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Cheers and Jeers

March 20, 2014 | Cheers and Jeers

We have a JEER today for the Animal Planet show “Call of the Wildman” which is yet again making headlines for its rampant abuse of wild animals, this time due to photographic evidence recently uncovered depicting the terrible treatment endured by a trapped coyote. 

According to Mother Jones, the coyote involved in this incident was illegally transported over state lines while sick and kept in cramped conditions for several days. The producers intended to stage an episode of the show and release the coyote in a shed and film the animal being captured “in the wild.” 

This offense comes on the heels of a seven-month long investigation of the show by Mother Jones, which showed multiple cases of death, abuse and injuries many different animal suffered during the filming of this horrific “reality”  tv show which follows “Turtleman” Ernie Brown, Jr. and his animal removal business. 

It is yet another example of animals enduring great levels of stress and abuse all in the name of entertainment, “education” and monetary gain. 

The only way to educate the public about wild animals is by encouraging them to observe and respect animals in their natural habitat and by advocating for peaceful coexistence between humans and wildlife instead of enforcing the notion that animals are something that need to be "handled" or "managed". We have recently started a blog with the purpose of encouraging peaceful coexistence with wildlife which you can check out right here. 



JEERS to the fur industry for its down and dirty ways of trying to claw its way back into the good graces of society. 

Twenty years ago, wearing a fur in Britain would have risked public censure and perhaps even having paint thrown on you, says the Daily Mail, which also reported this week that fur houses are seducing celebrities and budding designers with freebies and are even going as far as targeting children. 

For example, The British Fur Trade Association BFTA launched a web-based educational initiative named the Fur Trails in 2008. The BFTA claims its material “meets UK curriculum targets and is ideal for children aged 12 to 14,” and contains study packs, videos and teachers’ notes.

Saga Furs runs an annual competition for students at the London College of Fashion to design a garment with their wares. They provide free fur and the winners get a month-long internship. As a lot of students struggle to pay for material, this offer is tempting. A similar project called Remix is run by the International Fur Trade Federation.

In addition to coats, designers are also offering more accessories, trims and smaller fashion items including vests and sweaters. While their schemes show some signs of success—a 2013 YouGov poll found just 58 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds believed it was wrong to use fur compared to 77 percent of over-55s, and global fur sales increased 4 percent in 201 to $15.6 billion markets and increased designer use—all is not lost.

The fur industry can try and rebrand itself as good, fashionable and not cruel all it wants. Friends of Animals knows that’s not true and will continue its campaign, launched last year, to urge consumers to evolve beyond the Neanderthal mentality that the bloody fur industry is selling. This video link  shows just how barbaric wearing fur is.

Over the past decade U.S. fur sales have actually declined—in 2003 sales totaled $1.80 billion, in 2012 sales totaled $1.27 billion.  

There is truly no need for fur thanks to designers like  Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart of  Vaute Couture (shown left), who made history as the first all vegan label to show at New York Fashion Week last year with its first full ready-to-wear collection complete with fur-free winter coats. (You can read Hilgart’s story in the summer issue of Action Line.) Hilgart is adding a line of vegan sweaters and evening gowns so stay tuned.

Designers like Hilgart know there are luxurious alternatives to fur readily available that are actually warmer. They know there’s no way to justify slaughtering more than 50 million animals raised on fur farms around the world who are killed for their pelts annually in addition to the approximately 10 million animals trapped in the wild.

Trish Donnally, fashion editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, has reported that 60 minks are skinned to make one knee-length coat. If that’s not appalling enough, minks suffer neck breaking, or are stuffed into boxes pumped full of unfiltered engine exhaust, then skinned, and lynxes, foxes and chinchillas are often electrocuted. 

Not everyone can be fooled into thinking fur is suddenly the norm. British Vogue still has a no fur policy in its editorial content, stores like Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group, All Saints, Selfridges and H&M won’t stock fur and the London Nightclub Mahiki won’t let anyone in wearing fur. 

Like FoA, they know fur is a thing of the past.



Fur is tasteless and cruel.

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