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Schumacher Furs Protest Report (Be My Bloody Valentine), February 4

Eventually the pain of remaining silent becomes greater than the pain of speaking up . . .

Schumacher Furs now has a grotesque Valentine's Day theme going on at the store, complete with colorful balloons, cupids, and little red hearts. A desperate attempt to disguise the ugliness and cruelty of the business they're in (in reality the only thing the Schumachers seem to love is money).
We made a few valentines of our own for the protest, saying things such as "Be My Bloody Valentine" and "Nothing says I Love You like Something Dead" along with heart shaped cutouts of tortured/dead animals. Animals value their lives as much as we value ours and feel pain as much as we do. No laws govern the fur trade's abuse of animals. Facts the Schumachers choose not to face. See  http://www.furisdead.com for info and videos.

The rain let up for the 35 people who came out to protest and eat vegan chocolate cupcakes. Many people stopped to view the DVD provided by in Defense of Animals which showed the realities of the fur trade. Some of us went down to Pioneer Courthouse Square with a stand up educational display and handed out leaflets. There are more and more people showing up on Saturdays, so we were able to expand the protest and educate even more people.

The few customers entering the store looking for a tortured dead animal for their loved one got some individualized attention on their way out. Portland has never been a fur friendly town and it's sad to see people wasting their money on overpriced clothing that (if compassionate people have their way) they will never be able to enjoy wearing (like, how fun is it to be greeted with chants of "shame" as you walk down the street). This is clothing that makes a fashion statement saying "I support animal abuse."

In their propaganda Schumacher Furs tries to claim fur as a great investment. I recently saw a Schumacher label mink stole on EBay for $50. As far as investment opportunity goes, Schumacher furs are more like the Enron of the fashion industry.

So come join the fun next Saturday at SW 9th and Morrison from around 12:30 until 4:00 or later. Hold a sign, leaflet, wear one of the animal costumes, be a voice for the animals. If you like to be loud, this protest is for you. If you like to be quiet, this protest is for you too. All who care about animals are welcome. Stay as long as you can and have a vegan peanut butter cup. The animals would thank you for they could.

i'll come to yurs, will u come to mine? 08.Feb.2006 06:44

friend of fouad kaady

i will come to the fur protest, though i will be late because i will be going to the fouad kaady protest first. i am wondering, could any of you come, even for a little while, to the kaady demo before the fur demo? I know the timing is close (the kaady demo is in oregon city and starts at noon), and i sure don't want to leave schumacher's without anyone to stop people from going inside. but if a few people could come to oregon city (2223 kaen rd) for a little while on the 11th at noon, that would be really awesome.

Can someone post that letter from Schumacher? 08.Feb.2006 06:55

WendyB

The response to the 6th grader about how god is ok with animal torture and how the fur industry is enviro-friendly is priceless. It's a really good insite into his psyche. See you Sat.

Schumacher Letter 08.Feb.2006 08:51

Patrick

WendyB,

The letter you refer to can be found at  http://www.furcommission.com/resource/perspect98.htm. I actually found it the other day in trying to find if there has been ANY media coverage (aside from IndyMedia) regarding our protests. Sadly, there doesn't appear to be. While it is my understanding Connie has tried (unsuccessfully) to run PSA's and other publicity through the traditional media channels, perhaps if we were to all write-in, it would get some attention?

In any event, the letter (as is displayed on furcommision.com) is below:


-----
Dear Ms. Norte:

Your Animal Rights Club is an interesting idea, as I support freedom of thoughts and association. However, freedom of thoughts and the expression of those thoughts should be founded on solid facts, not emotion.

The concept of animal rights states that we should not use animals for any human purposes, including food, clothing, entertainment, or medical research. If you want to be consistent in your thoughts, you may not eat or drink anything which is made from an animal life form: meat, poultry, eggs, fish, milk cheese, honey, bakery products using butter and eggs, marshmallows, and on and on. You may not have leather shoes, belts, purses, furs, and wool, attend circuses, rodeos, or keep pets. Furthermore, you should not use any medicines or cosmetics, which have been tested for safety using animals.

Now then, if you are concerned about animal welfare, that is a different issue. Some people abuse animals, pets, livestock, etc., and they should not. However, most farmers take excellent care of their animals because it is in their best economic interest to do so. Sick or abused animals do not produce a salable product.

