from a truck. Engine exhaust is not always lethal, and some animals wake up while being skinned. Larger animals have clamps or a rod applied to their mouths while rods are inserted into their anuses, and they are painfully electrocuted. Other animals are poisoned with strychnine, which suffocates them by paralyzing their muscles in painful rigid cramps. Gassing, decompression chambers, and neck-snapping are other common fur-farm slaughter methodsFur isn’t good for the earth, either! – Contrary to fur-industry propaganda, fur production destroys the environment. The energy needed to produce a real fur coat from ranch-raised animal skins is approximately 20 times that needed for a fake fur. Nor does fur biodegrade, thanks to the chemical treatment applied to stop the fur from rotting. The process of using these chemicals is also dangerous as it can cause water contamination.Please try to be mindful when choosing what to wear; it really could mean life or death. If you already have a fur coat and are having second thoughts about supporting such a mindless and cruel industry, PETA will accept your donation of any fur coats to at least keep warm the homeless and those who can’t afford decent winter clothing. You can clean your closet and conscience!Ellie GuttmanDenver

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