China's Dog & Cat Fur Trade
Wonder what that furry mouse is made of...
It is not a big secret...I am an animal lover.
There are times when their company is infinitely preferable to any human being. They really don't ask for a lot...food, water, shelter...your company. In return, they give so much. How many friends do you have that will just sit there and listen to you the way they do? No matter what I talk about, I have yet to hear my cat accuse me of being over emotional and inquire whether I was currently being influenced by hormones.
In their eyes, I see the overwhelming amount of trust that they have placed in me. I am their protector and they believe I will keep them from harm. This is my responsibility as a pet owner. That from the time they enter my care...I will remain their guardian until they draw their last breath. They trust that I will not harm them by cruel actions or abandonment...and if they should ever be in pain, I will do my best to alleviate their suffering.
It is not always an easy burden to bear...but as pet owners, we accept it willingly. It seems like such a small price to pay for their love and devotion...the joy that they bring to our lives and the unconditional companionship given when we feel alone.
My pets have it pretty good. I think they realize it too...especially since some of them were former abandoned animals or residents of the local animal shelter. They are spoiled rotten and I love being able to give them that opportunity. But despite all of that...despite doing my part in trying to open my home to animals in need of one...I feel so helpless when I see exactly how capable humans can be when it comes to animal cruelty...
I realize, as an American...perhaps we place our pets on a higher pedestal than in some countries. I'm not such a fool that I don't realize there are cultures that consider dogs and cats no more important than cattle. However, when I learn that statistically, China exports more than half of the fur products used in America, that their methods of harvesting are inhumane beyond belief, and that these products are often mislabeled to mislead the consumer as to their source...I have to pause.
Warning - Graphic Content
These animals, dogs and cats included, are placed in overcrowded cages. According to PETA, some of them arrive still wearing the collars indicating that they at one time had pet status, strongly leading to the suspicion that they may have been stolen. They are deprived of food and water. During offloading, if the crate happens to bounce a few times on its way to the ground ten feet below, it's not considered cruel that a few legs get broken or crushed. They aren't harvesting the legs...
But even this isn't the end of the torture these animals suffer. They are then skinned...usually alive. They are beaten, bludgeoned, stepped on and strangled during this process. And then, still alive, they are tossed into a pile with others. Look into their eyes...what do you see?
I see the eyes of my pets looking back at me. I see them asking, "why?" And I have no answer for the cruelty of humankind.
I wish I had never seen these videos...but I did. It was a long time before I could close my eyes and not see that image. But it did make me aware. Now, when I see anything with fur...even something as innocuous as a furry mouse that I might have bought for my cats to play with...I think twice. It could be synthetic fur...it could be rabbit fur...but it might have been the fur of one of those dogs or cats and I couldn't live with that choice. Better to get the jingly ball...
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