Fur has once again made its way to the runway this year.
The trend for natural fabrics is on the rise, and, unfortunately, the usage of animal fur is becoming a forefront issue for the fashion industry once again. In fact, the fur industry has increased 70% between 2000 and 2010.
The fur industry is killing more than 50 million animals every year, primarily minks, foxes, raccoons and rabbits but also beavers, seals, dogs and cats. Fur farmers raise 80% of their animals in small cages where they suffer from the stress of captivity. Their basic needs are taken away from them: they cannot run or swim, and they suffer psychologically and physically from captivity. The remaining 20% are caught in traps in the wild and left to die a painful death.
Allowing this suffering is abhorent: fashion and luxury does not justify the killing of these millions of animals. Wanton killing of animals is never okay. In addition, the origin of the fur is unknown, especially in China which supplies half of the fur in the United States. You could be wearing someone’s pet.
The fur industry is undeniably horrible not only for the animals, but also for the environment. Minks alone produce up to a million pounds of feces every year, which pollutes the rivers. It also takes 20 times more energy to produce fur than faux fur because of the food required to feed the animals and the chemicals and waste that the fur process creates. Fur manufacturers use dangerous chemicals such as ammonia and bleaching agents, including hydrogen peroxide, to prevent the product from rotting in our wardrobes, and the ozone suffers as a result. The regulations on the fur industry are not clearcut nor enforced, so all too often chemicals and excrement end up in our rivers and pollute it. Nothing about the fur industry is eco-friendly. Even if you don’t care about animal cruelty, you should be opposed to the fur industry since it pollutes our air, soil and water.
As a consumer, you have the power of the purse. I personally prefer not buying any faux fur or second-hand fur because it sends the message that the look of fur is fashionable. It is not. If you absolutely must wear fur, then wear faux fur. It sends the message to companies that you prefer that to real fur. If cutting out real fur from your wardrobe is not an option for you, at least buy second-hand. Even though it’s ideal, at least no additional animals were killed for this clothing.
I believe that, with campaigns from companies such as PETA and Lush Cosmetics, we will see a decrease in fur production in a few years. It is necessary for the animals and our planet.