Is mink breeding ethical?
People have benefited from the animals as a resource since man evolved into a separate species, but our use of animals at different times have had different meanings. Before the industrialization animals had much more important as work labour. Now the animals are more important to the food industry because of the fast increasing world population. Animals have always concluded our consumption pattern and the use of fur as a garment has always been a way for humans to keep warm. Today one can argue that fur is an unnecessary luxury product because of the many alternatives the consumer can use to keep warm instead. However, this is not a durable argument. As long as we humans use animals in different contexts, fur is not different from steak and wool. The Animal Ethics Committee under the Ministry of Justice writes about the topic:
“If you perceive fur as a commodity on the same level as other goods we get from animals, it becomes difficult to separate it as a special luxury product. In our society we surround ourselves with products that are not necessary for us, and the definition of when something is luxurious can therefore seem coincident. It is difficult to argue why fur is more luxurious than meat when we have substitutes for both in our world. If you choose to discuss the environmental considerations fur can seem less luxurious than meat eating. One can not argue that the use of fur is more environmentally friendly than the production of synthetic materials. Also the meat production gives more environmentally load and poorer use of the energy than plant production.
Ethical considered it is not fair to stamp fur as an unnecessary luxury item, as long as we do not see meat eating the same way. For all animals applies that they have to be treated well and that the death of the animal happens in a proper way. Danish mink breeding is being regulated by both the Danish legislation and EU-legislation. The Danish provisions are made in cooperation with the Animal Protection association.