Mickey Z. -- World News Trust
Oct. 6, 2016
Yet another fur season is upon us and you know what that means. Yep, your local animal whites crowd has commenced yet another round of anti-fur virtue signaling.
As I peruse the social media posts of NYC animal “activists,” I suppose I should be flattered to see some of my “protest” photo style has caught on, but let’s be real: It’s the same signs, same chants, same locations, same permits, same “leaders,” and same sheer lack of results.
As Einstein may or may not have once said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Speaking of insanity, one animal whites “activist” has raised more than $15,000 to waste on “anti-fur” billboards in NYC!
In attempt to make some sense of all this, I’ll aim to answer three questions:
What’s wrong with fur?
Since so much has been documented about the fur industry, I'll stick to the odious basics. There are two methods of slaughtering fur-bearing creatures. Millions of them (usually minks, foxes, chinchillas, and raccoons) are raised on so-called “fur farms” where they are imprisoned in cages often as small as 2.5 square feet for four animals. Since no federal law protects the animals on these farms, the conditions are predictably horrifying. The animals display the behavior of any creature under incredible duress: pacing, climbing, self-mutilating, cannibalism.
After a life of misery, death does not come swiftly. The preferred method of execution is anal or genital electrocution. Yes, the animals are literally burned from the inside out... to prevent damage to the coat, of course. Alternate fur farm approaches include suffocation or neck-breaking however, this often results in the animals only being stunned and therefore skinned alive.
Not all animals can be raised and confined in cages. Raccoons and foxes, for example, are trapped in the wild. This practice often involves the excruciating pain of steel-jaw leghold traps. Not surprisingly, such traps snare many unintentional victims like dogs, cats, and birds. These creatures are designated as "trash kills" because they lack the one characteristic that keeps the entire system alive: economic value.
Final irony: More than half the fur in the pet-loving United States comes from China where it’s often deliberately mislabeled and may come from a dog or cat.
Why focus so much on fur?
Obviously, it’s a cruel industry which manufactures products that are virtually unnecessary in developed countries. But why is so much angry white male vitriol allocated to this particular cause? Why, for example, does another form of animal-derived clothing go virtually ignored by these “activists?”
Global fur industry profits are estimated to be roughly $36 billion. However, the international leather trade is forecast to hit reach $91.2 billion in sales by 2018.
I’ve photographed innumerable anti-fur “protests” and witnessed “activists” openly screaming at female passersby who dared to wear anything from a full-length fur coat to gloves with trim that looks like it might be/could be/perhaps be made from real fur. “Shame! Shame!” they howl with rage. “One ugly woman, 50 dead animals!” they loudly taunt and snicker.
Practically every single person on the street is wearing some form of leather but not a word is spoken. Twenty brawny men in motorcycle jackets could parade past the “protest” for an hour but the animal whites crowd would be too diligently looking for “fur hags” to notice. Why’s that? Do you really need to ask? Would you really be shocked to discover that the cowardly plant-eating hive mind (like everything else) is infested with misogyny?
Animal whites “activists” also know that leather has remained immune from the stigma of fur. So they can play it safe and allow leather to continue being marketed as discrete from the slaughterhouse that often makes it possible. Their silence enables their own misogyny while doing nothing to challenge leather’s enviable and profitable reputation for being "cool."
Fonzie wore leather. Brando wore leather. The Ramones wore leather. What could possibly be un-cool about leather? Well, here are five ways leather is most definitely un-cool (yet conspicuously ignored by the male-dominated animal whites crowd):
Does all this protest/billboards/fundraising create change?
To help answer that question, I got this info directly from a popular animal whites website:
“Activism” = virtue signaling
Last year, I decided to cleanse my voluminous iPhoto files of its “activism”-dominated vibe, trashing almost 11,000 images. I can’t even calculate the number of redundant photos from fur demos I encountered and deleted during this process, never mind how many hours I’ve spent at this computer carefully editing, posting, and sharing those images widely in a desperate attempt to feel relevant.
Countless weekends from October to March each year, I donned multiple layers of clothing, along with toe and hand warmers, to “brave” the increasingly harsh winter weather with my two cameras -- somehow convincing myself I was making a difference. Hearts and minds, and all that.
What did I (and those with me) actually accomplish as we stood out there each week, righteously chanting in the subzero weather, amidst the piles of snow? Did it serve our egos or “the cause?” Did it provide further evidence for the general public to justifiably believe that many animal “activists” are out-of-touch zealots? Was it mostly an opportunity to impress like-minded people on social media with our #warrior and #ForTheAnimals hashtags? (By the way, yes, I have tried to convince myself that we were building much-needed “activist solidarity” -- even friendship -- but I know better now than to harbor such fantasies.)
Do I still believe fur farms must be shuttered and rendered a barbaric relic of the past? Absolutely. Of course I do. Do I know how to make this happen? Nope. But I certainly know, firsthand, how not to make it happen.
Mickey Z. is currently writing two books, a memoir called How to Lose Friends & Influence Nobody: My Life as an “Activist,” and a novel entitled stain red. In the meantime, he can be found here.