If the planet Earth is going to be saved from destruction, we cannot rely on synthetic clothing for our future existence. The extraction of oil is killing the environment by the spilling of oil and the taking of the animals' habitat or home. The processing plants used to make artificial fibers pollute the air (acid rain and the depletion of ozone), streams and rivers and create toxic waste. The clothing (fake furs, nylons, rayons, and polyester) made from these synthetic products fill up our landfills and is not biodegradable.

As to the extinction of animals, the fur industry does not use any endangered or threatened species and will not in the future. Ninety-five percent of the mink used by the fur industry are farm-raised. They eat fresh by-products from the agricultural industry, which are not desired by humans but are loved by the mink. If it were not for the mink, these by-products would fill up our landfills, rivers, or be burned, none of which is environmentally sound. The animals are not tortured or otherwise abused during their lives, as this would not product a desirable pelt. The mink are killed by cool carbon monoxide. It is painless. The manure produced by the mink is spread on the mink rancher's farm and is a natural fertilizer, not oil-based and not polluting. The tanning of the mink uses salt and alum, which is put into the sewer system and welcomed by the sewage treatment plants because they help to break down the sewage. When natural finishes and low-impact dyes are used, the fur industry is one of the least polluting clothing industries.

To make a fur coat requires only cotton thread, electricity for the sewing machines and silk for the lining; no large polluting factories or large amounts of energy. The fur coat will last 40 years or more, thus requiring only one purchase in a lifetime. Thus fur can be restyled and reused from generation to generation. Finally, when it has finished its useful life, it biodegrades (rots) in six months, back to the earth from where it came.

In Genesis 1:28 and Genesis 3:21, God gave man use of animals for his benefit and put skins of animals on Adam and Eve. I think that using natural fibers is the way God intended us to live. They are renewable, sustainable, reusable, biodegradable and environmentally compatible. The use of animals has been Mother Nature's choice for one million years. I think it's the natural choice for one million more years. You are correct: there is only one world. I ask that you think about whether or not synthetics are the way of the future for this world rather than the agricultural products managed and used by man in a well thought-out, scientific manner.

I took the time to answer your letter because I feel you are smart enough to think through these long-term environmental questions. Perhaps one day you will be part of the "Natural Fibers Club." It will definitely be the only way of the future for the Planet Earth. I invite your Animal Rights Club to come to Schumacher Fur Company so I may show you our natural product and talk about our planet and what we can do for its future.

Thank you for your concern,

Mark Schumacher

Vice President, Schumacher Fur Company
---------

Rebuttal to Schumacher Letter 08.Feb.2006 09:45

Patrick

resp

My rebuttal to Schumacher's letter to the sixth-grader is in red italics below.

Dear Ms. Norte:

Your Animal Rights Club is an interesting idea, as I support freedom of thoughts and association. However, freedom of thoughts and the expression of those thoughts should be founded on solid facts, not emotion.

Agreed - therefore I find it strange that Schumacher supports animal cruelty. Then again, when you can hold a 50% off sale during the protest (and presumably still turning a net profit), maybe one becomes grounded in a different set of facts?

The concept of animal rights states that we should not use animals for any human purposes, including food, clothing, entertainment, or medical research. If you want to be consistent in your thoughts, you may not eat or drink anything which is made from an animal life form: meat, poultry, eggs, fish, milk cheese, honey, bakery products using butter and eggs, marshmallows, and on and on. You may not have leather shoes, belts, purses, furs, and wool, attend circuses, rodeos, or keep pets. Furthermore, you should not use any medicines or cosmetics, which have been tested for safety using animals.

Regarding medical research: The Nazi's conducted various 'medical experiments' on the Jews. Does that mean that any research taken from this should NOT be used? While it was an atrocitiy and must NEVER EVER happen again, if there was any beneficial data gathered (I don't know), it seems like it is even more of a waste to not use it than to use it. The only situation around this would be if it would have people wanting to seek additional inhumane research. On the topic of medical research, don't also forget that, at least in the US, there is this group called the FDA. They mandate certain research to be conducted on animals. While one can exercise free choice in which medications to use (when a choice is available), if said choice is not available, one should not be against the government (FDA), not drug manufacturers.

