Woman Choosing Fox for Fur Coat Becomes a Hero, Takes Fox Home Instead
Aleks Gaintseva was hoping to surprise his wife, Natalia, with a new fur coat. He wanted to give her something warm and beautiful to wear during those cold Russian winters. He even wanted her to pick out the precise fur that would make up her new coat. What Alexs didn’t count on was his wife’s better nature.
In Russia, where temperatures are extreme, fur coats are common. Many there mostly see the coat, not the animals who died to create it. When Natalia Gaintseva arrived at the fur farm in Barnaul, Russia, she saw something she hadn’t expected.
She saw the living creature whose life would have to be extinguished in order to provide her with a warm coat. In a flash, everything changed. Natalia decided there would be no coat after all. She gazed at the frightened black fox imprisoned in (her) pen and simply couldn’t do it.
“When I saw her cowering at the back of the cage, I felt really sorry for her and couldn’t possibly imagine wearing her,” said Gaintseva, according to the New York Post. “She really was a beautiful little fox looking up at me with her gorgeous big eyes.”
Wait, the story gets better. Gaintseva couldn’t just leave that fox to become someone else’s coat. She made plans to buy her and set her free.
“I’d much rather buy her and release her than have her killed and wear her,” Gaintseva said. “Not now that I had seen her alive.”
The Fox (Who) Went Home to Stay
Although Gaintseva intended to buy and free the black fox, she learned that (she) had been taken from (her) mother at a very early age. The fox had lived (her) whole life at the farm and never learned to survive in the wild. Releasing her into the Russian wilderness would be another kind of death sentence.
Gaintseva decided to do the only thing she could to ensure the fox’s survival — she took (her) home with her.
Now named Kiryusha, the fox lives with the Gaintsevas. See Natalia and Kiryusha together by clicking here. Kiryusha appears to be thriving, living warm, well fed and happy with the woman who was kind enough to see her as a fellow sentient being rather than something pretty to wear.
Fur Farms Mean a Short, Sad Life and a Painful Death
There’s nothing good to say about an animal’s life on a fur farm. They live crammed together in small cages and pens. They live their lives in sheds, never going outside or running free. They live and eat in the same tiny space in which they urinate and defecate.
After that sad life, they die hard deaths. To avoid damaging the fur, workers frequently slaughter the animals in a particularly painful and cruel manner — anal or vaginal electrocution.
China exports about half of the world’s finished fur garments. It’s a country known for killing fur-producing animals by skinning them alive, hanging them or bludgeoning them to death.
Remarkably, even in the U.S. there are few regulations or oversight restricting the practices on fur farms. Only in New York, for example, is it illegal for fur farms to kill animals by electrocution. About a third of the fur sold in the U.S. doesn’t even come from fur farms. That’s not good news, though. Instead, that fur comes from animals who died in excruciating pain over the course of days with a leg caught in steel-jaw traps.
There’s just no humane way to produce a fur coat or fur trim. Those who wear fur are the cause of a tragic life and horrifying death for beautiful, innocent animals. There’s nothing glamorous about fur.
Perhaps if more people saw where their fur, leather and meat actually comes from, more would decide they just can’t be the end customer for such cruelty. One by one, as people make this connection, things will change. For the animals, it can’t happen fast enough.
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Karen Lyons Kalmenson