Sunday, 16 December 2007

Fur Trade discussion

I was reading through some friends journals and this one caught my interest. So I responded - one reply to my comment was cool and I could respond quite happily. The other was a bit trollish for my liking, but I responded anyway. I shall put all up for you to peruse.

Original Journal Post:

Animal Furs
I'm not usually one for peta, because a lot of the stuff peta says and does contradict themselves, and overall the woman who runs peta seems like a moron, however, after seeing this video I was slightly shocked. I wanted to show some people so they could, in turn, show more people, because even if I don't like peta, I also abhor people who wear fur. Whether that be mink, fox, rabbit, or whatever... but take a look at these links if you have the stomach for it, and show anyone you know who wears furs. It's absolutely unacceptable in my eyes. I don't see how anyone can think it's morally acceptable.····rent_fur····skins062

My Response:

hrmph niether viedo worked for me and I don't have sound on my computer anyway, so bah.

Generally, wearing fur doesn't bother me in the slightest. Maybe people will hate me for saying it, but then, that also doesn't bother me.

I am an animal lover, I have pets and have always had pets. I don't like to see animals tortured or mistreated. The cat I have atm is in fact a rescue - she was on the streets and we took her in.

But the simple fact of the matter is, humans have always used and will always use fur. It's a fact of life. Perhaps the treatment of animals raised for fur needs revising, but it shouldn't be stopped just because some people don't like the idea of it.

In the wider sense, getting rid of the fur trade is impractical - how many jobs would be lost? How many more hungry people would there be? And how many of these animals would simply be culled and not used in any way?

I worry far more about human abuses than animal abuses, because to me, an animal is an animal, whether it has a personality or not. If I saw a half starved animal next to a half starved person, I'd rescue the person. It's really that simple to me.

And I hate PETA.

Original Poster's Response and my reply:

You'd think differently if you could see the videos, especially since you have pets. I do think that people depend on animals for food and such, and that's all well and good, the use of an animal's hide that is killed to be eaten is understandable and probably a good thing. As for people always wearing fur, the end may be closer than you think. The fur market is dying a horrid death because people are actually being educated about what happens on those fur farms and their sales are plummeting drastically. Getting rid of the fur trade is getting closer to becoming a reality because people are being granted the best weapon of all, that is education.

I sometimes have less sympathy for people, because often times people put themselves in bad situations then don't do anything to help themselves get out. I think most people people are capable of taking care of themselves, with a few exceptions like crippled or orphans, but so many animals suffer directly as a result of humans carelessness and cruelty, and it's not their fault and they didn't do anything to put them selfs in our path, but we are a cruel, selfish breed but they're the ones who suffer for it, And I don't just mean furs in this scenario, because deforestation, poaching, and pollution have impacted them and pushed so many to the brink. We're only killing ourselves by harming the environment.

Me: I've seen plenty such videos and watched plenty of documentaries on the subject, but I still feel the same way. If there is a viable way to end it, then I'm all for it - but until then, I don't care enough about the subject to get more than mildly alarmed.

If the fur trade is slowly falling out of favor and business, then I suppose it will one day vanish alltogether. But again, it doesn't bother me. So long as I still have my leather and suade (ostensibly taken from the skins of dairy and beef cattle, as well as deer) then I shan't mind too much.

As for people, I agree, in a lot of cases, people should work thier own way out of thier problems (for instance, I don't give money to non-UK charities, because I favor the plight of my own countrymen over that of people who choose to live in inhospitable areas, or to countries run by governments that basically refuse to do anything to help themselves.)

If I have money to spare, it goes to children's charities or dometic abuse, aids/cancer research and so on - animal charities are always on the bottom of my list.

I agree that as a race, Humanity has a lot to answer for - particularly in the 'abuse of habitat' respect (I think it has been proven that since the rise of humanity, more animal species have become extinct, than at any other time previous to our existence). But again, this is something that is being dealt with - if slowly.

And again, while the loss of hundreds of animal species a year is not a nice concept, it is sill secondary in my mind to the preservation of my own species.

Second persons response and my replies:

That's a very cruel way of thinking.

Me: Perhaps, but it's also practical and realistic, rather than fanciful and idealistic

Her: Well, if you think, we humans are animals ourselves, and we are the worst of all. you clearly didn't watch the video, ans neither did I, but I suppose it's similar to those one in YouTube (go ans type in: Skins) and it really disgusted me. If you watch that and don't feel anything, you don't have any emotions at all.

Because of people like you, world is the way it is. Sorry to say it that way.

Me: Yes, we are indeed animals. Our genetic cousins are the Great Apes - as I'm sure you know. We are closest genetically to the Chimpanzee's, and closest in societal arrangement to the Bonobo's (we can see such similarities as murder, sexual proclivity and xenophobia in the Bonobo.)

We may be considered by some to be 'the worst' - but most who claim this argument forget their research. Humans may destroy habitats, murder and commit genocide - but animals are often guilty of the same things, though on a lesser scale.