Regarding Schumacher's statements about food, clothing and entertainment: I fully agree. Hence why I'd say nearly, if not all of the protesters do NOT wear leather/other animal products, and hence why they do NOT go to the circus, and hence why they are vegetarian/vegan. In this regard, I'm glad Schumacher made this statement - it hopefully will result in Ms. Norte (and others) following down a cruelty-free path.

Regarding the keeping of pets: Until such a time where people realize the importance of spaying/neutering animals (therefore reducing the overpopulation which results in countless animals being put to death because they do not have a home), I fully disagree with Schumacher. Not keeping pets is like telling people they should not bore children. The only exception to this would be for people who woud not be responsible pet guardians (e.g.: those who do not provide proper veterinary care, abuse their animals, use them for puppy/kitty mills, animal fighting, etc.)

Now then, if you are concerned about animal welfare, that is a different issue. Some people abuse animals, pets, livestock, etc., and they should not. However, most farmers take excellent care of their animals because it is in their best economic interest to do so. Sick or abused animals do not produce a salable product.

People "should not" abuse animals? Is that the same as people "should not" abuse children? My point here is that "should not" just does not seem strong enough... "Should not" would denote that it 'may' be acceptable, or at least not deplorable. Regarding farmers (and any other business ventures) interests, yes they want to maximize profit. However, it is not necessarily in the best economic interests to have the most solid product. Look at the Ford Pinto... an inexpensive part would have been in Ford's best long-term economic interests; however, they were looking at maximizing short-term gain (at the expense of the consumers life).

If the planet Earth is going to be saved from destruction, we cannot rely on synthetic clothing for our future existence. The extraction of oil is killing the environment by the spilling of oil and the taking of the animals' habitat or home. The processing plants used to make artificial fibers pollute the air (acid rain and the depletion of ozone), streams and rivers and create toxic waste. The clothing (fake furs, nylons, rayons, and polyester) made from these synthetic products fill up our landfills and is not biodegradable.

When people tire of their existing clothing, they should be donating it to a charity for those less fortunate who cannot afford clothing, not throwing it in the garbage. And on the topic of pollution, while perhaps mink (and other fur-based animal farming) is highly efficient (I don't know), I know that the farming of cows is definitely NOT good for the environment. Is Schumacher advocating for a no leather, fur-only clothing to be sold? And on this note, I must surely assume that Schumacher is a vegetarian/vegan as eating meat (especially red meat) is devastating to the environment.

As to the extinction of animals, the fur industry does not use any endangered or threatened species and will not in the future. Ninety-five percent of the mink used by the fur industry are farm-raised. They eat fresh by-products from the agricultural industry, which are not desired by humans but are loved by the mink. If it were not for the mink, these by-products would fill up our landfills, rivers, or be burned, none of which is environmentally sound. The animals are not tortured or otherwise abused during their lives, as this would not product a desirable pelt. The mink are killed by cool carbon monoxide. It is painless. The manure produced by the mink is spread on the mink rancher's farm and is a natural fertilizer, not oil-based and not polluting. The tanning of the mink uses salt and alum, which is put into the sewer system and welcomed by the sewage treatment plants because they help to break down the sewage. When natural finishes and low-impact dyes are used, the fur industry is one of the least polluting clothing industries.

Yet more contradictions. We wouldn't have this factory farm by-products to feed the mink if people didn't eat meat to begin with. But by people eating meat, they are contributing to the destruction of the environment. The same destruction Schumacher attempts to say that wearing a fur vs. non-fur coat will prevent. On the topic of how the mink are killed, perhaps some are killed humanely. But it is clear that many are not. How does Schumacher's know how the fur used in their clothing is killed? Do they run the fur farms?

To make a fur coat requires only cotton thread, electricity for the sewing machines and silk for the lining; no large polluting factories or large amounts of energy. The fur coat will last 40 years or more, thus requiring only one purchase in a lifetime. Thus fur can be restyled and reused from generation to generation. Finally, when it has finished its useful life, it biodegrades (rots) in six months, back to the earth from where it came.

And non-fur coats won't last as long? I find it rather ironic, considering that: (a) fur can be 'ruined' far easier than man-made products (in terms of staining, etc.), and (b) I don't think I've ever had a coat 'wear-out'. (Granted, I've never worn a coat for 40+ years, but I, along with I believe most people, would get tired of wearing the same thing for 40+ years anyhow.) Also, fur does NOT come from the earth... the cotton thread did.

