The Skin Trade for Fur and Hides is Always Cruel
There is NO way to produce a fur garment or a fur trimmed item without an animal being killed and skinned in the process. The crazy justifications people have for wearing fur range from saying that the animal died of old age, that the fur was removed without the animal dying, that the animal was raised for its fur, or that the fur is old and was passed down from an era when people didn’t know any better. All of these tragic beliefs are just the cognitive dissidence that humans rely on to make themselves feel good about something that is so inherently cruel.
Whether an animal is raised in a cage and slaughtered, or trapped in the wild and slaughtered, there is no good way to die so that someone else can wear their skin. There is no reason for the practice given the fact that today’s coats are made of much warmer, cheaper and easier to care for materials. If you love the look and feel of real fur, there is an abundance of faux fur options that are softer, last longer and don’t smell like a dead animal.
Until 2010 there was a loophole in the law that enabled real fur to be labeled wrongfully as faux. Even though there is a better law now, thanks to the Humane Society of the United States, Big Cat Rescue and other animal protection groups, there may still be mislabeled furs in the marketplace. So be sure to closely examine anything that might be fur. As the public has increasingly said NO to real fur, the garment industry has dyed their furs pink and green and other unnatural colors to fool the public.
Compassion is always in fashion, so just Say NO to fur.
Go Cool vs. Cruel this Year
You get two seconds to make an impression in this world and nothing else says so clearly, “”I don’t give a damn about anything or anyone but me,” like wearing a fur.
Here are just a few of the things we want to make people aware of before they put on that fur coat or accessory:
• Approximately forty animals are killed for each fur coat.
• Each of those animals has died a violent death: anal electrocution, gassing, neck breaking, drowning, a shot to the head, or clubbing.
• Trapping is widely recognized as cruel. The most popular of traps used to catch fur-bearing animals, the steel-jaw leghold, has been banned because of its cruelty in 89 nations and 5 states in the United States. See where that fur really comes from in this video clip.
• Fur is often mislabled as faux or fur trim when it is really dog and cat fur. See video
• Fur farming is going out of fashion. For instance, Great Britain has just banned all fur farms. Austria has effectively banned fur farming. And Sweden has outlawed keeping foxes in cages for their fur.
Trappers in the U.S. kill several million fur bearing animals each year (4 million in 1998; 2.5 million in 1999) with 1.5 million more trapped in Canada. 88.5 % were “non target” species including family pets.
Between 1968 and 1970 the U.S. fur industry imported 18,456 leopard skins, 31,105 jaguar pelts, and an incredible 349,680 ocelot skins. It also imported over 3000 cheetah pelts, representing one and a half times the number of cheetahs remaining in all of the parks in Africa in 1972.
What can you do?
If you have a fur coat, put it to good use. Donate it to your local Rehabilitator to use in comforting the orphaned babies and injured wildlife that they care for each year. In most cases they are registered as a charity with the IRS and you can get a tax credit for doing the humane thing.
If you really love the look of fur buy a fake. They are better than the real thing in terms of feel and ease of care. Oleg Cassini designs an upscale collection of fake furs called “Evolutionary Fur”. He is quoted as saying “Anyone who is familiar with animals, knows the animals suffer. Animals sense when they are about to be killed. they have the imagination to fear. They cry.” If you have ever seen your own cat dart around the room chasing imaginary prey, you know that they do have the imagination to fear.
As consumers we can ban the killing of animals for their fur by boycotting places that sell fur items and telling them why. Write letters to the editors of your newspapers as well as your state and federal legislators urging them to ban this horrific practice.
Video About Fur Farms
This video is animals being skinned alive in China. Most of the fur in garments sold in the U.S. originates in China.
Faux or Fur?
The cover of the Style & Arts section of the Thursday, January 12, Boston Globe has an interesting article, by Tina Cassidy, headed, “With Faux Looking so Real These Days, You Can’t Tell Who’s….Faking it.”
Cassidy discusses how hard it is to distinguish the new faux furs from real fur. She writes,”And therein lies the dilemma. With the senses so easily tricked, a woman wearing real fur may feel emboldened to flat-out lie if someone say, at a cocktail party in Cambridge, asks her if her coat used to belong to a beaver. And a woman wearing a fake mink shrug to the opera may feel sly enough to fib and say it was her grandmother’s. Likewise, the girl who thought she was buying a sweater trimmed in fake fox might actually end up wearing cheap bunny around the collar.
“And a woman who refuses to wear animal skins for political reasons but still likes the look of fur may be accused of the very act she tried to avoid. Just ask Martha Stewart. When Stewart walked out of the federal courthouse — and in front of a bank of cameras — with a furry accessory knotted cozily around her neck, her fashion statement set off two reactions: The first was from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which promptly named her one of the world’s worstdressed celebrities of 2004. The second was from furriers who raced to emulate what they believed was Stewart’s dyed chinchilla scarf. Both were misguided. Stewart was wearing a fake.”
In other words, Martha’s fox scarf being fake made a difference to the handful of foxes who would have died for her scarf if it were real, but made no difference to the thousands of others who were killed by the example she inadvertently set.
The final lines of the piece are heartbreaking:
“Which leads us to the next issue: With faux fur flooding the market, it is further diminishing the glam of the real thing. On a recent shopping trip to Marshalls, there was a legitimate mink evening bag on the mark-down rack. No one wanted it. Not even for the bargain price of $50.”
Animals lived miserably and died in agony for a bag nobody even wanted.
I urge anybody who has doubts about the misery and agony of animals raised for fur to watch the undercover footage of at http://www.petatv.com/tvpopup/Prefs.asp?video=chinchilla_mov_final from a fur farm in Midland, Michigan, which shows chinchillas being electrocuted, causing painful seizures to the animals’ hearts, and having their necks snapped while fully conscious. It is hard to watch but will dispel apathy about the fur industry.
Perhaps even harder to watch, for those of us who live with dogs and cats, is the dog and cat fur footage from China at: http://www.furisdead.com/feat-dogcatfur.asp
And you’ll find video of other animals (more widely sold in the United States) on Chinese fur farms being slammed against the ground to stun them, then struggling as they are skinned alive at http://www.petatv.com/tvpopup/Prefs.asp?video=fur_farm
The Boston Globe piece suggests that those wearing convincing faux fur are supporting the industry portrayed in those videos by advertising indistinguishable products. I can’t help but think that whether it be the skins of tortured animals draped around a human, or just something fashioned to resemble that horror, it is, either way, grotesque. Others may disagree — and the Boston Globe article offers a great opportunity for a public discussion on the issue, and letters that discuss the horror of the fur industry.
You’ll find the full Boston Globe article on line at:
The Boston Globe takes letters at: [email protected]
Always include your full name, address, and daytime phone number when sending a letter to the editor. Shorter letters are more likely to be published.
Yours and the animals’,
(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. To unsubscribe, go to http://www.dawnwatch.com/cgi-bin/dada/dawnwatch_unsubscribe.cgi If you forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts, please do so unedited — leave DawnWatch in the title and include this tag line.)