The other side of fur

Regarding Xpress’ article “Fur and Against” (Dec. 12, 2007), I would like to help expose the violent brutality of the fur industry. Whether a store markets fur coats or fur-trimmed garments, all fur represents needless animal mistreatment. An ethical company must draw the line at endorsing a product derived from extreme animal abuse. In a compassionate, enlightened society, there is simply no excuse for supporting egregious acts of cruelty.

Animals on fur farms do not receive even minimal protections.  As the Humane Society of the United States reveals on their website (, the handling and killing of cage-raised fur-bearing animals is not regulated by any laws in the U.S., so the gruesome bottom line is that cost-effectiveness cancels out any hope of these creatures being killed humanely. Consequently, they do not receive even minimal protections. Many ranch-raised animals are anally or vaginally electrocuted. A metal conductor is lodged in the animal’s throat and an electric prod is shoved inside the rectum in order to transmit a 240-volt electrical shock. The conscious animal convulses for two or more minutes before he or she succumbs to the force of a massive heart attack.

To minimize expenses, other animals crudely have their necks broken, are injected with strychnine or asphyxiated with carbon monoxide from unfiltered engine exhaust. Animals farmed for their fur live as horribly as they die, confined in cramped, dingy, waste-soaked cages where many suffer or perish from dehydration, starvation, disease or self-mutilation.

Wild-caught animals are mutilated in steel-jaw leg-hold traps. Some chew off their own limbs to escape the pain. Others—on the trap line without water or food, sometimes for days—twitch helplessly until the trapper returns to crush, shoot, suffocate or drown them. Two to 10 times as many nontarget animals (dogs, cats, deer, birds, livestock) are caught in the traps.

Please, consumers, don’t support such barbaric and senseless acts of heinous cruelty to animals: Don’t buy fur or fur-trimmed items. And see for yourself the hidden truth of the bloodthirsty fur industry by checking out undercover video at

— Kayla Worden
Western N.C. Regional Coordinator
Mercy For Animals

About Webmaster
Mountain Xpress Webmaster Follow me @MXWebTeam

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

21 thoughts on “The other side of fur

  1. Nam Vet

    Bless you Karla for highlighting this “elephant in the parlor” situation of mainstream society being on board for killing animals, then eating their dead body parts and using their skin and fur for a garment. It is so neanderthal. Ken Hanke, this is the proper use of the word “neanderthal”. :)

  2. travelah

    I actually like my leather boots, shoes and belts. I suspect I am going to continue having animals slaughtered so I can continue to walk like a CroMagnon. If the anti-progressives continue with their false greening issues, we will all have to figure out how to work with animal hides or leather because we will have been pounded back to the 19th century.

  3. AshaKasha

    Who the hell still wears fur?

    With so many fabulous fauxs and synthetics out there, with much smaller price tags, who has any excuse to support this kind of ghastly cruelty?

  4. travelah

    Synthetics are carbon based and rely on refinery by-products so the Green Police will be after you for that as well.

  5. Nam Vet

    Travelah, believe it or not, there are good alternatives to leather, concerning belts and shoes. Just because wearing leather (cow skin) products has been a tradition, doesn’t mean you cannot challenge yourself to trying something else. I wear canvas shoes. They look good and they are comfortable. In the summer, tevas. Belts? Military surplus web-cloth with brass buckles. Travelah, visit a slaughterhouse sometime, or a butcher’s backroom. Or find a farm out in Madison County and go sometime when they are having a “hog killin”. You just may change your mind about the food animal/apparel animal business. It is cruel and unnecessary.

  6. Might I suggest, no more books as book bindings are made with glue made from animal protein. (protein is obtained from animal skins, bones and hides which are boiled (usually over a very long period of time) the resulting mixture is then amalgamated with various solvents and water to provide glue.) Over recent years, scientific technology has enabled animal free glue to be made, but this is not available on a widespread basis and is still quite rare.

    The new plywoods and oriented strand board (OSB) boards we use to build greener are also made with glues which in turn are made from animals.

    Here are a few more items made from animals:
    Plastic combs: Several fatty acids from animals are key ingredients in plastic. Think of all the things that are made of plastic!

    Toothpaste and brushes: Cows provide a substance called glycerine that helps to fight dental plaque. It’s used in toothpaste and mouthwash. And that toothbrush is mostly plastic!

    Heart valves: Since 1971, tens of thousands of pig heart valves have been used to replace weak or diseased human heart valves.

    Buttons: Slices of bones and horns from animals have been used for centuries to make strong, decorative buttons.

    Ice cream: Gelatin, a protein in animal bones and skin, is used in ice cream to keep its shape and texture. You’ll also find it in some yogurt, chewing gum and marshmallows.

