Domesticated Minks as Pets

Updated on March 12, 2018
Melissa A Smith profile image

Melissa holds a bachelor's degree in biology and is a plant and animal enthusiast with multiple pets.

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Minks closely resemble ferrets which are domesticated versions of polecats. Some people might make the grave mistake of assuming that minks are only marginally different from ferrets and may seek to acquire them as pets. It cannot be emphasized enough that this is not the case. As a staunch exotic pet advocate, I must emphasize that minks can actually be quite nightmarish to care for.

Even more upsetting is the fact that farmed minks in the United States are considered to be domesticated by federal law, despite how dangerous they are for their size. Looks can be deceiving, which is why the belief that animals make better pets when they are domesticated is invalid.

Can I Have a Mink as a Pet?

If you are interested in owning a mink, check your local laws. They are not as readily legal as ferrets, but they tend to be legal in more states than other exotic pets such as foxes, monkeys, and exotic cats. They will likely be covered in laws regarding "furbearers", instead of exotic animal ordinances. As lawmakers are always quick to aid business owners that want to kill animals over those that want to care for them as pets, these legal loopholes might keep them legal unless you are required to be a licensed farmer.

Captive Mink Facts

  • They have an average lifespan of about 7 years.
  • They can be very playful and even affectionate depending on how they are raised.
  • They have less odor than ferrets.
  • Animals purchased young make the best pets.

The "Domesticated Mink" in Captivity

Minks are semi-aquatic, predacious, high-octane, voracious mustelids with an extremely fast metabolism. The mustelid group includes ferrets, weasels, badgers, stouts, and other small elongate carnivores that are mostly terrestrial. Unlike ferrets, mink have webbed feet, making them adept swimmers.

Their natural lifestyle consists of waking up, excessively hunting animals that can even be larger than themselves, eating, and going back to sleep. Minks also will catch fish, in addition to mice, rats, squirrels, and even rabbits. Having an understanding of their wild behavior will provide insight into what they require in captivity.

Wild mink
Wild mink | Source

What Does Domestication Mean for a Mink?

The farm-raised mink that are pelted for fashion are domesticated. What does this mean? It means the animal has been selectively-bred, which has led to an alteration of its traits that makes it more suitable for human use. Do not confuse this with lack of aggression, enjoyment of living with humans, or homing ability that people erroneously believe are traits of domestication that make dogs and cats "good pets", as opposed to an exotic pet (this results in the indiscriminate persecution of anyone owning an animal that is not considered to be "domesticated").

There are numerous completely undomesticated exotic pets that make better pets than domesticated minks. Like domesticated dogs, minks are altered from their wild forms, possessing smaller brains and other organs such as the spleen. Regardless, the smaller brain size barely makes a difference with the animal’s needs in captivity. When mink are raised for their fur, the design of the mink’s environment in the farm is for optimal profit, not welfare for the animal.

Mink farm cages with food on top.
Mink farm cages with food on top. | Source

Welfare in Fur Farms

Reproductive success is the only element of which the needs of the fur farmers and the psychological welfare of the animals collide. Farmed minks rarely have access to a swimming pool. One study titled, "Frustrations of Fur-Farmed Mink," in which a sample of minks were assessed to examine if they preferred access to water or toys, found that water is essential to their psychological welfare.

Fur farm minks are also subjected to cramped conditions, even though they are high-energy, continuous hunters. Their incessant pacing might be indicative of stress and inability to satiate their drive. Still, these "domesticated" animals breed and survive enough to satisfy fur farmers. Farmed mink are then dispatched via anal electrocution.

Remember: This Video Is Trying to Make Mink Farms Look Good

Buying Mink

Those who want to keep a farmed mink as a pet shouldn't be misled because they are considered domesticated. Continuous predators like mink, spotted genets, weasels, and otters require continuous stimulation compared to a lion, which uses short bursts of energy sporadically and rests most of the time.

Therefore, stopping behaviors such as cage pacing might be difficult, or impossible. The owner must be attuned to the needs of the animal to ensure its psychological welfare, and ready to make changes when something isn’t working out.

Rescued Mink

Therefore, as one might expect, a cage should be suitably-sized, although not even a spacious cage will offset all the energy of an animal adapted as a high energy hunter. These are not pets to be confined to small ferret cages.

A good rule of thumb would be to start with a 3-level ferret nation-like cage as a minimum, but the smaller the cage, the bigger the requirement for enrichment time outside of the cage, and this can be difficult to provide with animals that are not well socialized and can potentially hurt you.

MidWest Deluxe Ferret Nation Double Unit Ferret Cage (Model 182) Includes 2 leak-Proof Pans, 2 Shelves, 3 Ramps w/Ramp Covers & 4 locking Wheel Casters, Measures 36" L x 25" W x 62.5" H Inches
MidWest Deluxe Ferret Nation Double Unit Ferret Cage (Model 182) Includes 2 leak-Proof Pans, 2 Shelves, 3 Ramps w/Ramp Covers & 4 locking Wheel Casters, Measures 36" L x 25" W x 62.5" H Inches

This is a popular brand of cage that I use with my exotics. The quality of the material is perfect for housing even the most determined mink.

 

According to Joseph Carter, who is skilled and experienced with training minks (he obtains mink from fur farms and uses them to hunt other animals) it is possible to tame minks well enough to interact with them without gloves, but should you not have time to do this, you will be dealing with an animal that is prone to biting you, and this can require a hospital visit. Minks can bite through the thickest gloves, still causing bloody wounds.

  • Minks are also so aggressive that they will attack each other. They can be very determined, attacking large animals with little inhibition and powerful bite force. Minks are also skilled escape artists, so your enclosure must be extremely secure.
  • Minks are a notorious invasive species in Great Britain.
  • Minks fit all the characteristics that animal rights activists like to spin about ‘non-domesticated’ animals yet they are federally protected as suitable for captivity.

Feeding Pet Mink

Regarding dietary needs, minks are similar to ferrets. Both species need a very high protein diet with low carbohydrate content. A high quality commercial ferret food should form the base of the diet and it can be mixed with high protein cat food. You might want to avoid formulas that contain a lot of fish because this can make their poop smelly. Raw meat can supplement the diet (some owners prefer to feed this exclusively, but it can be messy, nutritionally incomplete, and spread bacteria to the human owner). Feeding whole carcass foods can be enriching for minks. It is completely unnecessary and inhumane to feed live prey.

This taxidermy of a least weasel attacking a rabbit provides a visual of how minks kill large animals.
This taxidermy of a least weasel attacking a rabbit provides a visual of how minks kill large animals. | Source

Interacting With Mink

Whether or not your mink remains tame will depend on the age of the animal, your persistence, and the animal's individual personality. As is the case with most animals, getting them younger helps. Minks raised from an early age often bond to their owners, although they can become aggressive toward people who they are unfamiliar with. Don't let people play with your mink. When mink bite, they may latch on and refuse to let go. They can easily bite down to the bone. Minks are a pet for the adventurous pet keeper who is willing to accept that occasional mishaps may occur.

Questions & Answers

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        Joseph Carter 2 years ago

        Thank you Melissa, I do appreciate it.

        If you want to use my name, that is ok with me. I'm not opposed to different opinions being expressed, nor am I apposed to you using my name. I do, however, not like it when I am misrepresented. I appreciate your cooperation.

      • Melissa A Smith profile image
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        Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

        Joseph Carter--I'm going to unpublish this article for the time being and make some changes, possibly taking your name out of it. Let me know when you see this comment.

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        Joseph Carter 2 years ago

        Melissa A Smith

        You still haven't changed this utterly false statement about me and my practices...

        "Carter has outright stated that he doesn’t like the lack of challenge in hunting with more humane, efficient methods, and prefers to work his minks not for pest control, or for providing food, but for sport."

        That statement is extremely misleading and down right offensive to me. You are essentially insinuating that I just kill for fun and waist the bodies after I'm done. This is not only untrue, but extremely offensive to me! Every thing I kill goes to feed either my family or my mink, and I do A LOT of pest control with my mink.

        I have addressed this issue several times before, and I kindly ask you again to change it.

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        Joseph Carter 2 years ago

        FishBio

        Actually, how often a mink hunts muskrats depends more on where it lives than anything else. In the southern parts of their range, mink only occasionally feed on muskrats as an opportunistic predator. However, in the farther northern reaches of their range, mink actually venture away from their typical role as a generalist predator, and become a specialist predator on muskrats. In the north western reaches of their range, mink rely so heavily on muskrat that their populations rise and fall with the muskrat 10 year cycles, similar what happens with other northern specialist predators like the Canadian lynx following the snowshoe hare population cycles, or the least weasel following the vole population cycles.

      • Melissa A Smith profile image
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        Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

        You don't know what I think it is. I'm going with the evidence-based APPROVED methods of slaughter. No where on there does it say death by predator is approved and it never will be.

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        FishBio 2 years ago

        Ignored what exactly? Your entire comment was based on a miscommunication. Your point is that humane slaughter is humane. Mine is that it's a hell of a lot sloppier and traumatic than you think it is. whatever helps you sleep at night.

      • Melissa A Smith profile image
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        Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

        So you've basically ignored my reply.

        Next.

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        FishBio 2 years ago

        "not so much worse" was sarcasm. It's at least, if not more, humane than typical slaughter practices and you have very unrealistic view of how our food ends up dead. Maybe in a perfect world everything we eat would die peacefully in it's sleep but that's not how it happens when you've got a thousand cows that need to be shrink-wrapped by the end of your shift. Maybe you think buying dog food is the humane alternative but you're being naive. carnivores as a whole have evolved to kill their prey as quickly and with as little risk to themselves as possible. Our mechanized, industrial society has NOT improved on that.

      • Melissa A Smith profile image
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        Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

        "You're going to discover that cervical dislocation from a set of mink jaws after a 30 second wrestling match is not so much worse than suffocating in a net, being herded into a building that reeks of blood and fear before having your throat cut/getting hit with a pneumatic hammer, or being hung upside down by your legs on conveyor belt and having your head sliced off by a set of spinning blades."

        So you admit it is worse. Then why do it? As for your statements on the dispatching methods, I do not support 'halal slaughter' (throat cutting). I believe in gun shot to the right region or captive bolt gun, whichever methods are approved in the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals that result in instant loss of consciousness. I believe these methods are routinely used. CO2 gas is currently used for rodents. https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Documents/euthana...

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        FishBio 2 years ago

        Ok, Melissa. I stumbled upon this article somehow and I spent the last 45 minutes reading all of these comments out of genuine curiosity about the various viewpoints the contributors are backing. I'm a conservation biologist and a naturalist and I feel like I've got something to contribute here. I this what Joseph Carter is doing is really a good thing for his animals, particularly the pest control as it serves a dual function and avoids much more indiscriminate pest control methods. I would rather be eaten than die from rodent poison or stuck to a glue board. I also solute his full utilization ethic. Wasteful sport hunting is despicable. I'm not a huge fan of him using a mink to hunt relatively large prey like muskrat and opossum as these are prey items that a wild mink might take infrequently and opportunistically involving a sick or trapped animal. Fish, smaller rodents, birds, and invertebrates are much more common food items and are quickly and readily dispatched by a mink sized animal. I would encourage him to concentrate on smaller prey for the benefit of the prey and his mink. Just my opinion. Now that I've said that, I need to offer my two cents in regards to your opinion on what constitutes "humane". I understand that you feel like allowing a mink to kill a rat is torture. I understand that you would rather feed the mink canned or professionally butchered food. What I do think you need to investigate more closely, however, is how "humanely" the animals in the cans were slaughtered. You're going to discover that cervical dislocation from a set of mink jaws after a 30 second wrestling match is not so much worse than suffocating in a net, being herded into a building that reeks of blood and fear before having your throat cut/getting hit with a pneumatic hammer, or being hung upside down by your legs on conveyor belt and having your head sliced off by a set of spinning blades. I appreciate your sentiment but I think you're off base with what constitutes a preferable alternative to a mink killing live prey. If you don't want to feed your pets animals that experienced discomfort, fear, and pain before it died then you don't have a choice but to stick to herbivorous pets. This is not my opinion it is a fact. there is no such thing as a completely, "humanely" killed, commercially available, meat.

      • Melissa A Smith profile image
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        Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

        "So basically you are against every wolf, coyote, hyena, lion..... essentially every thing that doesn't shoot it's dinner with a gun! Your conscience may be clear, but your logic is nonexistent."

        I'm against them if they are someone's pets eating live. You've created some of the silliest strawmans yet.

      • Melissa A Smith profile image
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        Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

        "So she’s promoting use to all go buy chicken from the store to feed our pet predators to avoid the cruelty of feeding live"

        No I didn't. Your comments are cluttering up this comment section and if you don't want to have any rational discussion I might decide to remove them.

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        Zhi 2 years ago

        Now this one is HILARIOUS because she argues with herself IN THE SAME PARAGRAPH.

        When responding to Megan Melissa states “The wild is inherently cruel and out of our control. Our pets and captive animals are completely in our control. If we can remove the suffering from the equation, we should.” Ok, she’s making some logical sense. Basically just because animals suffer in nature, doesn’t mean we should promote that in captivity…. But wait, then she says “All organisms die, but not all of them suffer. This is why factory farms are cruel.” Wait a minute! So she’s promoting use to all go buy chicken from the store to feed our pet predators to avoid the cruelty of feeding live, but then that is promoting what she just stated as “cruel” namely using meat from a “factory farm” You just told us “factory farms are cruel” and that “If we can remove the suffering from the equation, we should” and yet she is promoting the usage of factory farms!!! I AM SO CONFUSED MELISSA!!!

        So only cruelty in factory farms is permitted in the Gospel of Melissa, but not feeding live, or allowing your pet to hunt its own meals. Wait I thought you said “If we can remove the suffering from the equation, we should.” Why are you promoting feeding from “cruel factory farms” when you are claiming we should avoid cruelty??? Don’t you think that months or years of living in cramped, unsanitary conditions is far more cruel than a quick five second death with a predator?

      • profile image

        Zhi 2 years ago

        Melissa Smith arguing with herself.

        Apparently we don’t need to bother arguing with Melissa, because she argues with herself! The following are all direct quotes from Melissa from the comments above….

        When arguing with Joseph Carter Melissa stated, “If keeping carnivore pets requires live feedings then keeping them is cruel. If you think keeping pets inside eating dead food is cruel you are against 95% of pet owners.” Melissa then promptly changes her tune when arguing with CC and states that “The truthfulness of what I say is NOT determined by the number of supportive posts on this article, sorry”

        So apparently truth is decided by Melissa and those who follow her way of thinking. ANYONE who thinks differently MUST be wrong, REGARDLESS of how many people think differently…. WOW SOMEONE IS RATHER CONCEDED!

      • profile image

        Zhi 2 years ago

        "I'm not against hunting, just unnecessarily cruel hunting."

        So basically you are against every wolf, coyote, hyena, lion..... essentially every thing that doesn't shoot it's dinner with a gun! Your conscience may be clear, but your logic is nonexistent.

        On one hand there are posts here where you argue against keeping wild animals in captivity, but on the other hand it appears you believe that the world would be a better place if every wild predator were locked in a cage and fed a pre-killed meal....

        Your "ethics" are beyond ridiculous, and you make absolutely no sense! If we posted all of your comments back to back we could basically make you argue with yourself! I don't think even YOU understand what you believe, because there is absolutely no rhyme, reason, or consistency to any of it!

      • Melissa A Smith profile image
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        Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

        Zhi- Nope, my conscience is clear. Thanks for stopping by.

        JD- Glad you had fun.

      • Melissa A Smith profile image
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        Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

        I'm not against hunting, just unnecessarily cruel hunting. Are you making a case that ethics are something we don't need to have? I'm of the mindset that we can keep our pets and consume animal products efficiently and humanely, regardless of where you live. It's that simple. I'm not up for a larger philosophical debate about whether or not people should have morals.

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        JD 2 years ago

        Wow, this article is dang funny! The only thing funnier are the comments witten by the author after the article! The author is self admittedly completely ignorant when it comes to REAL LIFE mink experience, and yet she has the nerve to argue with the guy who is her main source of information for this article! WHAT A JOKE!!!!

      • profile image

        Zhi 2 years ago

        Little girl, you have some serious internal conflicts going on in your head. You are clearly 90% emotion and 10% logic. Loving predators, yet hating predation as you do, is clearly a conflict of interests. You're internal conflict is made clear in your comments, and you are beyond hypocritical. My suggestion is, if you love having "cool exotic pets" that you stick with chinchillas, squirrels, and other herbivores, as you clearly don't understand one thing about predators. May I suggest you end you internal conflict by embracing life as this animal lover has https://sites.google.com/a/pets-more.com/www/exoti...

        Your responses to people's comments are down right humorous, as you continue to dig yourself deeper and deeper into a black hole of utter and complete hypocrisy. Your complete and utter ignorance on nature is beyond embarrassing, and you'd be better off saving face by keeping your silly comments, and ridiculous opinions to yourself.

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        Andrew 2 years ago

        I agree keeping pets is unnatural. All animals under my care are partners. My draft stock helps carry heavy loads when needed and provide fertilizer for my gardens. My barn cats keep the rodent population from destroying my growing and stored crops. My dogs come from hunting breeds hundreds of years old that help me put meat on the table for my family that is grass feed, hormone free, and til of late I didn't have to worry about CWD with it. They also help protect the livestock, barn cats, and chickens from outside predators such as skunks, coyotes, and such. In return a these animals receive a much more stable source of food, water, medical care and sanctuary.

        "Actually, the whole idea of keeping pets from the start is unnatural for them so maybe it is you who shouldn't be keeping animals if you are against denying them of their 'nature'. Feeding live doesn't even really replicate the entire process of hunting and is just a form of cruelty."

        I don't deny animals under my care their nature, at least as much as I can without truly endangering their safety. Actually live feeding does replicate the hunting process. doesn't matter if it's in 3 square feet or 3 square miles. The predator has still has to acknowledge and find the prey, stalk and chase the prey, finally subdue and eat the prey. As an example why is it you find live mice running around a snake's cage more that few hours? The snake has not acknowledge the prey yet, least not until it's hungry enough.

        The words ethics, and cruelty in all it's forms are just words used by humans to apply personification to the rest of the animal kingdom. LIFE is cruel, it is unfair and when you play by Nature's rules ethics is at a bare minimum; more something that can be classified as cause and consequence.

        I personally am an omnivore and enjoy hunting, fishing for my own meat. One because I get satisfaction that I worked for that meat, and two that my meat is truly free range. So I have absolutely no problem watching nature be nature. Such as when I go pick up hay from the field and the cats and dogs eat their fill of the pack rats I exposed picking up the bales. Or the one cat, I keep indoors, pounce a mouse in my house that I exposed while cleaning house; then proceed to eat it alive on the living room floor.

        But what I do get tired of is people that have no clue about my lifestyle or the environment Joseph Carter, I and others like us live in, trying to tell us how we need to live our lives. The minority of us that choose to stay in a rural environment are a little bit more involved with nature and know what means to exist with it, than those choosing to live in concrete fortress where the closest thing to nature are the TV, zoos or parks. Why certain pets they keep become aggressive and destructive because they cannot exercise their natural abilities.

      • Melissa A Smith profile image
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        Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

        "Seems to me that if a person cannot stomach nature being nature in it's entirety; then they probably shouldn't be keeping carnivorous pets."

        Actually, the whole idea of keeping pets from the start is unnatural for them so maybe it is you who shouldn't be keeping animals if you are against denying them of their 'nature'. Feeding live doesn't even really replicate the entire process of hunting and is just a form of cruelty.

        "Oh and a few tidbits for you Melissa: rodents will indulge in cannibalism"

        So?

        "Ants, cuckoo birds, dolphins, lions, chimps, elephants, wolfs, have all been observed to kill for non survival reasons."

        So? I do not seek to replicate the cruel parts of nature like people who feed live do. What happens in the wild has no impact on the ethical decisions I make for animals in my care.

      • profile image

        Andrew 2 years ago

        Honestly after reading this entire article and argument I'm having a hard time seeing your point or argument. My first thought is Mother Nature is not human there for it will always be "inhumane". If I own a predatory pet would I not be just as cruel by not letting that animal use it's instinctive drive and talents do what it does best to survive kill for food. That would be about same as having a wild mustang for a pet and alway keeping it in a sling in stables and not in a pasture where it can graze and run around. If I let my "wild" predatory pet free it's still going to kill to survive and that doesn't change how the "poor" creature, it's killing for food, feels. Seems to me that if a person cannot stomach nature being nature in it's entirety; then they probably shouldn't be keeping carnivorous pets.

        It interests me how as more and more humans move into urban environments they become disillusioned that they were are not part of Mother Nature's order of things. Sorry but Mother nature isn't going to change to indulge our false sense of security and pacifism. As an example pick up a copy of "Beast In the garden". Or how about when Grandma Nancy's little fluffy goes missing in Florida and is replaced by a scaly reptile. I personally feel that when ever the next massive technological reversion happens (and they do- the last major one was the dark ages) quite a few people are going to be in for a rude awakening. Here is a good example a friend of mine sent me.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIyrZrMbzIU

        Oh and a few tidbits for you Melissa: rodents will indulge in cannibalism.

        Ants, cuckoo birds, dolphins, lions, chimps, elephants, wolfs, have all been observed to kill for non survival reasons.

      • Melissa A Smith profile image
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        Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

        You assume wrong, as long as it is humane and the prey is hunted for consumption. You might see an animal not moving after 5 seconds but you have no idea if they are still conscious.

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        laitka 2 years ago

        What suffering? The 5 seconds it takes for her to make a kill? So I'm assuming you have a hatred towards human hunters don't you?

      • Melissa A Smith profile image
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        Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

        You're perfectly welcome to kill your own prey HUMANELY. Tossing them to an animal is INHUMANE. Too bad you let your emotional delusions allow you to believe numerous mice need to suffer for your pet's well being.

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        Laitka 2 years ago

        "Humans killing animals in stores where I can't see them and then feeding them to my animals is fine. But giving them straight to my animals live is ANIMAL CRUELTY" -Melissa (probably)

        My wild mink would probably lose most of her desire to live if I fed her dead mice.

      • Melissa A Smith profile image
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        Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

        "CC" the truthfulness of what I say is NOT determined by the number of supportive posts on this article, sorry. No one has refuted the suffering that animals experience when they are mauled by this aggressive little predator. You have told me that I shouldn't care because it makes the animal happier and you are STILL doing that, and I think that's screwed up, actually. Yes this is my own little paradise and I will prioritize the welfare of my pets AND the animals they eat. And this is not a 'professional' blog, so no passive aggressive PC replies are given here, just those that reveal straight up how I feel :-)

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        CC 2 years ago

        "Melissa A Smith 4 weeks ago from New York Hub Author

        "I will not post here again"

        Finally."

        What a snide and very unprofessional comment, as you have proved time and time again, with every sentence you post. I'm pretty sure your Spotted Genet would love to catch or at least eat a mouse if it got a chance but, as you said before, wouldn't ever let that happen. You have created a "safe zone" based on what you think is right or wrong, hoping to change an animals natural instincts to fit within your views thus caging the animals even more so than the farms that Joseph saved his Minks from. As someone whose received her "Bachelors in Biology" you sure seem like someone who doesn't understand how it works, but then it makes sense seeing as how you're from New York. Here's some advice for you (and luckily for you, it's on the internet so obviously it's true!): Next time you go around and see something you don't agree with and have a very biased view about, don't make an article about it. So far no one has even agreed with what you said minus "animal cruelty is bad" so that just makes you look dumb, especially when you try to retort with circular reasoning. Might as well delete this entire page and forget you even tried to make a difference because only liberal vegans will agree with what you say.

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        Rachel Jones 3 years ago from Cardiff, UK

        you can't put a price on freedom, or escaping from something bad for you: both of these are similar and so this is my final farewell, farewell and good luck and all kind wishes.

      • Melissa A Smith profile image
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        Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

        Wisper Mata you are presenting the same arguments that I've addressed before. If your pet gets sick, that's natural. Why would you interfere with that and take the animal to the vet? It's the pathogens natural right to eventually take your pet. You are using appeal to nature fallacies.

        I do not agree with any wolf "sanctuary" that allows hunting or any reptile owners that do this. I've been to a wolf sanctuary (The Wolf Conservation Center) that doesn't do this. If you think live mice don't carry disease, you are very, very, wrong. Most professionals recommend non-live food for the safety of the snake. You have no idea what really killed your snake.

      • profile image

        Wisper Mata 3 years ago

        You're saying that he is torturing these animals just because he doesn't interfere with the hunts. That how a mink would hunt in the wild, their natural prey is bigger than them and puts up a fight that's why it takes the mink time to get that killing blow. Especially if they're just learning to hunt. Wild wolves will hunt elk and moose and often the hunt can go on a long time and not always be successful but because the elk and/or moose are bigger than the wolves they fight and end up horribly injured. Its not animal cruelty when this happens it's a way of nature.

        This guy is allowing his minks to be more wild than petlike which is his decision and he may say its a sport but its just the natural way they hunt in the wild. But because he allows the hunt to go as they would in the wild doesn't mean you can label him and a cruel animal abuser of torturer. That's not fair at all, because wolf sanctuaries allow wolves to hunt and its all under the same context. Therefore everyone basically that works there are animal abusers and your calling a lot of reptilian pet owners animal abusers as well. Live feed for snakes is just better for them, I once attempted to give a python a dead mouse and it got a disease and died. Even though it was store bought and everything.

        I understand not liking how things work out in nature but you can't put labels on just anyone and try and cause a riot against them like this just because you don't agree with these things. Its totally unfair, unjust and uncalled for. Instead of focusing your attention on him for faulty reasons why don't you use your energy to help end the mink farms...

      • Melissa A Smith profile image
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        Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

        "I will not post here again"

        Finally.

      • rooftop profile image

        Rachel Jones 3 years ago from Cardiff, UK

        pretending to describe wild mink is not the same as describing a wild mink. And one wild mink has things in common with all wild mink, including certain behaviour. At no point do you actually describe any wild mink at all, nor does Joseph Carter, but you pretend to do this.

        Just like your quote of mine is taken out of context on purpose to remove my logical thread, the logic of which is easy to follow in my comment; so too, your descriptions wild minks are based on fantasy, just like your claim that I do not consider all minks to be individuals is based on your fantasy of who I am.

        My bat-detection abilities work just fine all the time, like now. Bye. I will not post here again, as I do not wish to be trapped by you, like my wild mink I prefer freedom. I wish this for all. Bye.

      • rooftop profile image

        Rachel Jones 3 years ago from Cardiff, UK

        Hi,

        no, animals always have their own personalities not sometimes, always.

        But this taken into account: a wild mink being described in general which is what you have been doing in your article, has certain traits which can be broadly said to encompass all wild mink, just as all humans have certain traits which are more universal than others.

        Just as all humans are individuals, so they are also all humans.

        And just as wild mink are all individuals, all wild ones will have certain things in common in general which enables them to be classified as wild instead of non-wild.

        Bye.

      • Melissa A Smith profile image
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        Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

        "I cannot recognise my mink in any of the descriptions of mink I have ever read online."

        Sometimes animals have distinct personalities. I haven't read of any genet that sounds like mine either.

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        Rachel Jones 3 years ago from Cardiff, UK

        oops, I forgot to mention this bit, that there is a big difference from what I have read and personally lived, between a ranch or ex-ranch mink, or fur-farm mink, and a totally wild adult mink.

        A totally wild adult mink is not like the ranch minks you have been describing. It is a completely different animal, despite having a very similar body. I cannot recognise my mink in any of the descriptions of mink I have ever read online. Apart from once, interestingly: a man said somewhere online, he and his dog were walking by the river. He said the otter or beaver was very intolerant of man, and even more intolerant of his dog, whereas the mink were extremely tolerant of both man and his dog. Now this reminds me of my totally wild mink, and he is describing wild mink at a distance. She was extremely tolerant of me, and of everything. I love her.

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        Rachel Jones 3 years ago from Cardiff, UK

        I gave my totally wild adult mink a few dead mice from a pet store ( for the bones ), and fish from the supermarket, and other high protein foods. She was looking fro live, moving food, and started to look to my fifteen year old goldfish, who I love. Ha,ha. I had to move their tank away from her, as she also wanted to swim in their tank, haha.

        Personally, I could not have brought home a wild mouse for her. And I have rescued many wild mice too, and released them !

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        Rachel Jones 3 years ago from Cardiff, UK

        Hi,

        I agree that torture of prey is not acceptable.

        Ferrets were used in the UK in Shakespeare's time to hunt for rabbits etc. This is an ancient thing, but the torture of the rabbits was not involved by kind people. This is the real issue I think: how the human goes about it. A person could have hunted rabbits with ferrets all those years ago, and not allowed excessive suffering to the prey. Or, they could have allowed excessive suffering to the prey, which is cruel and wrong. A classic example of the cruel hunting, is fox hunting with hounds. I am glad this is now banned in the UK, and hope it never returns.

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        Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

        Wisper my snakes do not eat live mice. Keep ignoring the real issue, the torture of the prey, all you want, with specious statements like 'wild animals doing wild things'. It won't change my mind.

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        Wisper Quintanilla 3 years ago

        Whoever wrote this is basically saying wild animals should not be able to do wild animal things. It was in poor taste to try to make someone else look bad just because they are the animals trainers. If you want animals treated the way they were born to be treated you should be applauding this man. He knows how to safely handle these animals and given them a second chance at doing what they were made to do. Plus, these animals can't just be taught to hunt and then be set free. For many reasons even stated here. So why is it so bad for one wild animal (which has no chance in the wild) to be allowed to hunt for its food? Should snakes not be allowed to eat mice just because we can own them as pets?

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        Rachel Jones 3 years ago from Cardiff, UK

        Hello,

        I just found this article and all the comments by looking up mink owners in the USA.

        My situation is rare in that I have had a totally wild adult mink as a companion animal, and this includes living with me for a number of months, without being in a cage or box, and me being without any gloves or any protection at all.

        I would never suggest anyone to do this, because wild mink are extremely dangerous.

        My situation is different as I am a rare human all my life, and I am a bit like a wild bat that navigates by echolocation all the time, and so I could detect my companion mink as soon as I saw her. So I knew her 100%. If I had not been able to do this it would never have been safe for me to pick her up, or go near her.

        She knew I am like this and so I knew she would be fine with me.

        Wild mink are not voracious at all. Wild hedgehogs are voracious as they die if they do not put on enough weight to hibernate, they know this. But really they are not voracious either, as this is a solely human concept.

        My wild mink companion is very easy going and a little bit lazy, but this makes her smarter. She is a very slow eater, and not greedy at all.

        They also rest a huge amount and they are not nocturnal, they are not strictly crepuscular either: they are more like rats. they fluctuate throughout the night with peaks and lulls of activity. I think it is hormonal and light and hunger etc that causes this.

        The most adaptable animal I have ever known, as in, if this animal was competing in the olympics it would never specialise, it would be at least a decathlon athlete.

        A truly superb animal of which I have the highest love and devotion and respect for.

        The insight on this animal is outstanding, even compared to thousand of other wild animals. It has to catch others who are moving fast all the time, and anyone who has any mink long-term has to allow the animal to do this. Mink are built to do this just like they are built for water, and mink are water-animals first and foremost. They re land animals a firm second. There is no disputing this to anyone who has ever loved a wild mink. Without water any mink is quietly in agony I can promise you of this.

        Although mink do not die like fish do when out of water, they panic just as much inside if they are away from water for too long.

        My mink was never aggressive to me, and I would never describe her as aggressive in nature. Quite the opposite. What I would say is that she knows she can use great physical strength and power to kill and attack anyone, if her life depends on it. This she will do, and I obviously had to be mindful of this all the time.

        This is not aggression. This is boundary protection and the living of her mink life, where she has to feed herself and stay safe and alive.

        But, minks do not do well confined. My mink returned to the wild when she when I saved her and made her strong.

        She wanted to leave when she was ready to leave.

        I do not suggest anyone takes in a wild mink as a companion, as I am very unusual and rare human, in that I can echolocate emotionally and spiritually. So I was 100% in tune with her all the time, night and day. She knew this. I also the most easy going person I have ever known and I have never had an intensity in me of any kind, and she knew this. So there was nothing for her to attack. She loved me and was devoted to me and very loyal. She would put her chin on my foot when I came in and make a lucky sound, which is happiness like a purr. She did lots of other loving things and she was very happy, calm and relaxed with me. We had a great time together :D

        Kind wishes to all,

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        Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

        I don't think you've been paying attention to the conversation Devin. Not once did I say we shouldn't kill, but that we should use the most efficient, quickest methods. https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Pages/Euthanasia-...

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        Devin M 3 years ago

        I would like to note, very shortly. That processed foods that are dead that are humanely fed to captive carnivores still had to die to get dead. I think that's how it works anyway. And the way we slaughter animals isn't so humane really. Nature works how it works. If humans think they have an obligation to change that then well, you're messing with a cycle that's been going on for far longer than our existence. I wouldn't even begin to believe we have the power and intelligence to change that.

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        Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

        Joseph I don't really 'love animals' (like most people, I have favorites and those I dislike) but I certainty dislike the cruel aspects of nature. This is why we won't see eye to eye. I feel no obligation to appreciate the cruel aspects of nature. It is what it is, a sad thing out of my control. Animals dying by getting mauled, I hate that. Everything eventually dies, I will eventually die, but I do not want to go that way. If I owned a cheetah, it certainty wouldn't be performing those behaviors in my care. There are good parts of nature. I like my animals to get fresh air and sunshine. I like live plants. But I presume that if your animals got cancer, which is natural, you wouldn't like that.

        "You prefer that animals suffer their entire lives stuffed in tiny cages"

        No, I don't. I can be against mauling animals and be against factory farms too.

        "You see me as some blood thirsty monster"

        No, I just think we see things differently. I think you have a belief in nature as a 'good' entity. I don't see it as anything other than circumstance. I have no obligation to emulate or tolerate the parts I don't like when it comes to what goes on in my house. We, as humans, control a huge amount of aspects of our environment. So yes, a humane kill is always superior. For myself I'd prefer a bullet over having a tiger sent on me, or even being a clueless farm animal on an ethically-conducted ranch living relatively comfortably until being dispatched quickly. They probably have less stress than I do in my human life. In my mind, that's what it always boils down to, what I'd want for myself.

        "Natural predators kill the animals that are least fit to survive."

        They also kill the unlucky. Regardless I know how it works, that's the reason anything exists. For some animals 'fitness' is just a matter of producing many offspring so that predators can't kill them all. Biological fitness does not literally translate to 'strength'. Since your mink lives in captivity it does not emulate natural predation, it has many advantages, like free-roaming cats.

        I'm not 'against' predators, how could I be? Captivity is entirely different bird. Without predators, prey starves. Nature is a cycle of suffering. I don't like starvation, mauling, ect. If I saw an animal getting eating alive and I had a gun, I would certainly shoot that animal, even though that's unnatural. We humans should be celebrating our ability to provide a quicker death.

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        Joseph Carter 3 years ago

        Do you want to know why I didn't kill and eat that opossum? I had fully intended to catch and eat an opossum that night, but when I got to the animal, and found that the dog hadn't bothered it because it had neither fought nor run, but instead laid still and "played possum". I felt bad for the little guy, and decided to let him go unharmed. I checked him over, and there wasn't so much as a drop of saliva on his fur, so I knew the dog hadn't done anything more than sniff it's motionless body. I felt bad for the little guy, and decided to take this opportunity to teach my little brother about opossums, and let him go. I'm sorry, but I'm an emotional guy ok. I fully intended to eat that Opossum, but he was so helpless and scared, just laying their pretending he was dead. I just couldn't do it. I decided to just let him go.

        As far as "canned hunts" are concerned, they are a normal part of nature. Here are some more videos of "cruel canned hunts that need to be stopped!"

        http://youtu.be/s9nmWneoWOY

        http://youtu.be/QKMvpFll6gI

        I was doing nothing more than this mother cheetah was doing. Simply giving my young mink a valuable learning experience. Not only that, but I was doing it in a trappers convention where I was trying to teach trappers about mink and what a wonderful animal they are. I figured if they admired the animal, maybe they would start to see them as more than just their skin.

        For someone who "loves animals" I find it so strange how you absolutely abhor nature and natural things. You live in a plastic fantastic world, and you like it that way. The more natural and real things are, the more uncomfortable you get. You prefer that animals suffer their entire lives stuffed in tiny cages, walking around in their own filth, never seeing the light of day, only so they can 'humanly" have their heads chopped off and be paired for you or your pets dinner plate. Letting an animal suffer it's ENTIRE LIFE just so it can be killed "quickly and humanly" by someone else, then chopped up and prepared for you, so you can self-righteously wipe your hands of the death of the animal, and feed it to your pet feeling all good about your self, because you never had to see or take part in the dirty work of preparing it.

        You really hate nature and reality. You find that a "humane kill" from a hunter's bullet is far better than allowing things to happen naturally with a wild predator. You see me as some blood thirsty monster, because I want to hunt naturally, instead of having an unfair advantage while using a man made weapon that can kill an animal before it even knows I'm there.

        Here's the thing you don't know about the "humane" ways of hunting you love to talk about so much........ not every bullet hits the animal where you intend to shoot it. A big part of the reason I don't like hunting with guns, isn't just because it gives you an unfair advantage, it's also because of the EXTREME PAIN AND SUFFERING it causes when you don't hit the animal just right. These "humane, efficient methods" you have love to talk about so much, often leave wounded animals to slowly die in some hiding spot. When you accidentally shoot a deer in the leg, the animal doesn't just stand around and wait for you to take a second shot! They run off into the forest to die a slow and painful death that can last anywhere from hours, to days, to weeks! Just ONE SHOT that doesn't hit it's mark just right, can cause MORE PAIN AND SUFFERING THAN ONE OF MY MINK CAN CAUSE IN AN entire YEARS WORTH OF HUNTING!

        The animals my mink catch either die in a matter of seconds, to minutes, depending on the situation, or escape unharmed to live another day. They do NOT EVER die hours, days or WEEKS LATER like in the wounded deer situation. Your beloved "humane, efficient methods" of hunting are quite cruel and extremely unfair in my eyes. Yes when you get a clean shot, the death is quick and rather painless. But when you don't hit the animal just right, not only is the meat wasted when the wounded animal escapes, but the pain and suffering you have caused this animal is BEYOND IMAGINATION! I want the animal I'm hunting to have a chance to escape, a chance to survive. That is what nature is all about. Survival of the strong.

        Natural predators have a culling effect on their prey. They don't just kill the unlucky, like in trapping or hunting with a gun. Natural predators kill the animals that are least fit to survive. The slow, the weak, the foolish. The animals that are fit and strong, typically evade their predator and pass on their superior genes to their offspring. This is the way of nature. I love nature. I don't love this plastic fantastic human ruled world that you are so fond of. I love nature for how it is, not how I wish it was.

