Mink Holocaust in Denmark raises moral issues and draws public attention to the cruel fur industry
Posted on November 13th, 2020

Senaka Weeraratna

The Rights of Human Beings (Human Rights) and the Rights of Sentient Beings (Siyalu Sathwayo) are two different concepts. 

The Abrahamic religions place a heavy emphasis on Human Rights to the almost total exclusion of any moral attention being given to the rights and interests of other sentient beings.

Buddhism, in contrast, together with other Dharmic religions such as Jainism, adopt a more inclusive approach. Buddhism accepts the claims of non – human beings for just and fair treatment, call on all adherents to extend compassion and loving – kindness to animals, and where ever a Buddhist Social Order prevails, living beings become the subjects of the State with acceptance of a concomitant State Responsibility for the welfare of Animals. 

A striking example of the difference in approaches is the recent cull of 17 million Mink animals in Denmark. 

It is a Holocaust in every sense of the word, except that the species are different. No moral voices have been raised so far to spare  the lives of these innocent animals, who are kept in small cages from birth till they are slain for the fur industry.

The fur industry is cruel. More than 50 million animals are raised and brutally killed for use in fashion every year. Methods employed to kill animals for their fur include gassing, electrocution, and neck breaking, and many are skinned alive. Buying even the tiniest amount of fur trim supports the cruel fur industry

Mink animals spend their entire lives in filthy cramped cages, deprived of the ability to engage in natural behaviors. Furthermore, the highly congested, squalid conditions are fertile ground for epidemics such as the bird flu. The COVID – 19 spread to the humans through the wet markets in China.

 The failure of the world leaders and mainstream media to raise their moral voices with the Danish authorities to spare the lives of these innocent animals, is a clear example of the wide gulf that exists today between opinion makers and the Buddhist teachings that unequivocally extend protection to all living beings.

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