Anyone a question for an ex-mink farmer?
#1
NATURE


With many experiences with animal rights groups and their tactics, has anyone on this forum got any questions for me on the subject you would like answered?
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#2
I'll bite.

1) Have you come across any sane animal rights groups?  By sane, I mean they acknowledge that animals have a role, pets or food for example, but solely want to see animals treated humanely.  The type who has no problem with eating beef, but is against leaving a dog outside in sub-freezing or roasting temperatures.

2) Is it true that tofu tastes like crap because it wasn't tested on lab mice?
-sent by howitzer via the breech.

God's love is manifest in the landscape as in a face.  - John Muir

I want creation to penetrate you with so much admiration that wherever you go, the least plant may bring you clear remembrance of the Creator.  A single plant, a blade of grass, or one speck of dust is sufficient to occupy all your intelligence in beholding the art with which it has been made  - Saint Basil

Heaven is under our feet, as well as over our heads. - Thoreau, Walden
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#3
(01-10-2018, 02:40 PM)cassini Wrote: NATURE


With many experiences with animal rights groups and their tactics, has anyone on this forum got any questions for me on the subject you would like answered?

I am aware that minks, like other mustelids, have anal glands capable of spraying strong secretions. What is mink anal gland liquid like? Does it have any useful applications? Is it edible (beaver gland was used as a berry-like flavoring additive and in the perfume industry)? Where does mink oil come from?
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#4
(01-10-2018, 02:55 PM)Jeeter Wrote: I'll bite.

1) Have you come across any sane animal rights groups?  By sane, I mean they acknowledge that animals have a role, pets or food for example, but solely want to see animals treated humanely.  The type who has no problem with eating beef, but is against leaving a dog outside in sub-freezing or roasting temperatures.

2) Is it true that tofu tastes like crap because it wasn't tested on lab mice?

As a mink farmer I have defended myself on radio and even television. There are two kinds of objectors, those accusing the farmer of cruelty, and those who call themselves ‘animal-rights’ people. The former I had no problems with as who is not against animal cruelty. I could only assure such people that farming mink was not ‘cruel’ as they did not suffer in any way. I could not have been a mink farmer if there was cruelty involved.

 The other lot are different as they think animals have as much rights as human beings. I have picketed them when they picketed a fur-shop and got to speak to them often. They are all of the opinion man is an animal, no different to any other animal. They are usually paid by their organisation who get all the money that animal cruelty groups should be getting. They are the type that have rings in their noses and are brainwashed. 

No idea about tofu Jeester, I know I wouldn't eat it even if it was tested.  
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#5
(01-10-2018, 04:48 PM)Cyriacus Wrote:
(01-10-2018, 02:40 PM)cassini Wrote: NATURE


With many experiences with animal rights groups and their tactics, has anyone on this forum got any questions for me on the subject you would like answered?

I am aware that minks, like other mustelids, have anal glands capable of spraying strong secretions. What is mink anal gland liquid like? Does it have any useful applications? Is it edible (beaver gland was used as a berry-like flavoring additive and in the perfume industry)? Where does mink oil come from?

Spraying: Like a skunk, minks can spray foul-smelling liquid from its anal glands when frightened or threatened. However, minks are unable to aim their spray. They pair this threatened behavior with hissing. In addition to their defensive spray, minks also use their scent to mark their territory -- says Google

To be honest it never caused farmers a problem as it was not that bad or you got used to it. When pelting the animal - with gloves - one avoided the glands.

Mink oil is an oil used in medical and cosmetic products. It is obtained by the rendering of mink fat which has been removed from pelts destined for the fur industry. Mink oil is a source of palmitoleic acid, which possesses physical properties similar to human sebum. Because of this, mink oil is used in several medical and cosmetic products'
 What can mink oil be used for?

It is a natural substance obtained from fat of minks. It was the fur trappers who first discovered the benefit of mink oil for making leather boots water resistant and flexible. ... Apart from suede, mink oil can be used in nearly all types of leather footwear including oil tanned, full grain and smooth finished leather  again Google.

The bodies of mink could not be used for any other animal food. We burned them. Obviously someone got mink oil from the fat scraped off the inner skin at 'blubbering' where the skin is placed over a pole to get the fat off.
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#6
How are mink treated humanely, and in what way are they killed?

Are mink intelligent animals?  Are they intelligent enough to have some degree of awareness of their fate, or are they completely oblivious right up to the moment they are killed?

What would their life be like in the wild? What makes mink special that other alternatives, either synthetic or other animals, are less appealing?

If you are not the person doing the slaughtering yourself, have you noticed if the slaughterers tend to become numb to what they are doing over time?  I imagine they would be aware that they are ending something's life and that, any degree of heart in that person would make them have to become callous to it in order to continue doing it year after year.  What, if anything, do they have to do yo avoid it turning them cold-blooded sonewhat?
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#7
Hey cassini -- you are the perfect person for my questions! Thanks for this opportunity.

I recently received a white mink coat. So, I know in nature, mink just come in brown but farmed mink have mutations that bring a variety of colours. Do mink farmers actively breed for these mutations or are various shades less desired than the typical browns? Did you often get a variety of colours? Is there a colour that fetches the most for pelts?

