The Faces Behind That Fur You Wear
The Ugly Truth Behind the Fur Industry
China Fur Trade
Did you know that in China alone, one million and a half Raccoon Dogs (and that's not counting foxes, dogs and cats) are killed every year in the most barbaric ways you can imagine; skinned alive the sake of fur?
The Raccoon Dogs are incredibly docile creatures, where the only violence they'll ever show is their vain attempts at escaping their crowded cages in horrific fur farms. And they have no laws to protect them because none exists in China for abuse or violence against animals.
In fact, many of the caged animals were someone's lost or stolen pets.
There are Chinese people who protest against these atrocities but they are going up against supply and demand. Demand from the United States and Canada.
In Australia, they were making UGG boots with fur that came from these Chinese farms. The fur was from the Raccoon Dog but labeled as "faux" or wool. When animal rights groups got together and made noise, The Humane Society International banned this activity and now many department stores in Australia no longer do business with the Chinese Fur Trade. This all happened within one year, so it's doable. Thank you Australia!
What Happens on these Farms?
The video attached in the PETA link will give you nightmares, I warn you. But not seeing it is a form of denial, isn't it? The truth is painful but closing our eyes to truths makes us more susceptible to numb our empathy, maybe even diluting our concerns.
They cram as many animals as they can into tiny cages, usually made for 20 but they squeeze about two to three times as much into one. Their desperate screams, biting and clawing to get out go ignored as they get to sit and watch the other poor animals taken out one at a time, skinned alive and left in a heap on the ground to die. Some are still breathing, even trying to get up on all fours like Bambi, fumbling with their bloody carcasses, eyes bulging out and glaring into a world that ended their life for currency.
What was this loss and horrific end to a life for? A pair of silly boots? A key chain or a hat? Likes on a selfie or music video? A fur donned by an elitist at a dinner party or some celebrity who thought the wearing of a dead fox would be cool or trendy? Congratulations on your selfie. All it does is show the world how little you value someone else's life in order to selfishly gratify your own.
China Finds Loophole
In 2010, the U.S. tightened its ban so that any fur entering the country must be labeled, no matter the size, species or land of origin. But of course the Chinese found a loophole by dyeing animal fur in pinks, blues or greens and selling them as "faux" fur trims for jackets, gloves, boots, key chains, etc.
When it got harder for their furs to enter without scrutiny, China started doing business with Canada. Remember Canada? That's where they still club seals for pelts. The only requirement that Canada allows under it's "watchful" eye of importing fur is that the label states "FUR". So much for enforcement.
Can you tell the difference between Faux and Real Fur?
1. Look at the pelts. If they are small pieces sewn together to make one piece, where colors don't match, fur going one direction and another, it's a real animal.
2. If you see black fur with a white line, or the top is fine and silky with bottom a little rough, that's a cat. Domestic cats and rabbits are similar-looking but the rabbit's fur is not as shiny and usually one color.
3. Look at the base (under the fur). Fake fur has threaded backing, all sewn into the fur. Real fur is the actual fur of the animal with its REAL SKIN, which was dyed. There won't be threading since it's attached to their skin.
4. Real animal fur tapers into a point. That means if you look closely at the very tip of the follicle end, it will look like a sewing needle, coming to an extreme point. Faux fur is blunt, not pointy.
5. This one is only if you own a piece, so don't do this at the store. Simply burn a bit of the hair. Real fur smells like human hair when burned. Faux fur will not.
What can you do to help?
It's easy. This is your planet and money controls the monster that we keep complaining about. The more we feed it, the more harm it causes. If our dollar wasn't valuable, there wouldn't be demand for it. Stop doing business with countries that do not respect the lives of animals. Stop donating to their cause or you are as much to blame for their harm.
If you own a piece of fur and in all good conscience can no longer wear it, the Humane Society, along with PETA have solutions for you.
Please visit their websites for more information. Some take fur as donations to warm animal babies and rehabs for the injured.
If you're interested in other stories about the cruelty of animals, read my hub on dogs and cats being used as shark bait.
Woody Harrelson Speaks Out Against the Fur Industry
Designers That Use Fur
Companies That Do NOT Use Fur
- Fur-Free Retailers, Designers, and Brands : The Humane Society of the United States
We have compiled a list of retailers and designers that don't use animal fur or are phasing it out.
- Israel Fur Trade Ban Wins Support : Humane Society International | United Kingdom
Proposals for a ban on fur trade in Israel gathers international support.
- WSPA's investigation into the global fur trade
It is estimated that fur farms produce 85 per cent of fur in the world. Every year, an estimated 60 million mink and 6.5 million foxes are killed on fur farms alone. If rabbits are included, the number of animals killed every year solely for their fu
- The Fur Industry | PETA.org
Whether it came from an animal on a fur farm or one who was trapped in the wild, every fur coat, trinket, and bit of trim caused an animal tremendous suffering.
- PETA Prime: Best of PETA Prime: Help Shut Down the Chinese Fur Trade
Learn how to make a big difference for yourself, animals, and the Earth through simple day-to-day choices. PETA Prime has everything you need to know to live a healthy, humane, and rewarding life
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Rosana Modugno