TO ANYONE WHO THINKS RELEASING MINK IS A GOOD IDEA—
Do you know what happens to mink that are released and not recaptured? One of two things:
1. They die horribly, either getting run over by cars because they never learned how to do things like GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY at the farm, or they starve because they never learned to hunt, or there’s not enough food in the area they were released in, or they end up being caught and eaten by owls, coyotes, and other predators. THEY FUCKING DIE ANYWAY.
2. They don’t die, but instead TAKE OVER THE LOCAL ECOSYSTEM. That means that either they’re going to compete with local mink (and potentially introduce diseases to the local mink population), or with other predators. And it also means they may cause the prey population to crash, WHICH MEANS EVERYONE STARVES TO DEATH.
Obviously nobody thinks that mink are going to come and visit you in prison FOR BEING A VANDAL. But if you think that it’s symbolic of mink being “thankful” for you letting them out of their cages, think again. While you’re sitting and rotting in a cell, the mink are going to be rotting in the woods, or fucking everything else up. Nice going.
What you’re actually saying: I know that it’s romantic/idealistic to release animals from a cage but let’s be real they are going to fuck the local ecosystem up if you just let them run amok, also you’ll be in jail.
What I’m hearing: I WANT TO WEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN BECAUSE IT’S FLUFFY!!!!!
NGL that’s…pretty fucking creepy. Get a stuffed toy or something; don’t breed, raise, and kill something just to wear its skin. Rich people can be super creepy and gross.
If you think people wear fur only because it’s fluffy, you aren’t paying attention. In Alaska and other northern (or, in the southern hemisphere, Anarctic/etc.) areas, fur is one of the best things to wear because it’s incredibly warm; very few synthetics come close. Even in relatively warmer areas a lot of people wear fur for the warmth, not just because it’s fluffy.
Is the fur industry perfect? Of course not. But generally speaking the animals are as well cared for as they can be, all things considered; an animal that is sick has a poor coat, and one that is stressed tears its hair out, neither of which are conducive to a good pelt. A lot of fur is also wild, from animals that lived a life outside of a cage. And while I think the tanning industry has a lot of catching up to do as far as R&D into greener tanning chemicals for large-scale commercial production, on a smaller scale, at least, green tanning methods do exist and are used.
Additionally, done right fur (and leather) are more eco-friendly than synthetics. For one thing, in my experience leather and fur last longer than synthetics; it’s not uncommon to see vintage shops carrying leather coats that are 50 years old, from the early 60s. And furs can last even longer when well cared for. Synthetics, on the other hand, tend to last not so long, and these days are even more poorly made.
Synthetics are made from petroleum which, as you are probably aware, is an environmental disaster on all levels. Oil is also a limited resource, not renewable. And synthetics aren’t biodegradable, either. Plus old leather and fur still have usefulness. Once that fur coat has been completely worn out, it can be reused for a number of things—teddy bears and other crafts, pet bedding, pillow stuffing, etc. Same thing with leather; old leather coats make great pouch and purse material, among other things. You can even help the leather or fur last longer by conditioning it and storing it correctly. Then if you bury it once it’s completely worn out, it breaks down in a number of years, depending on the humidity and content of the soil. (I recommend reusing it as much as possible before burial, though, just because of trace chemicals from chemically tanned hides). Synthetics, on the other hand, generally just get tossed when they tear or are too worn and stained, and even if they do get repurposed a lot after being discarded as clothing, they don’t break down. They’re plastic—they last forever.
So, no. Not everyone wears fur or leather because of how it looks. There are also practical considerations, to include from those of us who aren’t rich by any means.
I’ll never understand people who claim to fight for animal rights but support non-native predators being released and ruining the ecosystem.