Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Bambi Cult is on the Prowl Again

I was searching for something else and I found this short news article on the campaign by Fur-Bearer Defenders at 24 Hours instead. 24 Hours is one of those small tabloid giveaways papers that have been plaguing Toronto streets and subway stations in recent years.
But the Vancouver-based Fur-Bearer Defenders want you to know that while you think you’re sporting fox or mink, there’s a chance it could actually be cat or dog.

More than two million cats and dogs are killed each year in China, the Philippines and Thailand for the fur trade, and because Canadian law doesn’t require proper labelling, buyers have no way of knowing what they’re getting, said Aimee Johnson of Fur-Bearer Defenders. And with the U.S. implementing a full ban on trading dog and cat fur and a 25- country ban under consideration in the EU, Canada is falling behind and putting millions of animals at risk.

“All these other markets are closing their doors, yet Canada does nothing, which makes it a target market,” Johnson said. “It’s been admitted by the Canadian government that cat and dog fur is perfectly legal in Canada, and there are no plans right now to stop the trade.”

I think this is hysterically funny. I realize that its’ taken as common wisdom that there is a sucker born every minute but quite honestly I cannot imagine a furrier in Canada that would be able to pull off passing a cat or a dog fur coat for sale as a mink or a fox in North America. You might - just might, be able to pull off a dog fur for a coyote but never as a mink. Maybe you could pull a switcheroo on a customer buying a fur coat in the Philippines or Thailand but why would anyone want a fur coat there in the first place? It’s seems all just too daft for me.

One of the reasons that wild fur coats are so costly to make is that you can trap 1,000 minks in the wild and never have enough pelts to make one single coat whose skins match up decently. This is the primary reason that almost all mink coats sold today come from farm bred minks.

It’s highly probably that a certain amount of fur trim and/or accessories from winter coats made in China or the Philippines are using cat or dog fur and that would explain how a $99.99 winter parka made in Philippines at Old Navy can afford to have coyote trim around the hood though I can stand behind truth in sales. If you wanted a coyote trimmed collar and bought the coat thinking it was coyote and it is actually dog fur; you have the right to have your money back but other than that - so what if it is?

Let’s not be Disneyland specists just because you live with a Whiskers or run with Rover. If animals are used for food and their skins are used to keep you warm what’s the real issue with using cats or dogs for fur or even food? It’s certainly more environmentally sound to use their skins for warmth than buying a synthetic coat that won’t keep you warm and takes darn near eternity to breakdown at the landfill. And don’t even get me started on the alleged virtues of tofu or soya as a meat substitute. I may choose not to eat dog or cat but there is no way a vegetarian diet can replace beef, venison or even fish at my table.

My take on dogs and cats is that they serve a useful purpose in my home that is worth more than the current price I could get for their skins. My dog has kept me safe and Rogue the family cat is a mouser of renowned virtue, and furthermore, his mousing in this old townhouse has put him off canned food and saved me money in bargain.

Nobody is going to go sneaking around to steal your little Snowy or Spot in the dead of night. Truth be told, I can think of a few husbands who would be more than thrilled to think they can sell off the wife’s cat and get a few dollars back after all the aggravation the little purr monster put them through.

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