“There is always a way to wear fur.” – Anna Wintour
Ugh. It’s quotes like the one by Ms. Wintour there that keep the fur-as-fashion industry going, and that really has to stop.
How and when it was that wearing fur became a status symbol for the elite and attractive, we’ll never know. I’m guessing that a few tens of thousands of years ago, Grok gave Snurk a piece of pelt from some animal he’d killed and eaten, and she draped it over a shoulder to keep warm. Blurg thought Snurk looked prettier-than-usual and wanted a piece of pelt for herself, and so it began, and has kept going ever since. Or something. At the very least, back then it was a struggle for survival, and animals that were hunted for their food were used to their fullest potential, with skins as clothing, bones as tools, etc., but we’ve come a long way from those days, and there’s no excuse whatsoever to harm an animal for the sake of fashion.
One would hope that in this day and age, the thought of wearing the skin of another sentient being in order to be fashionable would be far from anyone’s mind, but no. Apparently not. Fur is still used as a “luxury” fabric around the world, with bits of it showing up on everything from fur-trimmed hats to boots, gloves, and of course, the ever-present fur coat. Some trendy jacket companies insists on using coyote fur on their parka hoods, for example, with the claim that it is the best and warmest option for protecting one’s face against sub-arctic weather. Wow, really? It hasn’t dipped lower than about -10C here in Toronto this winter, yet those jackets are popping up everywhere. Sub-arctic, huh?
Slaughtering animals for their fur is an ugly, awful practice. A quick Google search on the fur industry brings up heart-wrenching imagery and horror stories that are too traumatic to be shown here. If you want to learn more about it, PETA has a fair bit of information about the topic, as do the Fur-Free Alliance and the Anti-Fur Society. Basically, the two ways that fur is obtained by animals are by hunting/trapping them, or by raising them on farms specifically for their skins. The animals that are raised in these fur farms suffer horribly for their entire lives, and face excruciatingly painful deaths. Many aren’t even fully dead during the skinning process: a thought so terrible it was painful to even type it out. Those animals that are trapped for their skins can writhe around in agony for days, often dying of pain, thirst or starvation before the trappers get to them to finish them off. Many break their teeth trying to bite through the traps holding them, or try to chew off their own trapped limbs in an attempt to escape… and yet many people in the fur industry insist that this is a sustainable, ethical, and humane practice. Right.
So many of us have animal companions in our lives… I look at my cats and would sooner die than allow any harm to come to them. Yet every year, thousands of cats are killed for their skins in China. My friends have dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets. Anyone who’s ever spent a fair bit of time with one of these animals knows how intelligent they are; how their emotions are expressed in their eyes; how they get scared and need comforting like any human does.
The only creatures that should be wearing fur, are the ones who grew it themselves.