"I've noticed that quite a lot of people who are prominent in the animal liberation movement are Jews. Maybe we are simply not prepared to see the powerful hurting the weak." --Peter Singer (Author, Animal Liberation)


It's a Shanda to Wear Fur

PETA just came out with new leaflets denouncing fur from a Jewish perspective, titled "It's a Shanda to Wear Fur." An accompanying Web feature similarly discusses how Jews are obliged to minimize unnecessary animal suffering (tsa'ar ba'alei chayim) and quotes Rabbi Halevi, the late Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv:

Why should people be allowed to kill animals if it is not necessary, simply because they desire the pleasure of having the beauty and warmth of fur coats? Is it not possible to achieve the same degree of warmth without fur?
It can take more than 100 animals to make just one fur coat. On fur farms, animals are typically killed by neckbreaking, gassing, and anal or vaginal electrocution--anything that won't damage their precious pelts. Fur-bearing animals are also trapped in the wild, where they lay in agonizingly painful traps, sometimes for days, and often try to chew off their own limbs in desperate attempts to escape. The world's leading fur exporter is China, where there is not a single animal protection law on the books and where animals are often skinned alive for their fur. As the Fufanus sing in this adorable cartoon, the animals "need [their fur] more than you do."

Now really is the time to take the anti-fur campaign straight to the Jewish people. Haaretz reports that Israel's Castro fashion chain announced on Thursday that the company would no longer sell fur. This amazing feat resulted from a 3-week battle waged by Israeli animal rights activists, which included several protests with 60 to 100 attendees and a petition that garnered more than 17,000 signatures. So maybe there is some hope that Jews, if not all people, can rally against fur and stop supporting such a hideously cruel industry.

With cotton and synthetic materials so widely available in clothing, there's simply no need to wear fur or other animal skins. As Jewish actor Alicia Silverstone has said, "It is the 21st [c]entury. I don't think that we should use flesh or the skin of any creature to make ourselves look good. ... We can do something that's really compassionate or something that's cruel. I really make every effort in my life to make the compassionate choice."


  • At 9/24/2005 12:55 PM, Blogger heebnvegan said…

    The Jerusalem Post added on Tuesday:

    "FOR SEVERAL years fashion companies around the world yielded to the demands of animal rights activists and refrained from using fur in their collections. But then the furor died down as new technologies helped to develop increasingly authentic-looking faux furs, some of which were so good that it was hard to distinguish between synthetics and the real thing.

    "But looking real is not the same as being real. And so, over the last year or two fashion houses have begun to sneak fox and rabbit trims into their fall/winter collections. Some have gone in for even more luxurious furs such as mink and sable. Israelis have followed the rest of the world in this regard, and thus the new Castro fall/winter 2005/2006 collection includes fox and rabbit trims.

    "This did not sit well with local animal rights groups, who not only staged protest demonstrations outside the company's flagship store in Tel Aviv, but also collected more than 17,000 signatures on a petition calling for fashion houses to stop abusing animals and to refrain from using genuine furs. The company's co-directors Etty and Gabi Rotter had no choice but to cave in. They have given an undertaking to use fake furs in future, but so far have been reluctant to remove existing (offensive) merchandise from their stores."


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