Israel: Pass the Fur Ban
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We as Jews are urging the Israeli parliament (the Knesset) to pass its proposed bill which would ban the selling of animal fur in the country. In today’s day and age wearing fur is completely unnecessary as there are many plant based and synthetic materials that are just as, if not more, warm than fur. The enormous amount of animal cruelty that goes into the production of fur is therefore unacceptable and a blatant violation of the Torah mandate of Tza’ar Baalei Chaim which forbids causing unnecessary pain to animals. Rabbi Chaim Dovid Halevy, the great twentieth century Israeli authority and winner of the esteemed Israeli Prize, ruled in 1992 that Jews should avoid wearing fur because of this mandate. He went on to say that “even killing without Tza’ar Baalei Chaim is forbidden if there is no compelling human need (tzorekh chiyuni)” and ultimately ruled that one may not wear fur (even for religious reasons). Passing this bill will advance Israel’s reputation as a progressive nation and will give diaspora Jews a new reason to be proud of their country.
MK Merav Michaeli of the Zionist Union political party perhaps best summed up why this bill is so important. She stated: “The days are gone when people didn’t understand that animals suffer too and that humans have an obligation to protect helpless creatures that cannot defend themselves …Cruelty to animals was prohibited in the Torah, and the time has come now for Israeli law to ban the sale of fur. Skinning animals in order to sell their fur is one of the cruelest, most horrible ways to kill animals. Today there are all kinds of synthetic fur available, and there is no reason for us to continue putting animals through such agony.”
The animal cruelty inherent in the fur industry is well documented. Animals bred on fur farms are kept in small, unsanitary cages where they slowly lose their minds from boredom and the inability to perform natural behaviors. They are killed by various methods which include gassing, neck braking, poisoning, hanging, anal electrocution, and drowning. Others are simply skinned alive. Wild animals trapped for their fur can suffer for days in extremely painful traps from open wounds, exposure to the elements, hunger, and thirst until they are shot or bludgeoned to death by a trapper. For more information, please see the links below.
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