It’s estimated that around 100 million animals raised on factory farms and another 10 million trapped in the wild are killed each year for the fur industry. Most of them are American mink. Between 2014 and 2015, approximately 70 million mink were killed for the fur trade.

In the wild, minks always live near a water source, as they are excellent swimmers and divers. They swim between 250 and 500 meters each day and can dive up to 30 meters deep. They are also magnificent climbers and jump from tree to tree. They can live up to 12 years.

Close to watercourses, they occupy territories up to 6 km long and 200 m wide. They can occupy up to 24 dens, but they have favorite dens that they occupy more frequently. They generally do not dig their own dens but borrow them from other species.

Minks have highly developed hearing, sight, and smell senses. Despite being primarily solitary, they use visual cues, smells, and a variety of sounds to communicate, delimit their territories, or find a mate. Some studies suggest that they can recognize individuals by smell.

However, in intensive farms, mink live locked up in cages so small that sometimes they don’t even double their size, without access to water and surrounded by other mink with whom they are forced to live side by side. In many cases, they receive less food than they should or food that is not suitable for their needs. Their excrement accumulates under their cages, causing terrible odors they must endure all day.

The level of stress caused by living like this is very high. This causes them to have repetitive behaviors not observed in free mink and even self-mutilation of despair. In addition, their immune system goes down a lot, which makes them perfect recipients (and transmitters) of zoonotic diseases. As of April 2020, more than 450 fur farms were affected by COVID-19, resulting in the even more premature death of more than 20 million animals.

Fur is harmful to the planet, threatens public health and causes a lot of pain and suffering to millions of animals. Don’t contribute to this industry, don’t be an accomplice.

👉 EU Citizens! Act Now to Create a Fur-Free EU: https://veganfta.com/take-action/fur-free-europe

Matilde Nuñez del Prado Alanes is from La Paz, Bolivia. She made her thesis in Sociology on cockfighting, as a result of an undercover investigation in the field for 4 years, and she is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Critical Theory. Her topics of interest are the relationships between humans and other sentient animals from the perspective of Critical Animal Studies, the socio-ecological issues, and the intersectionality between different forms of oppression, domination and exploitation.