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FURRIER not FARRIER

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Emy Will

Emy Will

Greetings from Johannesburg, South Africa. Although I have a doctorate in psychotherapy, my main passion is advocating for nonhuman animal rights. I condemn all cruelty to nonhuman animals and therefore follow a vegan lifestyle. I would like to connect with other animal activists from all over the world. The fur trade is one of the most abhorrent practices on this planet. Innocent animals are subjected to prolonged suffering for a trivial fashion item. As the chairperson of Fur Free SA. we campaign towards ending the global fur industry. This might not happen in my lifetime, but even if I leave one footprint behind, that is one step closer to the goal. This blog is a forum to discuss all aspects of the fur industry. It also raises issues around animal activism in general. Johannesburg is a crazy city and I need to escape from time to time. This photo was taken next to the magnificent Zambezi river.

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Fortunately for me the “a” and “u” keys on my keyboard are far apart, as in a frenzied moment I could have easily have had a slip of the finger. Imagine how foolish I would look asking Investec Ltd (Landlord of Erich Fischer Furriers) to end their lease with their farrier.

http://www.change.org/petitions/investec-ltd-south-africa-end-your-lease-with-erich-fischer-furriers-and-stop-making-money-from-the-fur-trade

Both these  “crafts” go back a long way. However, while a farrier helps to improve the “clip, clop” of horses hooves,  a furrier does nothing to improve the well-being of any animal. In fact I would not even let my cat near a furrier in case my furry companion was skinned in a minute. Furriers tend not to see the living creature under the fur.                                                                                                                                                                                IMG_4668                                                   My darling Pippin. Isn’t his fur beautiful?

I even think the origin of the saying, “there is more than one way to skin a cat” refers historically to when cat’s fur was used as trim on various clothing items. Consequently, many cats were raised only for skinning, which presumably could be accomplished in a variety of ways.

Nowadays, Asia is the biggest source of cat and dog fur, as there are poor animal welfare laws in these countries. This fur comes into South Africa under the label of “faux fur” and is mainly used as fur trim on clothing.

evolution

So what is a Furrier?

1. One that deals in furs.
2. One whose occupation is the dressing, manufacturing, designing, cleaning, or repairing of furs and fur garments.
3. Furriers source their pelts from auction houses, which in turn acquire furs from fur farmers or from trapping.
4. Nowadays a furrier would only use fur from a fur farm to ensure “quality”. Animals that have been trapped or hunted will have holes in their pelts, which is not desirable to the “mink and manure” set.
5. After the auction house,  pelts go through a series of treatment steps, called fur dressing, to preserve them. In this context, “dressing” a fur is to improve its texture etc.
An “undressed”/ skinned animal is the most distressing sight to see. Their naked bodies are then disposed of like garbage. THERE IS NOTHING CLASSY ABOUT WEARING FUR!  
Today, a furrier business is usually a three generation family business passed down from father to son. I’m not sure what happens if there are only daughters.

Part of my campaign to get fur banned is to ascertain how much fur comes into South Africa. So I have been tracking down the local furriers. I even phoned a  business called the “Fur Club” only to discover it was a doggie parlour. That was a happy moment.

Well the good news is that there are a handful of actual furriers in South Africa, so it will hardly crash the South African economy to stop their trade .

Who knows, maybe fourth generation furriers will make a useful contribution to the planet by becoming hairdressers instead of fur dressers?

FUR FACT: About 26 million minks are killed, usually asphyxiated, every year for the sole purpose of acquiring their skin. Many skins make one fur coat.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                how many furs 

Read more on the history of the fur trade:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fur_trade

http://www.wcf.org.uk/history 

http://www.montanatrappers.org/management/craftsmanship.htm

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7 Comments

  1. Winnie Shmaryahu says:

    Hi there,

    Mari & Me in Sea Point also sell real fur. The owner, Christo Wiese’s daughter, Mari, is unashamed and couldn’t care less. Doubt they’ll have any left now, as they are going into summer stock now, but do keep a look out. They are on the Main Road, next to Nedbank, just as the road folks into Regent road.

    I would like to remain anonymous please. They all know me there.

    Thanks

    Sent from my iPhone

    Kalunga Trading cell: 082 925 8611 tel: 021 510 0730 fax: 086 671 8908 email : winnie@kalunga.co.za P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail

    Like

    • Emy Wilhelm says:

      Thanks so much for the information, Winnie. Of course we would not mention your name. Just one question though. Do you feel threatened by these shop owners?

      Like

  2. xbox2121 says:

    See what I mean you were another one I lost

    Like

  3. […] FURRIER not FARRIER (emynow.wordpress.com) […]

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  4. […] For more information on furriers see: https://emynow.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/furrier-not-farrier/ […]

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