Aren’t there laws to protect animals on fur farms?
Currently, there are no federal laws providing protection for the millions of animals—including chinchillas, foxes, minks, and raccoons—who suffer and die on fur farms. The fur industry remains completely self-regulated, which means that animals are kept in crowded, filthy wire cages, where they often develop neurotic behaviors and become sick or wounded, and fur farmers kill them by breaking their necks while they are fully conscious or by using anal or genital electrocution. Animals killed on fur farms are also commonly skinned alive. Is it OK to wear used or “vintage” fur? Fashion should be fun … and wearing a coat made from an animal whose skin was ripped off, even if it was decades ago, just isn’t fun at all. Whether you purchased it from a consignment shop or got it as a hand-me-down gift, vintage fur sends the same unacceptable message as a new fur—that is OK to crush animals’ bones in traps, to stomp on their heads and snap their necks, or to anally electrocute them for the sake of vanity.
Is it OK to wear fake or “faux” fur?
Wearing fake or “faux” fur perpetuates a misguided message to the general public. As many of us know, fake furs often look very similar in appearance and texture. Often times, there is no way of knowing for certain whether the garment is fake or real. Recent news has also exposed numerous department stores falsely labeling merchandise containing fur/ fur trim as fake, when it is actually real fur/ fur trim.
What about rabbit fur? Isn’t it just a byproduct?
Some stores try to justify selling rabbit fur by saying that it is “just a byproduct” of the rabbit meat industry, but nothing could be further from the truth! The rabbit fur industry actually demands the pelt of thicker, older animals than those who are slaughtered for meat. In fact, the U.N. reports that “few skins are now retrieved from slaughterhouses,” and countries such as France kill as many as 70 million rabbits a year for fur. Like other animals raised and killed for their fur, rabbits—who are extremely clean by nature—are kept in tiny, filthy cages, surrounded by their own waste. They spend their entire miserable lives standing on the thin wires of their cage, never having a chance to dig, jump, or play. The methods of slaughter are inhumane—to kill the rabbits, fur farmers snap the animals’ necks or smash their skulls before stringing them up by their legs and cutting off their heads.
Isn’t animal fur more environmentally friendly than synthetic
Absolutely not! Fur has fallen so far from grace that furriers are now trying to convince consumers that pelts are “eco-friendly,” but furs are loaded with chemicals to keep them from decomposing in buyers’ closets, and fur production pollutes the environment and wastes precious resources. It takes more than 60 times as much energy to produce a fur coat from ranch-raised animals than it does to produce a fake fur. Plus, the waste produced on fur farms poisons our waterways. And don’t forget … unlike faux fur, the “real thing” causes millions of animals to suffer every year.
Animals in cages on fur farms don’t suffer that much because
they’ve never known anything else, right?
Wrong! Animals on fur farms are prevented from acting on their most basic instinctual behaviors, which causes tremendous suffering. Even animals who have been caged since birth feel the need to move around, groom themselves, stretch their limbs, and exercise. All confined animals suffer from intense boredom—some so severely that they begin displaying neurotic behaviors such as pacing, turning in endless circles, self-mutilation, and even cannibalism. Aren’t animals better off on fur farms, where they are fed and protected, than they are out in the wild, where they can die of starvation, disease, or predation? A similar argument was used to support the claim that black people were better off being slaves on plantations than being free men and women! Animals on fur farms suffer so much that it is inconceivable that they could be worse off in the wild. The wild isn’t “wild” to the animals who live there—it’s their home. The fact that they might suffer there is no reason to ensure that they suffer in captivity.
Is the fur industry as cruel as people make it out to be?
It’s even crueler. Undercover investigations on fur farms have found that animals are killed by anal electrocution, during which an electrically charged steel rod is inserted into the animal’s rectum, literally frying his or her insides. Exposed broken bones, upper respiratory infections, and cancerous tumors were among the wounds and diseases that animals endured without veterinary treatment on one fur farm that we investigated.
Animals caught in steel-jaw leghold traps are in so much pain that some actually chew off their limbs in order to escape. Since they are unable to eat, keep warm, or defend themselves against predators, many die in horrible ways before the trapper arrives to kill them. Others suffer in the traps for days until they are caught and killed. To avoid damaging the pelt, trappers often beat or stomp animals to death. Whether they are enduring the excruciating pain of a leghold trap or a lifetime of agony in a tiny cage, these animals suffer immensely.
Is it true that some companies actually use dog and cat fur in
Unfortunately, yes. There is a thriving dog- and cat-fur industry in Asia. Most of this fur is falsely labeled as “rabbit fur” or simply not labeled at all. Dog and cat skin is made into fur coats, fur figurines, and leather shoes, which are sold to unsuspecting consumers in America. Without expensive DNA tests, it is virtually impossible to know exactly what kind of animal you are wearing if you choose to buy fur. And if you wouldn’t wear your dog, why wear the fur of any animal?
What can I do to put a stop to the cruelty of the fur industry?
There are many ways to spread the message of compassion. You can help by speaking with the managers of stores that sell fur and fur trim and letting them know that you won’t be shopping there until they take the fur off their racks. Set up an information table outside a store that sells fur or on a busy street. Peta can send you posters and leaflets to use. Let fur-wearers know how you feel about cruelty to animals, and have leaflets on hand to educate them about it. You can also reach countless people by writing letters to the editors of your local newspapers about the cruelty of the fur industry.
Why Should Animals Have Rights?
Supporters of animal rights believe that animals have an inherent worth—a value completely separate from their usefulness to humans. We believe that every creature with a will to live has a right to live free from pain and suffering.