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minkbears Vintage Mink Bears by Kathy Myers
Lakewood CA
Posts: 1,387

I thought that this was a very interesting question that I just got on ebay about my work:

Q:      your craftsmanship is amazing! such an adorable little panda. i was wondering - do you ever make these bears out of material that hasn't been skinned from real animals? i just want to cuddle your bears, but then i think of the poor animals that were raised in filthy unnatural conditions then killed thru painful genital shock and they doesn't seem so cuddly anymore! anyway, i'd love to know if you ever use material that is animal-friendly... thanks for your time!    

(I didn't have a problem answering the is my answer:)

A:      Thank you for your question. My answer might surprise you since I have been a vegetarian for the past 40 years; I actually prefer to create my teddies from vintage mink stoles. My explanation is in the current (August)issue of Teddy Bear Review magazine in their The Green Scene article.I will quote myself from the article, "I have always believed that re-creating the old vintage furs into artist teddies allows the 'spirit' of the original animal to live on". I knew that I was on the right track about 18 years ago when I was offered furs from a radical animal rights activist group...the furs that they used in their demonstrations. They wanted to give them to me instead of their usual burial. I don't feel uncomfortable working with vintage furs because I believe that since these are furs that have been around since before I was born that those poor little animals deserve to be loved even it is in the new form of a teddy bear. I feel blessed that I was given such a unique talent. Thanks again for your thought provoking question.

I get similar questions every once in there anything that I should add next time?

By the way, I posted the Q and A at the end of my auction listing.
Kathy Myers

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

Genital shock! Yikes!?!?!

I think your response is perfect. I've always figured that after all these years hanging in a closet or folded in a storage chest in some's attic that it did the poor animal justice to let it finish out it's "afterlife" as an animal once again.

Marlys Waggle Bears
So Cal Desert
Posts: 4,089

I think you answer is perfect, too. She started nicely by commenting on your talents, but after going into the "filthy unnatural conditions," I wonder if she might be trying to rile you.

You gave a reasonable and logical reason for liking real fur. And I agree, these coats came from years ago, you didn't  put then in "filthy unnatural conditions,"  and you are giving them a new life in a loving home.

bearhug07 Strange Bears
Posts: 444

Hi Kathy

I think you answer is perfect...calm and reasoned. I actually found the question a bit aggressive and confrontational in it's wording but then it is so hard to judge emotions in the written word.  bear_original  bear_original

chrissibrinkley Posts: 1,836

Your response is perfect, very professional.  Most of the persons "concerns" could have been cleared up by reading the artist's statement within your listing. 
I'm wondering if they were really asking to get your honest response or if they were hoping to "enlighten" you.  People are a hoot man bear_rolleyes


tuppies teddies Tuppies Teddies
Lindenow, Central Gippsland
Posts: 1,969

Well answered Kathy, I feel the same about my little furry pals when I have finished one, a little fellow has come to life again for someone to enjoy...

minkbears Vintage Mink Bears by Kathy Myers
Lakewood CA
Posts: 1,387

Thanks for all of your feedback!    bear_thumb

I think that Chrissi has an excellent point (the person probably did think that she was going to "enlighten me) and I totally agree...people are a hoot!  bear_grin  bear_grin  bear_grin

Hugs to all~ :hug:

thumperantiques Newcastle, Ontario
Posts: 5,643

     I think your answer was professional and brilliant!  I don't know why people feel a moral obligation to push their beliefs on others, especially before they've take the time to ask what your views are.
     Personally, I think your work is exquisite and I believe the animals would salute you, when you turn one of the old skins back into the beautiful creatures they once were.   Well done  :clap: !



Little Bear Guy Little Bear Guy
Waterloo, Ontario
Posts: 1,395

I have to agree that the person was likely just trying to get a rise out of you.  We have had a few emails like that in the past , a couple of them were from PETA and actually were very very nasty and threatening.  We did refer those ones on to the authorities because we did feel very threatened by them.  I think you did a wonderful job in answering the question, I am sure they were not expecting such a polite and professional answer and I think they will be even more shocked to learn you are a vegetarian lol.

beautiful work by the way

big hugs


Tammy Beckoning Bears
Nova Scotia
Posts: 3,739

Kathy, I had a similar question on a recent auction.  Maybe from the same person , who knows.  My answer was similair.  I feel honored to give these animals new life when they otherwise hang in a closet, or get tossed.    I think what you said was perfect !  bear_thumb

You know how thrilled  I was to just receive a piece of your work as a gift  from a dear friend and TTer , I know how exceptional it is .  You truly are blessed with a special gift !

Lhearn Critters Creations
Posts: 1,303

Well said Kathy. bear_thumb  bear_thumb I love your creations. bear_wub  bear_wub  bear_wub You are a very talented lady and know how to create something special from the furs!!!!!!

kellydean k e l l y d e a n & c o m p a n y
Narrowsburg, New York
Posts: 718

I make very few real fur critters, only the occasional bity bunny, but I use it to trim bear clothing with., and because I'm always one the lookout for new material, I've got quite a collection of fur coats that've I've picked up at yard sales & on ebay.  a number of them actually fit me quite well, and I usually wear a fur coat around town when I walk my pups in the the winter.  whenever I'm called on it by anti-animal cruelty mavens, I tell them no wild animals were used in this coat. . . they were pets!

however, there are a LOT of hunters in this area, and the comment I get hollered out of truck windows quite often is 'hey, great coat!  you shoot those yourself???'

I also have a little sideline I call 'kellydean reFURbished' where I recycle peoples used & vintage furs into vests & pillow for them.  like Kathy, I like to think these poor critters didn't die for nothing and as far as PETA people go, I also point out the care & attention I lavish on my own pets.

Tracy ThimbleBeary Originals
Posts: 2,049

bear_thumb Perfect answer Kathy!

DebbieD Posts: 3,540

Yep, PETA person in disguise.  Your response was perfect Kathy  bear_thumb  :clap:  :clap:   I've actually had three anti fur people endorse my real fur bears.  They're thrilled that the old furs are coming back to life as it were.   bear_flower

Melisa Nichols Melisa's Bears
Hazelton, BC
Posts: 5,811

That was a great answer... it can be hard to be calm in situations like that.  I had a similar email sent to me only they said I was going "straight to hell"... sometimes people who are very enthusiastic about an animal cause forget that people are important too & don't look farther than that the fur is real. 

I sent a calm email back to the person who emailed me and she emailed back saying that she was sorry and realized I wasn't the problem as I too use only recycled fur. 

It's nice to know that some people involved with anti-fur campaigns recognize that abusing those who recycle fur isn't the answer to the problem they are adressing.

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