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Why It's Time to Learn the Truth About Fashion and Fur

Why It’s Time to Learn the Truth About Fashion and Fur

The commercials and advertising make it difficult to resist a warm winter jacket, or accessories like hats, scarves or gloves trimmed in fur.  When the cold weather arrives, it is perfectly normal to want to shop for garments that look good, and feel good.  

The allure of fur goes back centuries as a choice for winter garments.   The leather backing of fur made it a durable option for manufacturers, while the natural insulation of fur helped to keep out the cold.  Furs also had natural oils in the early days of fashion production, allowing them to be resistant to moisture.

Today, we have many other options that are not only more durable, but less expensive, and more humane.  Despite public protests and increasing pressure on the fur and down industry, a few select celebrity endorsers are persuaded to try to reintroduce fur to the mainstream market, and reposition the product as ‘natural’ or ‘humane’ in the methods that feathers and furs are cultivated for fashion accessories and clothing.  

In this article, we’ll talk about the process involved in acquiring fur, and what the fur and down industry does not want you to see.  It is our hope that knowing this information (while graphic and upsetting), will help you, the consumer, make a compassionate, sustainable and humane choice.  

Sourcing Fur Trim for Jackets and Accessories

The term ‘natural fur’ is used to indicate when trapped, or agriculturally farmed fur is used for garments. Some brands even position their products as superior, advertising that they use only ‘wild sources’ of real fur.  For consumers who are advocates for the ethical and humane treatment of animals, the idea that fur is caught wild does not appeal anymore than knowing that the animals sourced lived in confinement, often in disease and under terrible conditions, before being killed to satisfy the needs of the fur industry.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) website offers a tremendous amount of resources to educate the public on the true source of their fur lined or trimmed garments.  The most common wild-caught (trapped) furs include:

  • Coyote
  • Fox
  • Wolf
  • Mink
  • Beaver
  • Rabbit
  • Raccoon

Other species that are regulated in terms of hunting in North America include bear and seal.  The most common method for smaller mammals caught in the wild are the leg hold trap, which grasps the leg and entraps the wild animal, until a hunter (or another predator) can kill it.  

Other painful devices used for wild trapping include the conibear trap, which works like a large, powerful mousetrap, frequently breaking the back of the animal, leaving it paralyzed but still alive.  Snare traps are also common for larger animals, and provide an exceptionally cruel and painful death for wildlife caught in them.  The more the animal struggles, the tighter the noose around their neck becomes, causing swelling until blood vessels cause internal bleeding in the brain.  Trappers refer to these victims as “jelly heads” because of the extremely swollen neck and fractured skulls when the bodies are removed from the trap.

Not only are wild traps fatal, and excruciating to wildlife, but domestic animals and other non-fur bearing wildlife are frequently the victims, including domestic cats, dogs, birds and other mammals.  The traps are so effective, that animals frequently resort to self-harm to release themselves, and die shortly after freeing themselves.

Domestic Dogs and Cats Used in The Fur Industry

If you have a family pet, or if you love dogs and cats, the information we are going to share with you will be more than upsetting.  In a recent PETA investigation, fur suppliers from APAC (Asia Pacific) were found to be exporting wholesale pelts to the global fur industry.

In China, there are minimal laws that govern the ethical treatment of animals.   Slowly, the culture is changing, and we’re proud to note that many more animal rights advocacy groups have grown in 2016 in China, with continuing momentum that gives us hope for change.    

Domestic dogs and cats are raised on farms, in cramped over populated cages, stacked on top of each other.  Food and water is minimal to the confined animals, who live a short life of suffering, and a tragic end.   Both China and Korea have an increasing problem with pet theft, and many family pets find themselves stolen, and victims of a ruthless trade in animal pelts, that fur mongers try to pass off as “miscellaneous natural fur” to unsuspecting manufacturers and consumers.   And sometimes, the manufacturers are fully aware of the source of the affordable, plush fur that they are using.

The conditions for the animals are so terrible, that per several undercover investigations by PETA worldwide, female dogs who give birth frequently kill their own young; an act of compassion to spare them from the horror that waits.   The dogs and cats are bludgeoned and frequently still alive when they are skinned, and discarded still breathing, in tremendous agony, to die slowly in an assembly line of pain for fur production.

Where Is, Your Fur Coming From?

We are opposed to the death of animals for the manufacturing of clothing and garments, when there are so many other recycled, manmade materials that perform equally, if not more superior in terms of durability, than natural leathers and furs.

With modern technology, and advanced production methods that have been available since the 1960’s, there is no justification for killing animals to supply fashion and garments.   In our next post, we’ll look at false labeling and advertising in the fashion industry, that is aimed at misleading consumers who want to make a more humane, and compassionate choice.  

You can make a difference through the products you choose and purchase every month, and join us in our efforts to educate other consumers about the true nature of ‘cruel fashion’, by supporting products that are not manufactured at the expense of wildlife, or domesticated animals.   Go fur free, and join a global community of individuals who value the kind and ethical treatment of animals.

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