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Life and Death on a Fur Ranch

December 13, 1985

In the words of the Nov. 29 article by Diane Reischel, ". . . Actress Donna Mills, swathed in an ermine and Russian lynx coat . . . " is quoted as saying "I don't like the idea of animals being trapped" ("Furs for Men and Women Depart From Traditional").

So humane of her. Chances are, however, this is exactly the way her wrap was obtained.

It appears that Mills prefers "ranched furs." Ranch brings to mind visions of playful days in some idyllic meadow under the warm sun, surrounded by the smell of sweet grasses.

Alas, dear Donna, are you aware that the ranched pelts you don are the God-given skins of miserable creatures which spent their entire, short lives in small wire cages, never seeing the sun, sometimes physically deformed, often so powerless that they resort to self-mutilation?

And if, Donna, you believe that these beings--whose only "sin" was to be born with a natural pelt greedily envied by man--are humanely killed, think again.

The little beasts are disposed of via cyanide, chloroform, strychnine, neck-breaking, in decompression chambers or by electrocution (where a current-charged clamp is attached to the ear, lip, hind paw or anus). Whatever method is cheapest and least damaging to the fur will be utilized.

So, Miss Mills, the next time your fingers linger on that soft, shiny, dreamy fur coat, allow your mind to picture the misery and the torture it truly represents.


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