In Genesis 1:28 and Genesis 3:21, God gave man use of animals for his benefit and put skins of animals on Adam and Eve. I think that using natural fibers is the way God intended us to live. They are renewable, sustainable, reusable, biodegradable and environmentally compatible. The use of animals has been Mother Nature's choice for one million years. I think it's the natural choice for one million more years. You are correct: there is only one world. I ask that you think about whether or not synthetics are the way of the future for this world rather than the agricultural products managed and used by man in a well thought-out, scientific manner.

I'm not a religious person, but didn't (according to the bible) the earth come to be ~ 5,000 years ago? If so, how could animals be mother natures choice for a million years? Again, I'm not up on my bible, however it is my understanding the bible indicates that slavery is OK, rape is OK, and murder (for working on the Sabbath, being homosexual,or not being a virgin on your wedding night) is OK? (I have heard examples such as these before - the above ones were taken from: http://www.evilbible.com/).

I took the time to answer your letter because I feel you are smart enough to think through these long-term environmental questions. Perhaps one day you will be part of the "Natural Fibers Club." It will definitely be the only way of the future for the Planet Earth. I invite your Animal Rights Club to come to Schumacher Fur Company so I may show you our natural product and talk about our planet and what we can do for its future.

While I have only been at the protests two-weeks thus-far, based on my experiences there, along with what I've heard from others, the only 'talking' they have tried to do is vulgar verbal assaults and threats of bodily harm.

Thank you for your concern,

I have a hard time believing he is truly thankful here...

Mark Schumacher

Vice President, Schumacher Fur Company


Kinda looks like they kinda deserve destruction, maybe? 08.Feb.2006 12:38

Fredric L. Rice frice@skeptictank.org

<rofl!> I have to laugh after reading the dead animal skin company's amusing letter wherein the company attempts to proclaim it has the devine right -- The Christian pantheon-given right, no less -- to sell tortured-to-death dead animal skins to Republicans. <heh>

That's damned amusing, yeah, but the proclamation that they're environmentally friendly? LOL! Sweet Baby Jesus H. Christ, I've got to wonder if that alone is legitimate grounds for destroying the company -- "too stupid to live" could certainly apply to Republican corporations, can't it?

Consumer advocacy -- like these pickets and protests -- has apparently been doing wonders for adversely impacting dead animal skin companies' revenues, it looks like to me. This company's lawyers have probably tried to look into trying to allege RICO predicate acts against the consumer advocates on the grounds that maybe they're deliberately targeting the company's revenues -- restraint of trade, perhaps. But these pickets and protests look to me like they're legitimate advocacy, honestly informing the public and attempting to shame Republicans for financially supporting and defending what looks to be a profoundly disgusting, brutal, and inhumanly bloody industry.

I don't eat meat because it disgusts me. I don't eat eggs and drink milk becauise I don't like the taste. I don't eat cheese because it's fattening. I _do_ wear a dead cow skin on my head when I'm in the Mojave Desert, Death Valley, or the San Gabriel Mountains, however, so I can honestly say I'm a bit of a hypocrit when it comes to wearing dead animals. Yet I do it for honest protection, not some sick Republican "fashion statement."

All my opinions only, and only my opinions, all.


My favorite part 08.Feb.2006 15:45

Jobe

He SUPPORTS freedom of thought and association! Then, what is with all the fucking cops and security at the protests? Why does he pay houseless people and signature gatherers to yell obsenities at us and threaten to kick our asses? Boy, if that's his support of my right of thought and association, I'd hate to see what his being against them would look like.

counter argument 08.Feb.2006 18:03

banana

FUR FARMS AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Like other forms of intensive farming, raising animals for fur creates a massive pollution problem.
In Finland, despite a decrease in production, fur farms still produce more than 70 million kilos of droppings per year, which pollute waterways and land. Effluent with a high phosphorus content kills fish and encourages algae.

In the preserving and processing of pelts, a range of chemicals harmful to the environment are used.

...

The fur trade...claims that fur is ecologically sound, but trapping methods and farming do a great deal of environmental damage. In 1992 a Dutch anti-fur group lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority against fur advertisements which used the word "ecological". They won the case, the Authority judging that the terms "ecological fur" and "fur is ecological" were improper and misleading.

...

