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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 30, 2008 at 4:28 PM

Playing possum

Eco-fur is still fur

As an expatriate New Zealander and a person committed to promoting the rights and welfare of all human and nonhuman animals, I am appalled that possums are being cruelly killed in New Zealand for “eco-fur” [“This is not Granny’s possum,” Living, Sept. 29].

Humans introduced possums to New Zealand and we have a responsibility to solve conflicts with them humanely.

And don’t forget that fur products are loaded with chemicals to keep them from decomposing in the buyer’s closet — hardly environmentally friendly. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, one of the chemicals used in dying furs, hexavalent chromium, is a hazardous waste.

But the main problem with “eco-fur” is that it’s still fur.

— Margaret Parkinson, Seattle

Stick to changing light bulbs

Readers who want to help the environment should stick to changing their light bulbs and using cloth tote bags. Killing small animals and turning them into tacky throw pillows and bedspreads is not eco-friendly.

Before furs reach the local fur salon they are soaked in a bath of chemicals, then bleached, dyed or toned. The laundry list of chemicals used during the dressing process includes sulfuric acid, ammonium chloride, formaldehyde, lead acetate, sodium perborate and more.

And don’t forget that the majority of animals killed for fur today are raised on fur farms, which produce tens of thousands of tons of waste every year, including manure, shavings, straw and animal corpses. Many of the carcasses from fur farms end up rotting in landfills.

Claiming that fur is anything other than a product of cruelty is green-washing of the worst kind.

— Paula Moore, Norfolk

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