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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec 18, 2007 / 9 Teves 5768

In defense of fur coats

By Betsy Hart


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) really cared about animals, instead of vivisecting the celebrity Olsen twins as it did this week for wearing fur, it would actually be promoting the American fur trade. Seriously.


Full disclosure: I admit to having and wearing a fur coat. In some quarters such a confession may be akin to owning up to enjoying a smoke in a nursery school, but there it is. OK, actually what I have is more of a jacket, and it's some 15 plus-years-old now. But on these bitter cold Chicago days, I couldn't be happier for the incredible warmth it provides. Nothing else comes close.


I sometimes think animal-rights activists have a vision of wild animals being happily surrounded at the end of life by their little Bambis as they slip off peacefully to animal heaven. The reality is that animals in the wild will for the most part suffer tortuous deaths by a) being brutally killed and eaten, or being eaten very much alive, by other animals or b) dying a horrific, slow death — alone — of sickness, injury or old age.


I recently watched a YouTube.com video featuring life in the wild. One little water buffalo, still very much alive, is being viciously chewed on at both ends — lions on one, crocodiles on the other.


It really is a jungle out there.


Now consider that the American fur industry is the most scrutinized in the world, as it should be. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) approves of the humane raising of animals for their fur. Member vets inspect fur farms through industry-certification organizations like the Fur Commission USA to ensure compliance with ethical standards of animal care. In its 2007 guidelines on euthanasia, which actually means "good death," the AVMA noted that most farm-raised fur animals, which is where most U.S. pelts come from, "are euthanized individually and at the location where they are raised." Typically, they are painlessly gassed.


But it turns out that whatever a fur farmer's personal views, the market rules. And the better an animal is treated in terms of its food, veterinary care, even its cage conditions, will be reflected in its fur quality and its price. It's no accident that America's fur industry produces the most expensive furs in the world.


It should also come as no surprise that because of the fur trade, fur-bearing animals in the United States are more numerous than at any time in our history.


If PETA had its way and the fur trade were abolished in the United States, not only would some animals such as mink likely become an endangered species here, people would look even more to foreign countries and their cheaper furs, including the Chinese and their growing and unregulated fur industry, to fill the void.


Let's face it — the mink and fox are better off in America.


By the way, look for the nascent fallout between environmentalists and animal-rights activists to grow. The average synthetic winter jacket, which comes from petroleum products, will last only a couple of years and takes three gallons of oil to produce. It also never fully biodegrades. In contrast, the same fully natural and biodegradable fur can be worn for generations.


The issue isn't, or shouldn't be, whether to allow animals (outside of "companimals") to be used by humans no matter how well they are treated, which is PETA's position.


The question for most people, and rightly so, is how to use animals in an ethical and humane way. This goes back to biblical times, when the writers of Proverbs noted that "a righteous man cares for the needs of his animal" but wicked men are cruel to theirs.


Yes, of course, there are people, even in the animal-husbandry fields, who treat animals cruelly. That is a terrible thing. But the way to halt abuse and improve conditions for animals isn't to argue the nonsensical and utterly impractical position of PETA, "no use of animals." It's to continue to press for their right use by the only beings who can, by definition, use them "humanely." Humans.

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JWR contributor Betsy Hart, a frequent commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel, can be reached by clicking here.

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