Narcissus' Echo

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Monday, May 23, 2005

Fashion's Price: Fur and Suffering

* Disclaimer: I am neither a PETA supporter nor activist.

This is a very disturbing video exposé of the fur trade in China. It is best viewed if you download the entire video (16 MB) first and then watch it. I think the sound drops out after a while.

I never got to the end.
I started feeling ill 1/3 through.

The animals being flayed alive (yes, alive) resembled dogs too much. It was just too disturbing. That, and the people actually found it a point of amusement that the animals were thrashing & screaming soundlessly from the pain.

I guess Frantz Fanon was right: given enough time, humans can get desensitized to anything.

Reaction from a number of Asians (FOBs and Asian-Americans) over here who viewed this video is curious though: indignance and counter-accusations of racism and cultural-intolerance / cultural persecution; and that the producers of the video are sellouts and traitors to their own race.

Maybe I am too much of an animal lover to see their point; either that or I am too "white-washed" (whatever that means), but I know this much: using the race card to defend atrocities is unconscionable and disgusting.

Undercover investigators from Swiss Animals Protection East/International spent the past year investigating fur farms in China's Hebei Province and found that many animals, including dogs and foxes, are still alive and struggling desperately when workers flip them onto their backs or hang them up by their legs or tails to skin them. When workers on these farms begin to cut the skin and fur from an animal's leg, the free limbs kick and writhe. Workers stomp on the necks and heads of animals who, fighting for their lives, struggle too hard to allow for a clean cut. When the fur is finally peeled off over the animals' heads, their naked, bloody bodies are thrown onto a pile of those who have gone before them. Some are still alive, breathing in ragged gasps and blinking slowly. Some of the animals' hearts are still beating five to 10 minutes after they are skinned. One investigator recorded a skinned raccoon dog on the heap of carcasses who had enough strength to lift his bloodied head and stare into the camera, with only his eyelashes still intact.

Before they are skinned alive, animals are pulled from their cages and slammed against the ground; workers bludgeon them with metal rods, causing broken bones and convulsions but not always immediate death. Animals watch helplessly as workers make their way down the row.

China supplies more than half of the finished fur garments imported for sale in the United States.

Again, if you are easily traumatized, skip the video.

You have been warned.

16 MB Video of the Fur Trade in China (Windows Media Player)
Update: Link broken. Click other link below.

Alternate link with other player preferences

Think about that the next time you are strutting around in your shallow J. Lo signature edition fur-lined outfits , eh? Can you hear the screams of the innocent and helpless animals who died painfully and slowly for your cool "bling bling" outfit? How can you sleep at night?

Through the years, Lopez has worn the skin of just about every animal imaginable, from foxes, who are bludgeoned to death and often skinned alive, to small, gentle chinchillas, who are killed by electrocution or have their delicate necks snapped and 100 of whose skins are required to make just one coat. As if wearing hundreds of dead animals weren't enough, in her first catwalk collection for her clothing line, Sweetface, Lopez proved that she is anything but sweet when she featured grisly garments made of white fox and mink. Lopez may try to market this line as "high end" and all about the "bling," but there is nothing upscale or elegant about how the original owners of these coats met their gruesome deaths.

More on J. Lo and her clothing line

If this blog entry / article / video offends you, then it has served its purpose (didn't I mention in my profile that I am a gadfly?). I bet the animals were "offended" to have their skin ripped off to make that fancy coat / jacket that you are wearing as well. The difference is that no one heard their cries, and no one cared when they died, while you can just close this window, or click on your bookmark for Paris Hilton's latest fashion offerings. Hooray for you.

BTW, in WWII, there were articles (e.g. book, chair, etc.) made of "animal skin" going around in Buchenwald too. I wonder if the SS have a Germanic equivalent of "bling bling."

Never forget that you are an animal too.


Anonymous andrew said...

its amazing how cruel those SOBs are... fuckers should be skinned alive and have another human wear their skin as a fashion item. lets see how bling bling they think they are then. scum like these justify the existence of the ELF

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have always been aware of the suffering of animals but every decade gets worse and worse. I don't believe the skinning of live animals was as prevalent as it is now. It's all about greed which is getting worse and worse. I just can't get over the videos and pictures. These poor creatures are all that matters. No excuses whatsoever.

12:01 PM  

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