Tuesday, March 10, 2015

For love of all things furry and beautiful


I am one of those weird exceptions who usually enjoys riding the subways ... even in NY. Fascinated by the idiosyncrasies of other passengers, astounded by the talent of the subway performers, not even the pervasive smell of damp, urine and a frequent sardine-like sensation can get me down.

But come the winter, the smile more frequently turns to a frown, there's a drumming in my ears and a cacophony of angry thoughts and pain. Its not the freezing cold, the wind, the damp tunnels or the icy stairs that does it, but something far more primal.... the re-emergence of fur - not on a cuddly dog in a sweater and rubber socks with its leash all tangled up with its owners feet, or a cat curled up in the corner of its carrier shooting warning glances at the big clumsy two legged beings around her - but fur ripped off the bodies of its owners to create coats, stoles, hats... whatever. 

Those are the times I fervently wish that we didn't live in such a so-called "civilized" world, where honesty often gets you a punch in the nose or spit in your face (is that just a NY thing?), or I would walk up to the person wearing it, bite my tongue and ask them "politely" if they knew it was made at the cost of several innocent animals, bludgeoned till immobile, often skinned alive, left to die bleeding slowly like nothing more than trash.

There is information all over the internet detailing these unconscionable rituals of cruelty, in fact I received an update last week about the harp seal hunt coming up shortly in Canada - an annual ritual where "Every year, when the time is "right"....a few hundred to a few thousand Canadian fishermen find their way to the floes and proceed to club, bludgeon, shoot, and skin tens to hundreds of thousands of harp seals. About 95% of the seals killed in the commercial seal 'hunt' are 3 weeks to 3 months old. See more at: http://www.harpseals.org/about_the_hunt/index.php#sthash.s5RQTsWI.dpuf".  

Babies that have barely even lived, killed to adorn the body of a human.

And the stories go on... the PETA site and the Humane Society are peppered with stories about fur farms in China, and multiple gruesome videos of mass killing of foxes, muskrats, beavers and more ... all to feed the ever growing market for furs. 

However, beyond the inhumanity of the acts itself, this practice has more far-reaching consequences. The seemingly insatiable demand for these skins is leading to a steady dwindling of many of these species in the wild, or the introduction of non-indigenous species into "farms" which leads down two equally undesirable paths - the continued extinction of many beautiful and unique creature from this planet, or the increasing instability in the earth's natural ecosystem.
Given all these consequences, what rationale could justify the purchase of or the wearing of a fur? For warmth? fashion? ....when there are so many great man-made options out there that are cruelty free, comfy and stylish, not to forget good old layering up. And really can any fashion trend justify being complicit in death and destruction of this magnitude? 
But I'd like to believe that a big part of it is just sheer ignorance or thoughtlessness. We need to start more conversations and get the message out more widely. I'm starting with this post, but I'm going to find more active ways to get involved and if you're a like-minded soul, PETA has some great suggestions on getting involved in the cause and info on talking to people about fur http://www.peta.org/action/say-someone-wearing-fur-video

Let’s act now, before we lose more and more of our humanity, and in doing so destroy so much that is unique and beautiful about this planet.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, so articulate, heartfelt and poignant. Amazing, Pallavi - and thank you for making us look in the mirror at our choices!