Since 1989 world fur prices have fallen about forty per cent. At auction, if pelts do not reach a minimum economic price, they are destroyed. Over-production of mink has been as much as 6 million pelts in a year.

...

Fur farming is wasteful. Food fit for human consumption is fed to fur animals. In Finland alone, 50 million kilos of Baltic herring and 80 million kilos of corn are fed to animals on fur ranches. To make one mink coat, it takes more than 3 tonnes of feed. To make a fox fur coat it takes more than a tonne. Often the feed is mixed with the carcasses of fellow mink or foxes.

...

THE CONSERVATION MYTH

The fur trade claims that no species used for fur is endangered by over exploitation. This is not true, as many species in some regions of the wilds of the Great Lakes states, Pennsylvania and New England in the USA, Quebec and Ontario in Canada, have been listed as scarce bordering on endangered. They include mink, lynx, cougars, otters, fishers, martens, wolverines and bears. The endangered state of the panda is partly due to the fur industry.

The fur trade maintains that trapping plays an important role in population control, and control of disease in wildlife populations. The fact is that trapping, because it is non-selective, is more likely to kill immune and healthy animals because they are more mobile. The fur industry only wants prime pelts anyway.

Disease control is unlikely. Switzerland re-legalised leghold traps in 1968 in an attempt to control rabies in foxes, but trappers were unwilling to handle rabid animals, and the disease was controlled by a vaccination program. In Florida and Rhode Island where the leghold trap is also banned, only normal incidences of disease have been experienced.

Trapping is in fact detrimental to the environment. Its indiscriminate way of killing destroys the natural harmony employed by Nature to regulate species. As an example, a game warden at Brigham in Quebec reported that coyotes were seldom seen there up to 1977, while foxes were plentiful with a remnant of lynx. A trapping boom in 1978-82 wiped out the fox and lynx, and coyotes increased significantly, only to be annihilated by trappers, which caused rabbit and hare population explosions in 1987, with an abundance of feral cats becoming the dominant predators. The resilient coyotes re-emerged in 1989 and were rapidly wiped out again by trappers.

Other USA studies have shown that trapping can be a major cause of bird mortality. If birds are not killed in traps, their talons may be damaged and if, as a result, they are unable to hunt successfully, they die of starvation, as may also dependent offspring. Trapping also upsets the ecological balance by affecting the role of animals in maintaining vegetation. Squirrels and raccoons transfer seeds to rotting tree stumps, bury them or deposit seed amongst leaves with faecal matter, which assists forest regeneration. Small fur bearers carry mychorrizal fungi which help immature coniferous trees to obtain soil nutrients. Beaver dams when destroyed no longer provide habitat for water fowl, and depletion of beaver affects otter, muscat, herons, bass and even numerous insects. Beaver dams when intact also provide water conservation in drought times.

It is a familiar story: when excessive and unnatural pressure is put on a fragile environment, it is inevitable that the natural harmony which has evolved over thousands of years, will rapidly disintegrate and the environment become degraded.

see more about fur farming here:
 link to 64.233.179.104

No synthetic clothing 08.Feb.2006 21:39

J O

Is Schumacher saying no one should wear synthetic clothing? He has expressed his disdain for synthetic materials. Is he suggesting we all shop at Schumachers?

I can just see all those little children in $10,000 Schumacher minks waiting for the bus.
And what about those plastic/vinyl 50% off protest signs?
Or those nylons worn by his salesgirl?
I haven't seen Gregg leave on his bike headed for his yurt.

Is fur better for the environment or better for Schumachers bottom line?

Nice! 09.Feb.2006 15:34

Sky

Awesome rebuttel, Patrick!

I have something to mention about the bible reference as well.
In Genesis, where the Garden of Eden is created to house God's ideal community, God declares that there is NO DEATH whatsoever (to paraphrase) and therefore there isn't the killing of animals for fur, leather, food, and anything else in God's IDEAL environment.
Some pro-fur/leather people say that because it says that God outfits Adam and Eve in animal skins, he's endorcing the use of fur/leather, but in chronological order, the skins appear just as that - skins. They were never an animal before, meaning the 'skins' Adam and Eve wear never required an animal to be killed for them.
I'm not a Christian, but I've done my research because I always get some crazy Christian yelling about how God put animals on earth for us to use.
So yeah. But thanks for the rebuttal, you should send it to him!!!