What are the pros and cons of taxidermy?

Arguments Against Taxidermy

Many disapprove of taxidermy because it seems so odd. It's a craft that remov­es the skin of a deceased animal and attaches it to a polyurethane foam figurine modeled after the body that the skin originally stretched over. That figurine is then finished with glass eyes and fake lips, all so the animal will look exactly as it did right before it died. And when all that is said and done, the finished figurine is placed on display in people's home and restaurants. If you think about it, the concept of displaying dead animals is pretty weird.

­Those who oppose taxidermy often oppose hunting, too. They don't believe there is any need or positive benefit to hunting, and taxidermy is another piece of the puzzle. It's viewed almost as gloating. The hunter has taken the same animal they killed and hung the carcass from the wall as decoration.

Hunters and taxidermists should be aware of possible disease among game. Chronic Waste Disease (CWD), which is in the same family as the human disease Creutsfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), is a growing concern. While humans can't yet contract CWD, the more an infected body is moved around, the more likely contamination of land becomes. What exactly are these diseases? Why is land contaminated when a body moves around? Why would that matter to a taxidermist?

Now you're briefed on the practice of taxidermy. Next time you have any animal replication needs, you know who to call.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Pennsylvania Game Commision. "What Every Taxidermist Should Know About Chronic Waste Disease." (Accessed 12/09/2008).http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/pgc/cwp/view.asp?a=458&q=168948
  • Taxidermy. "A Brief a History of Taxidermy.net (Accessed 12/09/2008).http://www.taxidermy.net/information/history1.html
  • Taxidermy. "Learning Taxidermy." (Accessed 12/09/2008).http://www.taxidermy.net/learn/learn1.html
  • Taxidermy. "Taxidermists Code of Ethics." Taxidermy.net (Accessed 12/09/2008).http://www.taxidermy.net/nta/code.html
  • Taxidermy. "What is Taxidermy." Taxidermy.net (Accessed 12/09/2008).http://www.taxidermy.net/information/whatis.html