12 Years Ago This Month- Mink Run Free in Washington State (USA)

12 years ago this month, activists visited a fur farm in Washington and liberated over 1,000 mink.

They released video footage of mink taking their first steps outside of a cage. Animals who would now live as wild beings, not caged commodities.

No one was arrested.

“In the early morning hours of October 12th, we entered Miller’s Mink Ranch on Addy-Gifford Road in Washington, and took down every breeder card in one of the two large, main sheds. We opened approximately 3/4 of the cages, many of which had more than one animal, freeing more than a thousand animals. We also took 3 individuals and released them at different locations.

In the Pacific NW the fur industry represents more than just animal abuse and speciesism. Trapping, killing, and skinning fur bearing mammals for profit was one of the first steps of westward expansion and manifest destiny in this area. It was one of the first parts of the colonial process that decimated many Native people and cultures.

The fact that the fashion and fur industries point to Native people wearing fur as their justification of the factories of death is inexcusable. These people responsible have no personal or cultural ties to the native people who were here first, in fact, they are a part of the system that destroyed their way of life.

The current way of ‘farming’ mink, fox, bobcat, and lynx does not bear any similarity or have any hint of the same respect for life and nature that the native tribes and cultures around here have.

We are not asking for better conditions for farmed mink, for a more humane way of caging wild beings. Mink are fiercely territorial animals in the wild, with territories that can be miles long, usually along waterfronts where they can swim and hunt fish and small mammals. This freedom is their birthright as wild creatures.

The approximately 2 square feet in which Miller’s Mink Ranch cages two and sometimes three mink for the whole of their lives is unspeakable. It is unfortunately the standard for mink farms the world over. The agony and frustration at never feeling more than wire under paws that were meant for swimming and pursuing prey can only be wondered at.”