Chimpanzee 'tribes' are known to go to war with other 'tribes', cats kill for pleasure, as do crocodiles; lions and babboons are two examples of mammals that commit infanticide on a frequent basis, bottle-nose dolphins are widely known to kill for fun - often killing infant dolphins or beating popoises to death, killer wales have been recorded following/hunting blue wale females with their young, tiring them out then killing, but not eating them; and of course, spiders - some female spiders eat the males (though in this case it can be argued that they are restoring their strength after copulation.) The list could go on.

I did say in my first post that I could not watch the videos - something to do with my OS and not having sound enabled anyway. But I did watch a couple of similar videos on youtube, and I have seen many previously, as well as watching many a documentary on the subject.

I find that most videos put out by PETA are biased and/or staged - so I tend to steer clear of them anyway.

I take offense at being told 'If you watch that and don't feel anything, you don't have any emotions at all.' This could be construed as an attack, but I shall overlook it. I take far more offense at being told 'Because of people like you, world is the way it is.'

As I say, I have seen various videos pertaining to animal abuses, yes they are oftentimes shocking, yes they sometimes show distressing images, but you must keep in mind that they do not show the entire fur-trade, only isolated incidents, often shown out of context or exagerated.

And I still feel the same way. I still feel far more for human victims. I would still rescue a human over an animal, in any and all circumstances. If choosing to save a human victim of abuse or attrocity, over an animal victim, makes me 'emotionless' or 'the reason the world is the way it is' (would you clarify exactly what you mean by this?) - then fine, I am willing to accept that.

If you would like to continue this discussion, out of respect for the fact that this is someone elses journal - please PM me with your response.


It's an interesting discussion, and I'm sure my views are probably not well liked by most - but the second poster kind of annoyed me with her sweeping generalisation and personal attack. I hope both posters get back to me, I enjoy such discussions.

And if anyone else wants to contribute - go ahead.


Edit for more responses:

New poster: You make it sound like as if there aren't billions of people on the world, and we're just as fragile as the "animals" you seem to care so less about in comparison to humans. The only danger our species faces is itself. To quote Spider-man (Yes, that's where it comes from.): With great power comes great responsibility. We have power over everything except natural extremes, and as such, we should control our actions and avoid harming others, including things that may not necessarily be human.

Me: I'm not entirely sure what you mean by your first sentence.

I already agreed that Humans are very destructive, that we are killing off more animal species now than ever - but I also agreed that things are being done about it. All to the good.

If you're talking about global warming and such, well, I take that with a pinch of salt. Certainly we aren't helping the planet any with our constant use of fossil fuels and deforestation. But we aren't doing nearly as much damage as 'they' like us to believe. We are already learning how to make new fuels and the industries that 'deforest' are also already being made to replant. Things are being done in every sector to make up for the damage already caused - mainly by people in the past who didn't yet understand what they were doing.

Certainly 'with great power comes great responsibility' (yes, funnily enough, I've been a fan of Spiderman for more years than the films have been around) and certainly we hold a lot of power in the palms of our hands. But you have to look at it from both sides. I never said we shouldn't help animals, and I never said we should deliberately harm them.

All I was saying was that animals register fairly low on my list of important things to look after - they are still on the list, you may note. Humans first, animals second. That certainly doesn't mean I'd deliberately allow an animal to come to harm or death. It just means that given the choice, I'd save the human.

When it comes to controlling our actions so as not to harm others '[i]including things that may not necessarily be human[/i]' - I think I already agreed to that as well. If not, I will do so now. Humans are capable of great destruction, this is a given, and we are powerful enough to notice what we are doing and change it. As has been said, this is already being done.

But this still doesn't change the fact that animals come second. There are far too many human atrocities going on in the world at the moment; wars, droughts, intolerance, abuse, murder and so on - that we need to sort out first. Until the human atrocities are sorted, animal atrocities will neccessarily take second place. If we can't sort out our internal problems, how are we going to band together enough to sort out our external ones?

When it comes to the fur industry - if we stop it, right this second, just what exactly are we going to do with all those animals?

We can't release them anywhere, because their sheer numbers would harm the eco-system (case in point, animal activists released mink kept for fur and those mink ravaged the countryside they were released into - it took years for the eco-system to return to normal, and only after most of the mink were hunted and killed.)

We can't keep them, because who has the time, space and money to look after that many animals for as long as their natural life-span? The creatures would have to be culled - and then what? If we're not using the skins for fur - what are they going to do with the bodies? Perhaps grinding them down and selling them as food for other animals may work. But even then, the pelts would simply be thrown away/burned - contributing somewhat to the 'global warming' everyone is so worried about.

As well as that - what about all the jobs closing the industry like that would lose? Hundreds upon thousands of people would suddenly be jobless. And most of them in areas and countries where a job means life. Creating more problems for humans.

I may be percieved as being fairly calous in my views, but whatever way you look at it, there are going to be problems.

1 comment:

Z. said...

It bothers me a bit when people react to pointedly inflammatory media with rabid 'ALL OR NOTHING' ideals. Really I believe the issue is less 'FUR IS MURDER' and more 'certain people/companies approach this in an inhumane way.'

It's animal abuse that I have the problem with, not the fur industry in and of itself. Still there will always be the 'tards who are unable to differentiate the two. I don't believe 'fur industry' and 'animal abuse' have to be synonymous although I do admit on occasion, there can be and are exceptions to that.