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#8
(01-12-2018, 10:01 AM)Zubr Wrote: Hey cassini -- you are the perfect person for my questions! Thanks for this opportunity.

I recently received a white mink coat. So, I know in nature, mink just come in brown but farmed mink have mutations that bring a variety of colours. Do mink farmers actively breed for these mutations or are various shades less desired than the typical browns? Did you often get a variety of colours? Is there a colour that fetches the most for pelts?

Hi Zubur, before I answer Melkite's post I will answer yours.

As far as I know, colour mutations were isolated and bred together from early 20th century. The range of colours I bred included light, dark and medium brown all called pastels, silverblue and sapphire, beige, pearl, black and white.

In my day the light sky-blue sapphire were the most expensive. Jet black was probably the next dearest with all the others coming in equally.

White mink were rare enough in Irish mink farms. However, there is one farm in Donegal, Ireland that has 10,000 white breeding females providing up to 40,000 white skins as year. Since China came into the mink coat market the prices have gone sky high and demand for beautiful white coats also.

I have photos of Sven holding a large male white mink but I do not know how to post them.
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#9
(01-11-2018, 09:11 AM)Melkite Wrote: How are mink treated humanely, and in what way are they killed?

Are mink intelligent animals?  Are they intelligent enough to have some degree of awareness of their fate, or are they completely oblivious right up to the moment they are killed?

What would their life be like in the wild? What makes mink special that other alternatives, either synthetic or other animals, are less appealing?

If you are not the person doing the slaughtering yourself, have you noticed if the slaughterers tend to become numb to what they are doing over time?  I imagine they would be aware that they are ending something's life and that, any degree of heart in that person would make them have to become callous to it in order to continue doing it year after year.  What, if anything, do they have to do yo avoid it turning them cold-blooded sonewhat?

Excellent questions Melkite, ones I hoped would be asked for an understanding of Mink farming.
 
I will answer 'Are mink intelligent animals?' first.  I know what you mean by 'Intelligence,' and on that ground no. A lifetime of pondering on God's reasons for creating animals has been the rock I have accepted in understanding the relationship between man and animal. I remember when I was 15 asking my Holy Ghost priest teacher if it was a sin to be cruel to animals. He was stunned by such a question, never asked of him before. There followed one of the most interesting debates rarely heard. Believe it or not I think I presented him with the answer rather that his telling us. Yes, the conclusion was that deliberate cruelty to an animal had to be a sin. Before that though we debated what constitutes cruelty which in itself is another profound question. And I will tell you why. We have all seen endless movies of animals in the wild preying on one another. We have see acts that any normal human being would consider cruel, like five lions starting to eat a still alive antelope for instance. Now God created them like so, and we cannot accuse God of being cruel can we? Indeed didn't He say in Genesis that this creation was ALL good!
This being so, I as a believer, had to try to understand why such natural slaughter could not be cruel. And this is where 'intelligence' comes back in. Human intelligence cannot be attributed to animals in the same way. We understand all the aspects of cruelty, the animal or bird must not, note must not, for if animals understood what was happening to them it would undoubtedly be cruel. They feel pain yes, but it a pain without human understanding, simply a natural thing. They do not understand death like a human does, they simply must not think at the time like a human would. This understanding of mine is the only conclusion I can come to when trying to understand God's creation of nature, and His making them subject to mankind.
 
There is another kind of Intelligence Melkite, the kind you refer to, and that is awareness as to what is going on around them. All animals are given a different awareness, depending on their kind. A dog has to be top of the list. In my experience mink are near the bottom. I never saw a tamed mink doing anything other than their kind of animal was meant to do in God's creation. They are born killers, kill their prey not always for food but for the sake of killing. If a mink gets into a hen house it will kill every chicken in it. Killing for them is normal, just as eating and sleeping is. Mink must be kept separate after culling as they will kill other mink at the drop of a hat. Their only function in God's creation is to kill so as to keep the balance of nature that is essential to prevent chaos, and this balance in nature is what God meant when He says in the Bible, ‘and it was good.’
 
Mink haven't a clue as to their fate. They were always mindless creatures to me, creatures that did not like to be disturbed. Throughout their lives in a mink farm they are fed and watered every day, provided with boxes of hay or sawdust to sleep and breed in. They show little or no stress in their cage except when they know its feeding time when they run up and down in anticipation of their meal, just as we might rub our hands before we eat a meal. Animal rights people show these movements and say they show mink are going insane and starving.
 
'How are mink killed' is the question everyone asks. When I first started there were various ways to do this. They can be gassed, injected or killed by breaking their necks. I witnessed all three and came to a decision, one I kept private but will explain it to you. To gas or inject mink to kill then involved time and stress as they were moved to places they did not know. It could take a half an hour to do it. I was able to catch and kill a mink in three seconds. Before it knew what was happening I could dispatch it instantly. Mink farmers used to ask me to do some for them as they all considered it the most humane way of all.
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#10
Thanks for the reply cassini! You had a nice range of colours going on there. There is such a variety that it is really difficult for a person like me, on the consuming end, to decide. The sapphires and some of the pastel coats are just fantastic. I've got a Blackglama garment that I wear all the time but it's personal preference to turn to the lighter shades.

Though I hear, at least now, jaguar minks are sought after pets. That I don't understand. My apologies: I talk about furs too much.

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