Against Fur Zombies
(I like my animal friends alive)

Common Excuses
1. The makers of “taxidermy plushies” only use animals that died in accidents, or from natural causes.
As a matter of fact, furs from roadkill animals are an exception rather than the rule. Makers of real fur plushies commonly use pelts of animals that have either been raised and killed on fur farms, shot by hunters, or trapped by fur trappers. Therefore, these people financially and ideologically support the fur industry and support the killing of animals for fur.
Makers/collectors of real fur plushies have clearly stated in their galleries that they are buying furs from fur farms and/or hunters, and that they don't intend to stop doing so.

2. The pelts used for “taxidermy plushies” are sub-standard furs from fur farms which would otherwise be thrown away.
Even if this were true, buying sub-standard furs would still help to finance the cruelty and killing on fur farms. However, makers of “real fur plushies” are offering furs from companies such as Northern Myst Creations, which specializes in high-quality pelts with unusual color variations. This company exhibits pictures of live foxes on its web site, offering customers to purchase the pelts of these animals for prices between 80 and 150 US Dollars.

3. “Taxidermy Plushies” aren't toys, they have educational value!
Taking a look at the numerous gallery pictures of makers and buyers posing with “their” foxes and coyotes, it becomes very clear that these “plushies” are treated without any respect for the animals they once were. Instead, real fur plushies are often considered collectibles, funny critters you can photoraph in ridiculous poses, toys their owners can cuddle whenever they wish to, or even trophies people brag about.
It is also highly unlikely that artists can use fur zombies as references - without flesh, bones, or even a clearly defined shape, their anatomical similarity with a real animal is rather limited.
The amount of respect for the animals that collectors of “taxidermy plushies” show is nicely exhibited in the following galleries (which are, in fact, just a few random examples):

4. The animals need to be killed/culled anyway!
This is a claim hunters commonly use to justify their killing of foxes, coyotes, and other predators. Some facts regarding fox and coyote populations can, for instance, be found on the following websites:

5. But real fur plushies are a form of art!
What is considered art and what isn't often lies in the eye of the beholder. Still, if you choose a form of art that involves the killing of animals, you have to live with the fact that other people may not like it - the fact that you slab the label “art” on something morally objectionable doesn't make it right.

6. If you don't like it, look away!
First of all, looking away is impossible if, for instance, images in public galleries like DeviantArt aren't filterable. When looking for fox or coyote references, artists have a high chance of encountering pictures they would rather not see.
But even if the makers of fur zombies would set adequate filters: Looking away when something morally objectionable happens is not an option. We will voice our opinion, because the animals who have to die for “taxidermy plushies” can't.

7. If you are against “taxidermy plushies”, you have to be against taxidermy in general!
Some supporters of this web site are most likely against taxidermy in general. However, others don't mind taxidermy and actually see it as a form of art as long as no animal was actively killed for it (for instance, if people exclusively use roadkilled animals for their work).

8. Animals are raised and killed humanely on fur farms!
Setting aside the fact that killing animals for their fur is simply wrong, it is impossible to keep wild animals such as foxes in conditions that are both species-appropriate and economically viable. According to common suggestions for wildlife parks and zoos, foxes should have enclosures of 300+ square meters, plus adequate possibilities to dig and hide (wire mesh cages are naturally unacceptable). This would raise the price for a single ranched fox pelt far into the four-digit range. Because of this, European countries such as Sweden and The Netherlands have already banned fox fur farming altogether. In Germany, the last fox farm closed down in 2005.
Animals are killed on fur farms by methods that avoid damage to the pelts, such as gassing or lethal injections. For foxes, the most common method (both in North America and Eastern European fur farms) is electrocution, as shown in some of the following videos. These clips have been recorded with hidden cameras in fur farm located in various countries, including Finland, the United States, Ireland, and the Czech Republic.