Let’s face it, fur is beautiful. Is there anything more gorgeous than the beautiful fur on a red fox, or the feel of a soft angora rabbit? In the words of Cruella De Vil “I live for furs. I worship furs! After all, is there a woman in all this wretched world who doesn't?” I too adore fur, as well as the gorgeous creatures whom it belongs to. Cruella De Vil wanted nothing more than the literal skin off of some little Dalmatian puppies’ backs… and I can’t imagine there was a child in this world that wasn’t revolted at the thought of someone actually wanting to kill a puppy and wear their skin! Grotesque right?? But it happens every day to beautiful creatures like minks, foxes, chinchillas, rabbits, and raccoons.
Cruel doesn’t even begin to describe the fur industry. There are two ways that fur is obtained, either by fur farming or fur trapping.
There are multiple different types or traps used by people, and I won’t even begin to describe to you how they work but imagine a very large mouse trap… or worse. Most of the time the animals that are trapped are left to suffer for days before they are even found. Of course these traps do not discriminate, if a stray dog, cat, or bird happens upon the trap they will be met with the same fate as the desired fur bearers, only these animals are called trash kills.
Fur farming supplies the remaining 80% of the industry. The poor souls that are farmed for their fur are raised in deplorable conditions, treated horribly and raised in tiny cages. Most of these animals are also skinned alive and left to suffer. It’s supposedly “easier”… easier for whom?
So what can be done to stop this madness? Easy… DON’T WEAR FUR. There are so many beautiful, soft, warm alternatives to fur! There is absolutely no reason to EVER wear it. There are many clothing manufacturers and retailers that have already taken then pledge to stop the cruelty. Beware not all labels are honest though! Some companies are using raccoon dog fur (and it’s just as cruelly harvested as any other fur) as faux fur. Here is a list of retailers put together but the humane society that say no to cruelty:
Born Free USA is a national animal advocacy group has partnered with multiple fur free and eco-friendly designers including Dalia MacPhee, Rene Geneva, Sherri Hill, Stop Starring! and WannaWearByTinaO, as well as fur- and leather-free shoe companies Mink and Saint Francis Couture, to have a completely fur free fashion show called ‘fffashion L.A’. They not only proved that there is no place in high fashion for fur but that having heart can be uber-chic. I recently read an article by fashion designer John Bartlett who went from a fur and leather-using designer to a compassionate animal advocate called “A Designer on Furs Return and Fashions Retreat” and it was very eye opening. After all the work PETA did in the 80’s and 90’s and all the fur campaigning that went on there was a definite decline in fashions use of fur. But using fur is making a comeback and he addresses the issue head on. We need to be a voice along with designers like John to stop this comeback now!
Some other more well-known designers that are fur free include Betsey Johnson, Stella McCartney and Charlotte Ronson. Not only are they fur free but they fight against the fur industry and refuse to use any animal fur whatsoever. They have always stood up for the rights of animals and for that they will always have my respect! Some other fur free converts include Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. All it took was a visit from PETA and some videos with the cold hard truth for these designers to see what they were standing for and the decided NO MORE! With so many amazing designers and companies that have pledged to be fur free, it makes it easy for us to fight as well. You can still look good, just not in someone else’s fur!
There are multiple avenues of not only finding fur free retailers (like the link above) but also groups you can join to lend a hand in ending the madness. One group is the Consumers for a Fur Free society; their website has multiple resources and options for helping to end the use of fur. Also check out the humane society and Born Free USA. Please take a stand with us and pledge to be fur free!! This world doesn’t need any more Cruella’s!
Photo credit: Paule Reeves Photography and Anitas web