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The similar tales of Martha Stewart and Nelson Mandela

In a statement that could be taken right out of some Onion parody story, Martha Stewart tells all that she has learned from her ordeal and is becoming humble.

NEW YORK — First, Martha Stewart declared she is used to hard work and is not afraid of prison.

Later, in an interview with ABC News, the homemaking expert repeated that she would be able to handle it and compared her plight to that of anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela.

"I could do it," she said, according to excerpts released by ABC late Friday. "I'm a really good camper. I can sleep on the ground. There are many, many good people who have gone to prison. Look at Nelson Mandela."

blah, blah, blah, bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbblllllllllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh.
easy ride 17.Jul.2004 10:36


what is offensive, is what the country had to spend to try this person...5 months is nothing...hard labor is in order...instead, a cushy cell is probably what she'll get....she was anything but repentant....rich people...not all of them are rotten, but this one isn't one of them who isn't.

Martha will be able to write Mein Kampf II - Her story 17.Jul.2004 10:45

Pravda or Consequences

As long as she is comparing herself to political prisoners.

... 17.Jul.2004 11:53

this thing here

martha stewart is a creepy creepy woman. to watch her speak and express hereself is to see a dead and unhealthy personality. where's the passion? where's the emotion? where's some sign of life in the woman? neither her expression of pain and suffering, nor her defense of herself, is in any way convincing. where one would expect some kind of emotion, whether playing the victim or the strong defender of one's name, both of these things come accross to me as severely detached and hollow, vacant. and it is that emotionally flat affect that i find creepy.

especially telling, the total inappropriateness of comparing oneself and one's problems to the likes of nelson mandela, to even dare to do so, shows a severely damaged and mendacious personality, the likes of which, in my opinion, only a psychopath could possess.

Oh for Christ's sake, 17.Jul.2004 12:06

no sympathy for fur wearing whiners

that fur wearing woman deserves no better than the animals whose skins she wears. The animals were held in tiny cages for life and then anally electrocuted to make her warmies. And they were innocent.

Martha knows better than to do this, but she's too selfish to care 17.Jul.2004 12:38

here you go

Posted on Mon, Mar. 22, 2004
Fur trade starts to heat up

By Geraldine Baum

MARTHA STEWART may be a felon, but in what's left of this city's long-suffering Fur District, she was a hero. By early last week, furrier Larry Cowit had heard from not one but two customers who "had to have" that luxe scarf Stewart was wearing after she got the bad news.

Was that chinchilla or rex rabbit framing Martha's sober mug splashed all over television?

"There's a silver lining in every bit of bad news," said Cowit, chuckling.

Martha's lining, it turns out, was dyed chinchilla, and the silver will be going to Cowit and his brother, Steve, the third generation to run Henry Cowit Inc.

After two dreadful decades -- years of watching their friends go bust or retire to Florida -- the furriers in Manhattan are happy to revel in a few good turns of events: Finally, last year, national retail sales in fur bounced back to 1984's $1.8 billion high. Finally, winter back East is bitter again. Finally, the paint throwers with ethical objections to wearing anything that once had a mother are widening their scope to target animal-research labs, taking heat off furriers.

And most important, finally, the fur is, yes, flying again on the runways. From Paris to New York this spring, designers who could barely afford to put on shows were trimming their fall suits to sports clothes in dyed everything -- rabbit, lamb, pony and, of course, chinchilla.

So guys like Larry and Steve Cowit can maybe take it easier this summer. And play a little golf. "You always gotta worry because we may be looking at 60-degree Januarys again or the economy could go south," says Steve, 48. He's the older brother, the expert "matcher" who spends his days in the shop wearing a blue apron and combing clear liquids (peroxide, but don't tell) on a new pelt to age it to repair a sleeve on an old coat.

Larry is the salesman. He's the charmer who tours customers through the unchic retail showroom, crammed with 2,000 new and used -- rather "pre-owned" -- coats. Larry is the more buoyant brother, but even Steve can't suppress a smile these days: "We're not as reliant as we used to be on the weather or just one type of customer," Steve says. "Fur is everywhere, and the business is totally changed."

and so on...

The Cowits have borrowed 100 chinchilla pelts in "tobacco" tones, just like Martha's scarf, from a skin dealer in the neighborhood.