    Leather shoes: Animal hides are used to make shoes, belts, coats, handbags, furniture and sports equipment. What’s another name for “football”?

    After meat- drugs and medicines are the major products that come from beef and pork. Hogs alone provide 40 important drugs. Look around your house: soap, paint, detergent, cosmetics, wallpaper, glass and plastics — all are made from animals. We even use animal by-products in our cars: in tires, seat coverings, antifreeze and oil.

    Sometimes I wonder if it is really the death of an animal that so bothers folks or that we just simply judge others for wearing fur.

  7. Nam Vet

    Nancy, all the products you mention can be replaced with non-cruelty items. All. And I would rather have carbon products that do not involve the killing of animals. Anytime. Nothing is perfect, but we can at the least try to do the right thing. Raising warm-blooded animal for food and jackets and belts and footwear is just plain neanderthal and unnecessary. Humans have the ability to rise above…let’s do it!

  8. dickyfauge

    Travelah and nancy fancy, there is a lot of difference between using animal products for medicine, industry, food and wearing fur! Fur is a luxury item, its not a heart valve you silly twits. Stop being silly and picking fights. Just because you are a fascist is no reason to pick on persons of conscience. In other words, stop mincing around and tell folks what you really believe!!! We realize you hate homosexuals, liberals, intellectuals ,blacks,mexicans, and anyone you think is smarter than you. So crank up the ovens and get out the gas canisters! And nancy, your husband looks like that character (dewy) in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.

  9. AshaKasha

    Nancy- you answered my question. Now let me ask another:

    What the hell is wrong with you?

  10. Nam Vet

    Dicky, you are the one spewing hate here. You owe Mrs Nesbitt an apology. We can all argue our points of view without resorting to hateful name calling.

    Asheville, think about it the next time you buy dead cowskin products, or “meat” at the store. And wearing “fur” is a kin to wearing a “scalp”, harvested by an 18th century British Red Coat bent on running the Native Americans from this new frontier.

  11. Johnny

    Nam Vet, I fail to understand the hot and cold of your arguments. There’s talk of love and smiles in one post and then all kinds of name calling in the next. You do no credit to your opinions that way.

    Oh, and for the record, a lot of our leather goods come from dairy cows — millions of them slaughtered in India each year. Cheers.

  12. Hopefully

    How chivalrous of you namvet. I wonder why you never defend me when travelah is hatin on me? By the way, if my name was dick fag i would be spewing mad too.

  13. Nam Vet

    Johnny, India has 2 primary groups. Hindus, who respect cows and are strict lacto-vegetarians. The other primary group are Muslims. Muslims are BIG meat eaters. They are the ones who murder the cows for food and apparel, etc. As far as me “being hot and cold”, LOL, I’d be a pretty boring,and phony, person if I was always either smiley faced or serious faced. Nobody is.

    The killing of animals or our eating pleasure,and apparel choices, is plain neanderthal barbarism.

  14. AshaKasha

    “The killing of animals or our eating pleasure,and apparel choices, is plain neanderthal barbarism.”

    Phew, NamVet- I’m glad you said this…I was fixin’ to go on a hatin’ streak, myself.

    I did find the defense of Nancy a bit odd, mostly because I didn’t feel she was really “arguing a point of view”- but really trying to defend and rationalize the fact that she’s clearly still clinging desperately to a gawdy fur coat.

  15. travelah

    There’s room for all of God’s creatures right between the veggies and the baked potato – on a teeshirt somewhere.

  16. Hopefully

    Why are you so mean travelah? I like meat too, in fact there’s not much better than licking on a juicy barbecued carolina split-tail, but there’s no reason to make the vegans feel bad about their choice. You’re gonna make your buddy namvet angry. But seriously now, fur for decorative purposes seems unnecessary and wasteful.

  17. Nam Vet

    There’s room for all God’s creatures to live together in harmony without being hunted and killed for the taste buds of some who are not programed by nature to be carnivores. Yes, the T-shirt pic just could be happy animals coming down the plank all smiley. With a human eating a carrot, looking on. :)

  18. AshaKasha


    Thanks for coming to our defense. I must say, I think “unnecessary” and “wasteful” are pretty severe understatements. These animals are anally or vaginally electrocuted. Beavers can take days to drown to death in their dens. Many creatures are killed in traps (and may starve to death or be attacked by predators while trapped). All this so that snobby assholes who can’t think of anything better to do with their excess wealth can look ridiculous in a giant, unflattering fur coat.

    Just want to keep in perspective, ya know.

  19. Hopefully

    OK, EXTREMELY Unnecessary, and Criminally Wasteful. Personally, I think we should eat the rich.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.