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        Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

        *That correction has been made

      • Melissa A Smith profile image
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        Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

        When I said 'does not involve hunting for food' I was referring to a video where you sent a pit bull after an opossum that you didn't end up killing: "While here I took my little brother Ammon 'possum hunting with our family dog Mitzy." The opossum is freed but I'm wondering why it had a pit bull sent on it in the first place. The opossum is also treated in a way that is extremely stressful for it, assuming it has no injuries. It is all so very strange to me, you sound like you are a caring person, but some of those videos seem callous.

        This video basically depicts canned hunting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncfiQvaE7aM

        You said on a forum: "I find no real sport in shooting a bird out of the sky. To me it's not a sport, it's just gathering meat. Like going to the supper market. To me for it to be sporting the prey must have a more fair chance at escaping."

        That increases the suffering of the animal, and that's why I think I said that quote. There might be more things I've seen on Facebook, but I cannot locate that now. I have no problem stating on this article that you use the meat from what you kill, but my other important claims are founded.

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        Joseph Carter 3 years ago

        I need to apologize for calling you a "Parrot". Here's the deal. You have openly insulted me in public by both calling minkenry a "blood sport" and even worse by spreading a lie about me and my hunting practices. You stated that,

        "Carter has outright stated that he doesn’t like the lack of challenge in hunting with more humane, efficient methods, and prefers to work his minks not for pest control, or for providing food, but for sport."

        You have both misrepresented me and what I do, as well as spread a blatant untruth about what I do and why I do it. You have in essence called my sister a whore, and while at the same time saying "no offense intended". Now if I had a sister that slept around and you said that, you know it would sure make a little sense wouldn't it? But here's the truth of the matter I DO NOT KILL AN ANIMAL WITHOUT USING EVERY PART POSSIBLE FROM THE KILL. I take EXTREME offence to you claiming that I do!!!

        You do not know me personally, and you have NO IDEA what kind of efforts I go to making the most out of EVERY kill I make. Regardless of if we kill a little mouse, or a big rabbit, every usable part of the animal is put to good use. I ABSOLUTELY ABHOR WAIST, and I go to GREAT LENGTHS to making sure that when I take a life, I make sure that life was not wasted. I take great pride in not wasting an animal's life, and I am EXTREMELY OFFENDED by the fact that you shamelessly spread lies that I do. This is the THIRD TIME I have corrected you on this issue, and yet your article still misrepresents me as a person, and suggests that I just kill for fun, and don't eat what I kill. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW EXTREMELY INSULTING THIS IS TO ME, and it is very clear that you don't care to fix the lie you are spreading.

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        Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

        J. Carter-- I'd normally post some links to the purchase of your book but I can't do that because I feel it promotes cruelty. You claimed you read this article, and if you did you'd see that it is not at all a care manual but more of a discussion about the domestication status of minks, why they make bad pets, oh and of course you know, how I feel about using them to hunt. There are nothing but facts in this article (aside from my opinions), that you even agreed with, probably because I got them from excerpts in your book and statements in discussion forums, plus peer-reviewed studies. If you read the article, it is very obvious that I am citing you as a source and I never claimed to have owned any minks.

        I've basically devoted my life to keeping and learning about pets, all pets, that's why I have a bachelor's in biology, but more importantly I have my own pets and books on zoology and psychology that I use for my conclusions as well as my personal insight, so I'm hardly a 'parrot', although I know you're just saying that because you disagree with my stances.

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        Joseph Carter 3 years ago

        "I take testimonials from experienced owners (in this case, it was you + peer-reviewed articles about farmed mink) and present it to a wider audience, and I'm pretty good at it, having a good understanding of animals in general."

        Just because a parrot sounds like it's talking to you, doesn't mean it has any clue what it is saying......

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        Joseph Carter 3 years ago

        "As often as I try to avoid Youtube's recommendations of Joseph's videos, I'm always coming across one that does not involve hunting for food, such as the pit bull thing I mentioned."

        I've said it before, and I'll say it again. HONESTLY HOW MANY TIMES MUST I REPEAT MYSELF? I eat what I kill, and what I don't personally eat, I feed to my animals. Possum is actually quite tasty ;-)

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        Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

        Megan, the wild is inherently cruel and out of our control. Our pets and captive animals are completely in our control. If we can remove the suffering from the equation, we should. All organisms die, but not all of them suffer. This is why factory farms are cruel. As often as I try to avoid Youtube's recommendations of Joseph's videos, I'm always coming across one that does not involve hunting for food, such as the pit bull thing I mentioned. I just happened to come across that yesterday.

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        megan 3 years ago

        The lion is not cruel when it kills the antelope, nor is the pack of wolves when it exhausts an old buck for hours, only to be eaten alive. Nature has no room for such sentiment. Joseph, like many who practice collaborative hunting with carnivorous animals, is a partner. A guide. A wild mink or weasel will kill for food without humans to witness and make judgement on their level of 'humanity' when dispatching their kill. I have a chicken coop and a rat has moved in. I would much rather have Joseph and his mink come out and take care of it than risk using poison or a trap. I would be glad to know not only did the mink fulfill its wild purpose, but that the meat would be used and not wasted.

        I enjoyed reading both of your sides to this issue. While some hunters are little more than murders who kill for blood sport and not meat, that is not the feeling I get from Joseph. It is also important to realize that factory farming and domestic pet food production harbor some of the cruelest and most inhumane practices the world has ever seen. I can't even begin to compare what Joseph does with his mink to the horrors of factory farms. Its not on the same level at all. Not even a little bit.

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        Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

        You and I also both know that using mink to viciously maul wildlife and sending pit bulls to attack opossums for 'sport' is animal cruelty. Just like I know fur-farming is cruelty without ever having run or visited one. I would love to be incorrectly assuming that this is true. I take testimonials from experienced owners (in this case, it was you + peer-reviewed articles about farmed mink) and present it to a wider audience, and I'm pretty good at it, having a good understanding of animals in general.

        "I really like the details you gave to explain this fact, and I think you did an AWESOME job in writing this article!"

        Yup.

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        Joseph Carter 3 years ago

        P.S. I know you'll just erase what I wrote to save face. But that's fine, because you and I both know the truth.... you've probably never even SEEN a mink ;-)

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        Joseph Carter 3 years ago

        Wait a minute!!!! You just wrote this entire article based off of hearsay? You are just ASSUMING that what you've read online is true, and you're lumping mink in some category you have imagined they fit in but have ABSOLUTELY NO EXPERIENCE with the animal you just wrote about?!?!?!?!? WOW

        Excuse me while I go write a ten page essay on how to become a better surfer. Never mind that I've never touched a surfboard in my life. I can watch YouTube and read articles posted by surfers, and figure out some great advice to give people based on what I learn.

