National Geographic : 2016 Sep
Back in Fashion 107 that people in the trade now often boast of the reforms their old adversaries forced on them. Frank Zilberkweit, a London fur retailer, balked at the confrontational methods activists use but added, “They have made us aware of what we do. And so, for that, thank you. Why not?” Mullen’s mink were surprisingly large and healthy looking—twice the weight of their wild counterparts, with broad, curious faces. They were, of course, also doomed. I had arrived to see the killing. Farmworkers, wearing welding gloves to avoid being bitten, went from cage to cage, lifting each animal by the base of the tail. Some animals screeched in protest, but most seemed accustomed to being handled, up to the moment they dropped, like packag- es into a mailbox, through the swinging door of the carbon monoxide killing box. They were unconscious within a minute and dead a few minutes later. “If you were to watch other types of livestock being killed,” said Mullen, “they’re usually tak- en from their homes, trucked hundreds of miles to the slaughterhouse, and it’s bloody and hor- rific. This is the most humane form of killing of livestock there is.” The next day we visited This farm in Colombia produces more than 40,000 caimans a year, moving the animals from tank to tank as they grow. Here, hundreds of caimans, measuring about 20 inches, splash into one of the pools. They’re killed before they reach about four feet, when they can become territorial, start fighting, and scar their skins.