Human beings were given a special blessing.

Consciousness.

It gives us the ability to remember the past, apply it to the future, to understand subtleties, danger, love, theories, hypothetical situations and so much more.

We should be proud of this gift that we were given and protect those around us who are not able to protect themselves. A society should pride itself on being humane, caring and not only Darwinian in nature.

Yet, here we are in an age where everything can be seen openly on the internet and through other media networks and yet we continue to create allowances for the inhumane treatment of animals.

I am not one of those activists who runs out on the catwalk at a fur fashion show yelling and screaming like a lunatic. Besides the logistics, of course, to get a babysitter and a greatly discounted flight to Europe or the States, it is just not me. I could be mistaken but I feel that it does very little for the good of the animals or for public awareness. People look at these activists as just more crazies out there trying to right a wrong that, well quite frankly, they don’t even see as being all that wrong.

Other attempts to create awareness in the fur industry is through anti fur campaigns that include ads that are sexy and eye catching telling a model who is only wearing a fur coat and hooker boots that fur is wrong and she should take it off.

Other ads include people standing with a sign of a big red circle with a line through it with the word fur inside. That is a well known symbol of the anti fur rally. Some ads show bloody animals or live ones with quotes underneath trying to humanize and create compassion towards them. Others just want to create basic awareness, using pictures of the Muppets with the caption, “Fun fur is Muppet murder. Boycott fun fur now!”

The fur industry is an old one and was one of the first connections between the Native Americans and the newcomers from Europe many centuries ago. Native Americans living in cold conditions were used to hunting and trapping and using animals for warmth, clothing and for food. Animals and man have been intricately connected throughout the history of mankind and although the Natives used animals for survival and food there was a great respect shown to the animals, as well. The Native Americans did not see their rights as humans trumping those of the animals that were their prey.

Jewish law greatly advocates for compassion, caring and for the protection of animals. Animals are viewed as put on this earth, subservient to man, man having the right to use them for their own good and for survival going as far back as the time of Adam. Abuse of animals is considered to be Assur (restricted). The laws relating to the humane use and treatment of animals can be seen in a few different cases in the scriptures including the commandment of not cooking a calf in its mother’s milk as well as the commandment of sending the mother bird away from the nest before taking her eggs.

The industrialized fur industry, like most things in industrialization, puts greater value on money and production than on the more crucial social aspects of morals and justice which are effortlessly thrown by the wayside. Particularly with the huge demand for fur in the 80′s where people had lots of money and loved to flaunt it (the fur and the money) the fur industry wanted to make sure that they had enough fur supply to keep up with demand, something the simple furriers could not do on their own. It is evident in the fact that wild fur pelts only make up 15% of the total fur output in the industry today.

For those of you who are of the faint at heart, please skip this next paragraph and DO NOT watch this video. It is appalling and very hard to stomach. For me it is nothing new. I have known of this cruelty shown to animals for many years now. The fur industry today either farms animals or catches them from the wild (here in this video it is foxes and racoons) and keeps them in inhumane conditions until their torturous demise. Originally, furriers used to first kill an animal and then strip it’s fur. Today animals are injected with a probe in their mouth and anus and cruelly electrocuted, melting their insides and causing great pain to the animal. This killing method allows for the preservation of the outer fur, not damaging the animal’s coat or the piece of fur as a whole.

Let me just clarify, who I am and where I stand on this issue. I am not an expert in the world of fur. I am a blogger and my verbal diarrhea many times makes its way into a blog post when and where I have a whim. I like to incite dialogue, offer support and create awareness if I think it is necessary or sometimes just because I feel like it. As a single mom living in Israel, the choice to even buy fur will never be one I will confront since my life consists of choices more in the realm of: Should I pay my electricity bill or buy new shoes for my kids?

I DO wear leather shoes, tote leather bags and although I am mostly vegan, it is not because of my overwhelming love for animals, rather it is mostly due to my weak stomach just thinking about which part of the animal it is that I am eating (bluch….wave of nausea).

My fur vest in my Facebook profile picture is fake fur, also known as fun fur, since I would not buy fur today, and although I do own a leather coat (which I bought recently on my trip to Prague) my vintage fur coat was handed down to me from my mother, bought during the 70s from a Canadian furrier.

I won’t eat veal since I don’t see the need to cage a calf just so that the meat will be extra tender (come on people, who doesn’t have a set of chompers today!). Foie gras is a disgusting practice and although considering that most humans look like they themselves have been overstuffed, people may be confusing a humans free will to overeat to  the force feeding methods they use on the ducks.

My relationship with animals has been a choppy one. I have been chased, nipped and bitten once by a dog, thrown from a horse and had a crazy allergic reaction from my friend’s cat. I am scared to swim with the dolphins since I get this feeling that something I say or do will offend them and I will be the first humanoid to be attacked by fun loving dolphins.

And yet, I love animals and believe that we must protect them and care for them. It is our responsibility to show compassion and caring. A society is judged by how they treat those weaker than them and those who cannot protect themselves.

My beauty will not be achieved by draping myself in fur.

My beauty will be in removing it all.

I mean, since when are women meant to be furry?