Their customer, a wealthy woman who owns several sables, was coming in to pick out the pelts for a chinchilla "Martha" of her own and buy several more to sell to friends.

Larry estimated he'd charge less than $2,000 a scarf -- not cheap but about half of what it would cost at a fancy Fifth Avenue shop. At those prices, if Kmart knocks off Martha's neckwear, it'll have to be fake.


Another view:

Inside the Fur Industry: Factory Farms


Eighty-five percent of the fur industry's skins come from animals living captive on fur factory farms.(1) These farms can hold thousands of animals, and the practices used to farm them is remarkably uniform around the globe. As with other intensive-confinement animal farms, the methods used on fur factory farms are designed to maximize profits, always at the expense of the animals.

Painful and Short Lives
The most farmed fur-bearing animal is the mink, followed by the fox. Chinchillas, lynxes, and even hamsters are also farmed for their fur.(2) Sixty-four percent of fur farms are in Northern Europe, 11 percent are in North America, and the rest are dispersed throughout the world, in countries such as Argentina and Russia.(3) Mink farmers usually breed female minks once a year. There are about three or four surviving kits for each litter, and they are killed when they are about half a year old, depending on what country they are in, after the first hard freeze. Minks used for breeding are kept for four to five years.(4) The animals—housed in unbearably small cages—live with fear, stress, disease, parasites, and other physical and psychological hardships, all for the sake of a global industry that makes billions of dollars annually.

Rabbits are slaughtered by the millions for meat, particularly in China, Italy, and Spain. Once considered a mere byproduct of this consumption, the rabbit fur industry demands the thicker pelt of an older animal (meat rabbits are killed at the age of 10 to 12 weeks). The United Nations reports that "few skins are now retrieved from slaughterhouses," and countries such as France are killing as many as 70 million rabbits a year for fur, used in clothing, as lures in flyfishing, and for trim on craft items.(5)

Life on the "Ranch"
To cut costs, fur farmers pack animals into small cages, preventing them from taking more than a few steps back and forth. This crowding and confinement is especially distressing to minks—solitary animals who may occupy as much as 2,500 acres of wetland habitat in the wild.(6) The anguish of life in a cage leads minks to self-mutilate—biting at their skin, tails, and feet—and frantically pace and circle endlessly. Zoologists at Oxford University who studied captive minks found that despite generations of being bred for fur, minks have not been domesticated and suffer greatly in captivity, especially if they are not given the opportunity to swim.(7) Foxes, raccoons, and other animals suffer equally and have been found to cannibalize each other as a reaction to their crowded confinement.

Animals on fur factory farms are fed meat byproducts considered unfit for human consumption. Water is provided by a nipple system which often freezes in the winter or may fail because of human error.

Pests and Parasites
Animals on fur factory farms are more susceptible to diseases than their free-roaming counterparts. Contagious diseases such as pneumonia are passed from cage to cage rapidly, as are fleas, ticks, lice, and mites. And disease-carrying flies thrive in the piles of rotting wastes that collect under the cages for months. Video footage and photos taken by undercover investigators show animals suffering from severe infections and injuries, untreated and left to die slowly.

Unnatural Habitats
Fur factory farm cages are often kept in open sheds that provide little to no protection from wind or harsh weather. Their fur alone is not enough to keep them warm in the winter, and in the summer, minks swelter because they have no water in which to cool themselves. When minks learn to shower themselves by pressing on their drinking water supply nipples, farmers will modify the nipples to cut off even this meager relief.

Poison and Pain
No federal humane slaughter law protects animals on fur factory farms, and killing methods are gruesome. Because fur farmers care only about preserving the quality of the fur, they use slaughter methods that keep the pelts intact but which can result in extreme suffering for the animals. Small animals may be crammed into boxes and poisoned with hot, unfiltered engine exhaust from a truck. Engine exhaust is not always lethal, and some animals wake up while being skinned. Larger animals have clamps or a rod applied to their mouths while rods are inserted into their anuses, and they are painfully electrocuted. Other animals are poisoned with strychnine, which suffocates them by paralyzing their muscles in painful rigid cramps. Gassing, decompression chambers, and neck-snapping are other common fur-farm slaughter methods.

