The Fur Flies

After last week’s column on why I am going back to wearing fur again, I received a ton of e-mail. Some could best be described as toxic waste: I was scolded, lectured, preached to and called names.

I also heard from many others who are tired of being intimidated by the radical animal-rights movement. They, too, have decided to wear fur again and want to know where to go to enlist in the war against these extremists.

First, I would like to address those of you who are pure vegans, who believe that killing any animal or using any product from animals is always wrong. These are sincerely held beliefs of a tiny minority of our citizens (less than a fraction of 1 percent).

I can respect that as long as you are consistent, obey the law, don’t trash research centers, burn down buildings you see as a threat to habitat, spike trees, intimidate fur wearers or distort information in order to win people to your cause.

Unfortunately, many in the animal-rights movement do these things. In fact, Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, often acts as a mouthpiece for the terrorist group, Animal Liberation Front, promoting its underground activities and supporting the legal defense of its criminals with PETA money.

If ALF and PETA aren’t conjoined twins, they are kissing cousins. Consider the words of PETA spokesman Bruce Friedrich delivered on July 3, 2001, at an animal-rights conference in Washington, D.C.:

If these animals do have the same right to be free from pain and suffering at our hands, then, of course we’re going to be, as a movement, blowing stuff up and smashing windows.

Then, this — don’t arrest me — disclaimer:

For the record, I don’t do this stuff but I do advocate it. It’s a great way to bring about animal liberation.

PETA also puts out a lot of misleading or bogus information, which has caused many people, who have no qualms about downing a hamburger, to be squeamish about wearing fur. PETA has released a gruesome film of a facility in Illinois that was producing animal scent for use by animal biologists and others. This edited film showed extreme acts of cruelty to foxes.

The Illinois Bureau of Animal Welfare jumped in and levied fines and penalties. The investigation clearly showed that this operation was not part of the fur industry, but PETA continues to exploit the film around the world, misrepresenting its source and using it to smear responsible fur farmers.

This incident also undermines PETA’s assertion that regulation is “lacking.” In fact, fur farms are not only regulated by state governments — just like the farms that raise animals for food and fiber — the Fur Commission operates under strict guidelines established with the guidance of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Nevertheless, I heard from people who believe that these farms kill their animals in the most inhumane ways. Some repeated an urban legend that the tongues of fur animals are cut out and they are left to bleed to death. Now, I ask you, why would even the most hard-hearted person risk losing a finger by doing something like that?

You simply cannot trust PETA as an accurate source of information. After all, here is an organization that distorts passages in the Bible to imply that Jesus was a vegetarian, preying on unsuspecting Christians with a limited knowledge of Scripture. Is nothing sacred?

God, Himself, made garments of skin to clothe Adam and Eve after they were capable of knowing good from evil. Also, Jesus, on at least two occasions, fed the multitudes that followed Him with bread and fish.

If you are curious about fur farms, visit one online at the Fur Commission website.

Unfortunately, not even PETA practices what it preaches. Brian Tubbs, writing for Organization Trends, reports “According to Virginia state statistics, PETA euthanized 1,325 of the 2,103 animals it took in during 1999.”

Far too many people have given up wearing fur because of misinformation or outright fear and intimidation. This has served to empower the radial animal-rights crowd. Can we be surprised that PETA is now shaking down corporations and intimidating schools that have students dissecting frogs and clams in science labs?

Where can you go to fight this nonsense?

This winter, make a statement by coming out of the closet — with your fur! Also, legislation promoted by the bipartisan American Legislative Exchange Council that creates stiff penalties for persons encouraging, financing, assisting or engaging in acts of animal and ecological terrorism.

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