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13 October 2005

Yesterday's DawnWatch alert recommended that people check out the PETA fur videos and website and respond, to articles about the tofu pie thrown at Anna Wintour, with information about the fur trade. Today, Wednesday, October 12, Pamela Anderson's latest anti-fur venture is in the news. Again, in the hope that the conversation about fur might focus on something other than Pamela's bare shoulders, I urge people to check out the www.FurIsDead.com  website and send letters to the editor including just a little of the information they find there. I will paste the Press piece on Pamela Anderson below, and list some of the papers in which it has appeared today. If your paper is one of them, please send a letter to the editor, using the story as a jump off point for a short but informative letter about fur.

If you have any trouble finding the correct address for a letter to the editor at your paper, or are new to letters to the editor and would like tips or some editing on something you have drafted, please don't hesitate to ask me for help.

Below the Press piece on Pamela Anderson I will paste an op-ed by Paul McCartney's wife, activist Heather Mills McCartney, which appears in today's Myrtle Beach Sun-News (South Carolina). It is packed with information about fur.

Here is the Press piece:

"Racy Pamela Anderson anti-fur ad returning to China on phone card "A year after raising the censors' hackles with bus stop ads, Pamela Anderson's nearly naked image is returning to China on phone cards telling people not to buy fur. The Canadian-born actress appears topless with her back to the camera and an arm partly hiding her right breast behind the slogan, 'Give fur the cold shoulder,' in English. Behind her, an image of falling snow appears above Chinese characters reading 'Cold shoulders are nothing compared to the pain they feel' and 'Please don't wear fur.'

"Government-owned China Telecom and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have printed 70,000 of the phone cards, a toned-down version of Anderson's bus and train stop ads that were altered three times to reduce the amount of skin on show before being approved for public display, the animal rights group said recently.

"'The people of China deserve to know about the immense suffering of animals killed for their fur,' said Anderson in a statement released by PETA. 'Once people know that animals are electrocuted, drowned, bludgeoned to death and sometimes skinned alive, they realize fur is disgusting and that there's nothing luxurious or fashionable about it,' the 38-year-old 'Stacked' actress said."

Some papers ran it omitting the last line detailing what happens to the animals. But letters to the editor let papers know that readers are interested in an issue.

If your paper has not covered the fur issue at all, the advertisements for fur can serve as a jump off point for a letter.

Below is the piece by activist Heather Mills McCartney from The Myrtle Beach


Animals skinned alive for fashion
HEATHER MILLS MCCARTNEY

It's shocking to think we live in a world where people - including wealthy and famous celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez - still kill for fashion. Yet every year, millions of animals are drowned, clubbed to death, crushed in steel-jaw traps and genitally electrocuted, sometimes just for a little piece of fluff on a coat collar.

We can't stop all the suffering that exists, but I believe we can stop this.

That's why I recently teamed up with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals during New York's Fashion Week - to tell consumers what fur designers and retailers won't:

Those cheap price tags on today's fur coats and fur-trimmed garments come at the expense of animals who are literally skinned alive.

Much of the fur now sold in the U.S. and Canada originates in China, where there is not a single law to protect animals. Undercover investigators who toured Chinese fur farms found raccoon dogs and silver foxes suffering from severe stress, repeatedly slamming their heads and bodies against the crude wire cages enclosing them. Others huddled helplessly in the back of their cages, paralyzed with fear.

These animals have good reason to be afraid. After a brief and joyless existence in a barren cage, with no place to hide from the elements, driven mad by confinement, they will be beaten with metal rods or slammed headfirst against the ground, in a crude and cheap attempt to kill them. But these methods often only break the animals' necks or backs, leaving them panting, blinking and completely conscious as the fur is ripped from their bodies.

It's hard to watch, but I ask anyone who wears fur or finds themselves tempted by just a "little trim" on a coat, or a sweater with a fur collar, to see the investigators' footage for themselves at www.FurIsDead.com. I don't believe you can watch this video and still think fur is desirable.

Something else the fur industry won't tell you: Some of the animals killed for their pelts in China are domestic dogs and cats.

They are bludgeoned, hanged, bled to death and strangled with wire nooses, so their fur can be turned into trim, toys and trinkets. These animals are no different from our beloved companions.

When PETA-Germany recently visited the animal market in Guangzhou, in Southern China, they found animals in cages who still had their collars on, a sign that they, too, had once been companions, stolen to be made into fur coats. About 2 million dogs and cats are killed for their fur every single year.

The sale of dog and cat fur has been formally banned in a handful of countries, including the U.S., but without expensive DNA testing, it's impossible to tell for sure what - or who - you are wearing.

The only way to know beyond a doubt that you are not supporting this gruesome industry is to refuse to wear fur. If you've already taken that compassionate step, thank you. Now please take another: Don't buy clothes from designers who work with fur and don't patronize businesses that sell it. Boycott the films, CDs, perfumes and other products of celebrities who wear it. If we all do this together, as a team effort, we can end the use of fur in fashion once and for all.

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