Every year, more than 75 million animals are violently killed just for the use of their fur. Animals are raised on fur farms, kept in overcrowded cages their entire lives and killed just for the use of their pelts. The animal carcasses are left to rot or are burned after the fur has been removed from the body. Since there is there is no law to regulate how animals are raised or killed on fur farms, animals are killed by having their neck broken, gassed, or are anally electrocuted. The majority of animals used in the fur industry are raised on fur farms, including rabbits, foxes, and chinchillas. As the fifth largest mink producer in the world, the US provides over 3 million mink pelts a year. You can’t trust labels either, because labels often are misleading. In China, millions of dogs and cats are bludgeoned to death or even skinned alive for their fur and are falsely advertised as fox or mink fur.
Thankfully, full-length fur coats aren’t as popular as they used to be, but you can still find numerous celebrities sporting the latest fashion in fur. The fur industry claims that the use of fur is both “natural and environmentally friendly”, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In 2009, the Human Society of the United States released a report called, Toxic Fur: The Impacts of Fur Production on the Environment and the Risks to Human Health, that states that “the U.S. mink industry adds almost 1,000 tons of phosphorus to the environment each year.” Animal skins rot soon after the animal is killed, and the fur industry has to use toxic chemicals to preserve the pelt, including: formaldehyde, chromium – a toxic carcinogen that causes cancer, and naphthalene – also carcinogenic.
Wild foxes, lynx, wolves, and bobcats are still being trapped exclusively for their fur, and though it is illegal in numerous countries, baby seals are still being hunted, clubbed and skinned alive while they are conscious. Traps cannot be set to “only catch the intended animal” and exotic and endangered animals are killed in traps as well as the animals used for fashion. Though harp seals are threatened by climate change and lack of food, (thier natural diet, the Atlantic cod, has been nearly extinct due to overfishing by the commericial fishing industry,) the 2011 harp seal quota was the highest level since 1971, and more seals were killed in 2011 than any year since the ’60s. Most of these seals are younger than 3 months of age, and can’t even swim to escape the men that hunt them.
How can you make sure that the jacket in your closet is made with faux fur instead of being “fur real?” Born Free USA gives us a few ways to check if the item in your hand is real or faux fur: genuine fur feels soft and rolls between your fingers. When you blow on real fur, the layers of fur separate and you can see the dense under-wool coat that act as a base layer for the animal to protect it from the elements. Fake fur, however, feels coarse and doesn’t roll under your fingers like real fur does, and all of the fur is the same length, without an undercoat. Many organizations also offer ways to shop at certified fur-free retailers. Both the Humane Society of the United States and Fur Free Retailer offer a list of retailers, designers and brands that have pledged to be fur-free. No matter how you look at it, the use of animal fur for fashion is inhumane, harmful to the environment, and just so … passe. Lets all pledge to go fur-free – starting today!