        All I have to say is WOW there is no point continuing this discussion further, as you don't have a SINGLE MOMENT of experience to base ANY of your opinions on.

        Have fun writing a bunch more articles about animals you've never seen. I've got to get back to the real world.

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        Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

        I've never kept a mink, the behaviors I speak of have a continuity among many mammals and birds. You don't need to train them to re-home, you give them experience with returning to you outdoors. If a pet has no experience with handling the outdoors they are more likely to freak out and get lost and confused. This is why domesticated cats that are not allowed to free roam are more likely to get lost if they find themselves out of their home. Maybe this can also happen to human toddlers.

        Once animals are raised in captivity they are not wild animals. The minds of wild animals develop in the wild, so their behavior will not always match up with captive-raised animals. Genets have acres of range in the wild but my cage-raised genet thinks he's going on an adventure when he strays from my room, and he always come running back with a vengeance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5POc1LwWTQw

        Your minks adapted to a larger territory. If I raised a mink I could probably provide more insight, regardless, there are ample cases of very well cared for animals, domesticated and otherwise, that don't return. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/11/...

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        Joseph Carter 3 years ago

        I was curious Melissa, how many pet mink have you kept over the years?

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        Joseph Carter 3 years ago

        I have never trained my mink to home, and yet many of my mink if lost while hunting will find their own way home. I train my mink to come to me when called. This is like you stated, operant conditioning. However, I have never made any effort to teach a mink to find its way home. This is in fact highly unnatural for a mink, as mink in nature den in multiple locations, rarely staying in a den for more than a night or two. And yet my mink will seek out their home, all on their own, with no training on my part, and no natural instinct to encourage this behavior. They know how to hunt, so they don't need food from me. They come back because that is what they want to do. Pet mink, on the other hand, rarely return home. So far all but one of mine have returned on their own.

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        Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

        Joseph Carter-- Your mink are extensively trained, that's why they come back. You are a skilled trainer. It is very common for people to lose their pet parrots outdoors, whilst those who are skilled trainers can actually release their birds outside for a flight and they always return because they've been trained in recall. Animals do not necessarily not return because they hate their homes, but because they are confused. Some do not have the homing instinct or they need guidance. Animals think and behave compulsively, unless they have some evolutionary disposition for homing and social cooperation (dogs and wolves). Homing pigeons have been selectively bred for this trait.

        Escaped animals are not thinking 'finally I'm FREE!', it's more like 'oh what's that over there? I'm scared! run up the tree! Where I'm I? oh gosh what was that noise? run! something's chasing me! [the owner] GOTTA ESCAPE.

        A trained animal has the 'report back to base' in their brain that you've modified with operant conditioning.

        "Why then do you feel it is more "humane" to force them to live an entirely unnatural life eating dead stuff, and being locked in a house like a prisoner?"

        Because this form of enrichment is built on the torturous deaths of many small animals, and the needs of many outweigh the needs of one mink. I believe all animals that are killed for our food and our pet's food should be euthanized by the most human methods possible. While it is not 100% the same amount of stimulation as tracking live prey, there are substitutes that can provide enrichment to captive carnivores. If a mink is anything like a spotted genet, the only way hunting would keep them stimulated is if they were constantly killing animals. They will just 'forget' their kill and re-energize for the next one. I will not torture and slaughter 10+ mice a day, my pet will 'kill' a rubber ball as many time as he pleases. My spotted genet prefers 'dead' food, he won't touch mouse carcasses. In reality, animals typically enjoy what they're used to. At this point, your pets probably wouldn't want dead food because you've raised them on live.

        If keeping carnivore pets requires live feedings then keeping them is cruel. If you think keeping pets inside eating dead food is cruel you are against 95% of pet owners.

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        Joseph Carter 3 years ago

        I am the Joseph Carter mentioned in this article. I would like to start off by saying that I really like how this article explains how very challenging mink are to keep as pets! If you read my book, "The New Sport of Minkenry" http://youtu.be/b1HPDobIaPI I also emphasize that mink ARE NOT good pets for the average person. I really like the details you gave to explain this fact, and I think you did an AWESOME job in writing this article! I do however feel you have misunderstood me to some degree. In this article you stated that,

        "Carter has outright stated that he doesn’t like the lack of challenge in hunting with more humane, efficient methods, and prefers to work his minks not for pest control, or for providing food, but for sport."

        I feel you have misunderstood me in this case. Every animal my mink kills goes towards feeding my family and my mink. We are very careful not to waist one animal life. I consider the life of another creature as very precious, no mater how small, and regardless of if the creature is considered a "pest" by others. I will not even trap a mouse, or kill a spider in my home unless its body will go to feeding another creature (this is in fact very annoying to my wife, as I will literally cup a live spider in my hands and release it outside instead of smashing it).

        I find it quite strange that you consider minkenry as cruel, as it is nothing more than allowing a mink to be a mink. Earlier in this article you describe how foolish it is for ranch mink to be considered a "domestic animal" and I agree with you wholeheartedly! Other than the quality of their fur, and the size of their bodies, ranch mink are not much different from their wild counterparts. Why then do you feel it is more "humane" to force them to live an entirely unnatural life eating dead stuff, and being locked in a house like a prisoner? If anything is cruel, forcing a wild predator to eat nothing but highly processed fake foods, and locking them inside for their entire lives, not allowing then to do anything natural, THAT is true cruelty.

        Now I am not against people getting mink as pets, as long as they take care of them properly, and give them the interaction their large brains require, and the exercise their active bodies need. I help "pet people" with their mink all the time. However, I can tell you this, my hunting mink get more joy and fulfillment out of life than any pet EVER WILL because they are being allowed to live the life they were created to live. They are not prisoners, locked in a house, forced to eat fake food. They live REAL LIFE like a REAL MINK.

        If they didn't enjoy the lives they lived so much, then they wouldn't come back home at the end of the hunt. When a "pet person" losses their mink outside, they often never see their pet again. When I loose my mink outside, they will often travel for miles to find their own way home. They love their lives so much, that they will come home to me, often when I am not even there to call them. You can't say the same about most pet mink, who once they get outside, disappear forever.

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        Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

        Thanks Breck and Grand old lady. However I don't think too many people would agree orangutans are uncomplicated.

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        Breck123 3 years ago

        Great hub. Minks sound quite difficult to care for.

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        Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

        This is an excellent hub. It was very interesting to note the characteristics of a mink compared to a lion. Every animal has unique qualities as a species. Yesterday I learned that orangutans are quite uncomplicated and simple creatures compared to elephants who have deep emotions, are subject to emotional trauma and have long memories. I'm sharing this article.

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