The fur industry refuses to condemn even blatantly cruel killing methods. Genital electrocution, deemed "unacceptable" by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) 1993 Panel on Euthanasia, is a fur factory farm killing method that causes animals the pain of cardiac arrest while they are fully conscious. In 1994, Indiana became the first state to file criminal charges against a fur factory farm after PETA investigators documented genital electrocution at V-R Chinchillas. The chinchilla fur industry considers electrocution and neck-breaking "acceptable."(8)

In 1995, one district attorney filed charges against pelt supplier Frank Parsons of Salisbury, Md., for injecting a mixture of rubbing alcohol and weed-killer into the chests of minks. PETA undercover investigators videotaped Parsons using an illegal pesticide, Blackleaf 40, to painfully kill the minks.

Would You Wear Your Dog?
An undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States, reported in a 1998 Dateline NBC piece, revealed that dog and cat fur is a multimillion-dollar industry in Asia and found that coats and toys made with domestic dog fur are being sold in the U.S. "There are no federal laws preventing anyone from importing dog and cat fur into this country," reported Dateline. "If the imported item costs less than $150, the importer doesn't even have to reveal what it's made of." Dateline footage shows a German shepherd, tail wagging and head stuck in a restraint, moments before he is skinned alive. A cat, crowded in a cage, watches and waits his turn, as one by one, his cagemates are choked, slung up, and hanged just inches away.(9) New legislation outlawed the import or sale of clothing containing dog or cat fur, but the fur still enters the country illegally since it is intentionally mislabeled and can only be detected by expensive DNA testing.

Environmental Destruction
Contrary to fur-industry propaganda, fur production destroys the environment. The energy needed to produce a real fur coat from ranch-raised animal skins is approximately 20 times that needed for a fake fur.(10) Nor does fur biodegrade, thanks to the chemical treatment applied to stop the fur from rotting. The process of using these chemicals is also dangerous as it can cause water contamination.

About 44 pounds of feces are excreted per mink skinned by fur farmers. Based on the total number of minks skinned in the U.S. in 1999, which was 2.81 million, mink factory farms generate approximately 62,000 tons of manure per year. One result is nearly 1,000 tons of phosphorus, which wreaks havoc in water ecosystems.(11)

Fur in Sheep's Clothing
As fur sales decline, sales of shearling—the skin of lambs with the wool attached—have risen. Some fur manufacturers have actually taken to disguising mink as shearling.(12) Many people are unaware of shearling's origins or that shearling sales are an incentive for sheep ranchers to increase their stock, thereby adding to the plight of sheep (see PETA factsheet "Inside the Wool Industry").

In Afghanistan, karakul sheep are now raised to produce lambs for the high-end market in "Persian lamb" coats and hats. For "top-quality" lamb skin, the mother is killed just before giving birth and her fetus is cut out. The pelts of the unborn lambs are prized in the fashion world for their silk-like sheen. It takes the skin from an entire lamb to make one karakul hat.(13)

Humane Choices
Consumers need to know that every fur coat, lining, or item of trim represents the intense suffering of several dozen animals, whether they were trapped, ranched, or even unborn. These cruelties will end only when the public refuses to buy or wear fur. Those who learn the facts about fur must help educate others, for the animals' sake. For more information, visit FurIsDead.com.

OK, OK 17.Jul.2004 15:03

mad about Martha

She's a selfish, rich, white fur-wearing, creepy woman, BUT!!!
I would rather see Enron CEOs, or Halliburton Execs, Nike stockholders, or most of all, G.W.BUSH heading for jail, not Martha!
Good heavens, people, she hasn't killed anybody!! Bush and his freinds have, they have blood on their hands and need to be prosecuted.
If there were any true justice in this world, Bush and his pals would be in a world criminal court right now.
The foodies of the world may be many bad things, but not murderers of children.

Sheesh 17.Jul.2004 15:44

Father Time

She deserves another 6 months for even mentioning herself and Nelson Mandela in the same sentence.

And yes, there are others who deserve prison more, but I'll take the good where I can find it... I'm sure it wouldn't take much digging to find a gazillion ways her huge corporation of self has harmed the less "fortunate."

She hasn't killed anybody... 17.Jul.2004 17:28


unless you think the animals that she serves up and wears are worth shit.

but she's an uppity woman 17.Jul.2004 18:52

you know

and they must make an example out of her.