Should Glen Rock High School Consider a Switch to Synthetic Fur?


Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Daniel Stein

Currently using real animal fur in science experiments, Glen Rock High School should switch to synthetic furs, reports Editor-in-Chief Dan Stein.

by Daniel Stein, Editor-in-Chief

Glen Rock High School has inadvertently supported the use of animal factory farming by previously purchasing real animal fur for the science department, while cheaper synthetic fur is available that spares an animal’s life. These rabbit furs are used in electrostatic labs, yet evidence points out that animal fur is produced by inhumane means and that synthetic fur is a cheaper alternative to real fur.

Mr. Chia, a physics teacher at Glen Rock High School, explains that “the rabbit fur was ordered way back when no one had a problem with it. We have never had a need to replace it. The year before I got here, so four years ago, the school ordered real animal fur again as part of an electrostatic packet.”

There are manufactures that produce synthetic fur in electrostatic packets, and the prices of synthetic fur are normally much more affordable than real animal fur. In physics, furs are rubbed together with a wand in order to negatively charge the wand. The wand is used in polarization or neutralization experiments. Electrostatic packets contain wands, fur, and other materials necessary for these types of experiments.

According to a study produced by the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade, animals in factory farms are knocked out with a heavy stick before they are euthanized. In order to prevent the death of rabbits, Glen Rock could make a transition to synthetic furs that numerous other high schools and universities have already made.

The Physics Department at Rutgers University supports the use of synthetic fur, and currently uses synthetic fur in their electrostatic labs. Rutgers University students complete identical lab objectives as high school students at Glen Rock High school complete, but Rutgers University uses synthetic fur.
The use of synthetic fur has not yet spread to Glen Rock High School.

“The school currently has no synthetic fur, as far as I know,” said Chia. One possible reason for this is that there have been no conclusive studies indicating synthetic fur yields better results in electrostatic labs than real fur, or vice-versa. In his personal opinion, Chia stated that “synthetic fur does not work as well as real fur.”

Next time Glen Rock needs to purchase fur for electrostatic labs, a transition to synthetic fur should be discussed.

Chia later said, “If I had the option of using synthetic fur, I’d give it a try. Since I never had the option, I am OK using real fur.”