In response to a number of requests, I've put up links to some of my favorite websites about chinchillas. Scroll down and look to your right.
One of the goals of those who own chinchillas as pets is to see the end of pelting (breeding chins and slaughtering them for fur) in this country. Britain, happily, has already banned the practice, but America lags behind. One important project is the Change by Choice initiative, which seeks to help fur ranchers transition out of the fur industry. (While of course, we long for the day pelting is made illegal, it is important to work with the ranchers in the meantime to offer them alternatives to the unnecessary and cruel killing of chinchillas.
I'll be donating to the PHFR project: Pet Homes for Ranchies. The goal is to save one animal at a time by buying them from the pelters, and then placing the rescued chins in safe home situations. Donations can be made through PayPal or by mail, instructions here.
To my friends who own dogs and cats: imagine if in America, pets such as yours were being bred for coats. On the great list of the world's injustices, this may not rank high in the minds of others, but in this household, saving these most exceptional of creatures is among our serious priorities.
Matilde thanks you!