Macy's Fur Demonstration December 2006

Macy's Fur Demonstration December 2006

Friends of Animals, an international environmental and animal rights organization, is calling for the immediate end of the fur industry.

Friends of Animals is displeased with the half-measures and platitudes recently expressed by several animal-advocacy organizations in The Independent.

Statements Friends of Animals found objectionable included RSPCA spokesperson Robyn Kippenberger’s eagerness to “support the killing of possums for their fur” when “produced by humane methods.”

This half-hearted opposition to the fur industry is nothing new. Friends of Animals noted that a 2004 letter from Mary Beth Sweetland of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on the topic of a chinchilla farm in the United States, argues that the farm should use better methods of killing chinchillas.

While the fur industry is reinventing itself with terms like "eco-fur" animal advocacy organizations would do well to give up their shallow focus on industry husbandry standards, says Friends of Animals.

The rights group also doubts that the fur industry can be addressed by targeting pop icons such as Madonna and Kate Moss. Friends of Animals will continue campaigning to end state-sanctioned schemes targeting wolves in Alaska and seals in Newfoundland as part of a movement to respect the interests of nonhumans to live on their own terms.

Daniel Hammer, speaking for Friends of Animals, says this respect requires ending both captive-breeding of animals for their fur and the control of free-living groups. "As other animals' natural lands continue to shrink," said Hammer, "Animal advocates have no time to waste on cheeky stunts or on husbandry reforms."

This autumn and winter, Friends of Animals’ full-page anti-fur advertisements appear in various publications, including as The Progressive, a leading voice for peace and social justice since 1909, and also in Shape, the number-one selling active lifestyle magazine for women in the United States with a readership of 5 million.

"Humanity can and should outgrow the obsession with proving we can dominate other animals," Hammer said. "The sale of fur, for everything from boots to coat trimmings, is a particularly obvious and showy sign of this fixation. No matter what methods or practices are employed in the production of fur, or what animals are being skinned, we call for the outright end of this practice."