Animal cruelty and fur farms
Animal cruelty is the infliction of harm to animals. It is basically some form of abuse where people cause pain and suffering to these creatures through infliction of pain and other forms of suffering. Animal rights activist argue that people abuse them in different ways and for different reasons.
Animal cruelty can either be passive or active, active cruelty which is referred as an act of commission involves a situation where a person intentionally and deliberately causes harm to an animal, on the other hand passive cruelty is basically neglect.
This can in form of failure to feed, inadequate shelter, failing to seek treatment.
Animal cruelty is a problem that continues to happen allover the world. It is evident that this disturbing problem comes in many forms. The major ways include using animals for entertainment for example bullfighting where they are subjected to extreme torture, animal experimentations where they are used in the laboratories as part of product experimentation.
Another area where they are subjected to a lot of pain and suffering is in the fur farms where they are harvested for the fur. Hunting is another issue where these wonderful creatures experience great pain. (Arnold, A 2006 123)
Fur farming has been noted by animal protection organizations as one of the economic activities in the modern history where the animals are subjected the worst kind of treatment. This economic activity involves keeping some of them and later they are harvested for their fur. Fur is a body hair which is mainly used as a protective organ. Once harvested it is processed and used for making clothes. Those which are bred for these purposes are: mink, rabbits, fox, dogs, cats, coyotes, muskrats among others. Fur farming is practiced in different countries world wide. European nations such as Denmark, Netherlands and Finland dominate in this trade. In America, this economic activity goes back in the 1860s when the first fur farm was established.
People who advocate from the banning of fur farming cite various reasons which all point at animal cruelty. Fur farmers largely care about profit maximization at the expense of the animal welfare. Animals in the farms are subjected to a lot of psychological and physical torture. They live under very harsh conditions making their lives miserable.
One organization known as the People for the ethical Treatment of Animals point that they are usually packed in small cages where movement is virtually impossible. They are completely restricted from moving as the space available does not allow. When they are kept under such conditions their growth will be hampered and some of the vital systems might not develop properly. This means that they will not lead a normal life as compared to those who are in the wild where there is enough space for the movement and exercise.
Through such confinement the animal develop some complications. Movement for any creature is very important as it allows the animal to exercise and also to stay active and comfortable.
Overcrowding has also been cited as another aspect characterizing the conditions in the fur farms. In large numbers they are confined in very tiny enclosures; this is a very stressing condition as they are not given enough space to breathe and also to interact normally. Animals are generally supposed to be in an open and spacious environment where they are given enough room to allow them to move freely and have some fresh air. Such confinement in overcrowded areas can result to serious complications as far as their health and wellbeing is concerned. In such condition, during outbreak of diseases, they spread very fast and this can lead to deaths.
Zoologists have noted that some animals such as minks and foxes despite of the fact that they have kept in such farms for sometime they have not been domesticated. Minks have been found to suffer greatly under the confinement condition as by their very nature they are supposed to be free animals and they do best under such conditions. When they are not allowed to get into activities which they are used to them for example swimming they are subjected to a lot suffering. (Merez-Perz, L 2003 45)
Keeping animals in confinement and more so in overcrowded places as happens in the fur farms exposes them to some practices which can be described as abnormal. It has been noted that living under such conditions lead to development of some cannibalistic characteristics where they cannibalize each other. This is very traumatizing as they will live in fear something which eventually affects their lives.
Fur farming at times requires animals to be kept in solitary state especially when the farmer wants quality fur. This goes against the nature as most of them do not live under solitary state under normal circumstances. The animal leads a lonely life affecting its social wellbeing as it’s not allowed to mingle with the others. Leading such a life affects them psychologically and at times this can affect its growth and development.(Day,N 2000 98)
As seen earlier fur farmers are mostly geared towards making huge profit out of the animals, the welfare of these creatures is not paramount as far as these farmers are concerned.
For the animals to survive the need some basic needs, these requirements include: clean environment, good food and generally conducive environment to enhance their survival. To most farmers these requirements come second. This means that they are denied these basic needs therefore making their lives miserable. Poor feeding characterize most of the farms, animals are not fed properly and at times they may go without food. This is unfair treatment and should be discouraged at all expense.
Animals such as foxes and rabbits normally look for their own food when they are found in their natural environment but when they are confined by man for his own gains they are subjected to conditions which they are not used to. This change of environment impacts negatively on the animal part. If they could speak for themselves the animals can narrate very horrifying tales which they go through under the confinement of man in very filthy places.(Hibbert,A 2005 67)
Breeding ensures continuity; this means that through it the future becomes guaranteed. Breeding in the fur farms are dominantly controlled by the humans. Given the conditions that they are kept in breeding is controlled and may not take place as the nature wishes. In overcrowded places inbreeding will be the norm. This means that the future breeds will have similar characteristics and the genes being passed form one generation to another will be similar. This poses a great danger to such an animal as they are numerous problems associated with inbreeding.
The worst form of cruelty comes when the harvesting time sets in.
This is when the farmers want to sow what they have planted. It is done in a most humiliating way such that the other animals who witness what their counterparts go thorough live under very horrifying situation. Get fur usually involves skinning the animal alive. They undergo very painful moment as they are skinned. One can imagine the pain they undergo just by thinking if it was a human being skinned alive. In the farms they are special people who are assigned the role of skinning. These people are merciless and they do it without thinking what the animal is going through. Removing the skin can be the most painful thing to undergo. To make the matter worse these animal go through very horrifying moments before they get to this final stage. They are beaten, subjected to hunger and other forms of suffering. (Heide, K 2003 45)
Electrocuting is one of the common methods used to kill in the fur farms. This is usually done through the anal or vaginal region of the animal. This leads to instant death. This is tantamount to treating the animal in the worst of the ways. Poisoning is also commonly used; this means that they are fed on dangerous chemicals which are meant to kill it for the sake of fur removal.
For some animals to be caught traps are set in different points of the farm, these traps are made in such a way that they can not escape, the animal may languish at that point for sometime before its captors arrive to get it. Such an animal is subjected to very dehumanizing conditions as it will not be able to feed and also the great pain it will be going through under such conditions.(Arnold A 2007 56)
It the high time that our authorities reconsider laws governing the animal rights. They too have a right to exist and in a conducive condition. When we violate these right for the sake of making profit we not only make them suffer but also make their future existence to be at risk.Goverment should outlaw all forms of animal abuse and make it a crime to subject them to suffering as it happens in the fur farms. Since we have alternative sources of fur such as artificial materials animals should be left alone to enjoy their lives.
Arnold, A Just a Dog, Understanding Animal Cruelty and Self, Temple University press
Merez-Perz, L Animal Cruelty, Alta Mira Press (2003)
Arnold, A, Brutal Force. Policing Cruelty, 2007
Heide, K, Animal Cruelty: Pathway to Violence Against People (2003)
Hibbert, A Cruelty to Animals (2005)
Day, N Animal experimental Science or Nature (2000)
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