You would think that with so many forms of synthetics and chemically engineered products permeating our world today, that fur (and leather) on clothes, shoes and accessories would have been a thing of the past … or at least viewed as undesirable and passé.
Unfortunately for more than 50 million animals around the world, they are brutally killed each year for one thing only: their fur. These millions of animals are raised on fur farms, which make up most of the world’s fur production.*
According to Last Chance for Animals, the above figure doesn’t even include rabbits, but that number is estimated to be in the billions.
Here are just some of the stats they listed:
- France: 70 million rabbits killed per year
- U.S. (2009): Approximately 300 fur farms in states including Utah, Oregon and Minnesota, with Wisconsin having the most fur farms at 71
- U.S. (2011): Over 3 million mink killed
- Wisconsin: 1,050,580 mink killed and skinned
- Utah: 698,960 mink killed and skinned
Grisly Conditions on Fur Farms
It's bad enough that these animals are subjected to violent deaths like electrocution, gassing and neck-breaking.† However, the conditions in which they're forced to live are equally worse, as wild mink and foxes don’t adapt well to captivity.
Mink are confined to 12-inch by 18-inch cages. Compare this to their normal range in the wild of about 740 acres. The horrifying symptoms of confinement range from self-mutilation and cannibalism to widespread diseases. And because the barbaric practices of fur farming are done in the vapid name of fashion, farmers crossbreed to obtain unnatural fur colors, resulting in genetic defects and nervous disorders among mink.*
Foxes hardly fare better as they endure bitter cold and scorching temperatures by being confined to small cages outside. Their captivity results in psychotic behavior like wildly pacing back and forth, and suffering severe foot problems from standing on wires for long periods of time. Their misery is only ended by anal electrocution so that their fur isn’t destroyed in the process.
Faux Fur is Also from Dogs and Cats
The best type of fur is NO FUR—neither natural nor synthetic. The globalization of the fur trade has made labels unreliable. Skins move through so many hands—from auction houses to distributers to manufacturers before the finished products are often exported. So even if a label says the product was made in one country, it’s likely that the animals were farmed and killed in a different country, like China where dogs and cats are included in the fur trade.‡ Mislabeling is a common practice as fur traders know that people don't want to buy fur that's from cats and dogs, which is why "faux fur" is likely just a deceitful marketing term.**
Fur Myths Debunked
Myth #1: Fur is a byproduct of the meat industry
Fact: Fur used in fashion rarely come from animals killed for their meat
For example, rabbit fur and skins rarely come from slaughterhouses since rabbits bred for meat are believed to have “undesirable pelts”.† Rabbits raised for meat are killed before the age of just 12 weeks, whereas rabbits in the fur industry are killed at an older age because they have thicker pelts, which is deemed more desirable.‡
Myth #2: Fur trim comes from leftover fur used for fur coats
Fact: Animals are killed just for their fur trim
The processes of acquiring fur and fur trim are separate from each other as thousands of animals are killed for the sole purpose of making fur trim. So it doesn’t matter how much fur is on an article of clothing or accessory; fur is fur and innocent animals are mercilessly tortured and killed for it.†
Myth #3: It’s OK to buy fur if it says “synthetic” or “faux”
Fact: Labels are unreliable and what’s often labeled as “synthetic” or “faux” fur is often from dogs, cats and raccoon dogs.
And even in the off chance that it’s truly synthetic, you’d still be promoting the use of fur as clothes and accessories, which is morally wrong. Unless you live in the Arctic and have no access to synthetic warm clothes for survival, there is absolutely no reason you need or should be wearing fur.
Myth #4: Fur “farms” and “ranches” are more humane than “trapping”
Fact: There is no such thing as a humane way to obtain fur
Regardless of whether animals are bred or trapped for their fur, both methods inflict agonizing pain, suffering and deaths to millions of innocent animals. The above terms are merely euphemisms used by the fur industry.
PETA's 60-Second Video of the Fur Industry
Here's a graphic look at the vile practices of the vicious fur industry.
What You Can Do
First, don’t wear fur and don’t buy from companies that sell fur products. Make your reasons known to the company by writing to them and telling them you won’t shop there until they stop supporting the cruel fur trade.
Click here for The Humane Society of the United States’ helpful list of fur-free retailers, designers and brands.
Now that you are aware of the unimaginable horrors involved in the fur trade, I hope that you choose to be a consumer with compassion and a conscience. Please share information such as this to help educate and discourage people from buying fur--and leather--and boycotting the companies that sell them.
I also hope that you take a couple minutes to sign and share these petitions: