The more you delve, the more you uncover. Animal cruelty exists in layer after layer.
Look into the fur trade and you will see the horrific conditions in which foxes and other animals are kept in to satisfy our vanity. And be careful! We all seem to be under the impression that fur in this country is a thing of the past and that nowadays its all fake. Think again!
Although the fur trade is banned in the UK it is important to mention it because the fox is slaughtered on a huge scale for vanity too and its fur makes its way into our shops.
The Fur Trade
Each year the fur industry kills over 50 million animals for fashion. Foxes account for a large proportion of these figures. Millions are either being captured in traps or languising in fur farms.
It takes between 15 and 20 foxes to make one fur coat and the animals are kept in horrific conditions and killed in an equally appalling manner. Check out the PETA web site www.peta.org and www.furisdead.com
According to the industry, the majority of the animals killed are used for fur trim. Fur trim is not only found in upscale boutiques and designer collections, but in average department stores and supermarkets.
In an effort to reverse its declining fortunes during the last decade - as consumers turned their backs on fur - the industry has swamped the market with cheap fur trim. In pursuing this marketing strategy, the fur industry is also targeting young, first-time buyers, subliminally portraying fur as fun, trendy and ethically acceptable. Fur trim comes in many guises, from hood- and sleeve- trimmed parka jackets to sweaters, dresses, purses, gloves, hats, bedroom slippers and boots. It also can appear on accessories, children's toys, and trinkets. Even designers who pledged never to use fur have resorted to fur trim.
Because fur trim often goes unlabelled and is used on many budget clothing items, many consumers end up purchasing "real" fur thinking that it's fake. Some consumers mistakenly believe that fur trim only consists of "leftovers" from the production of full-length coats. The truth, however, is that animals are bred, killed and skinned specifically for fur trim. In fact, today, more animals are killed for fur trim than for full-length coats. 90% of fur from foxes killed on fur farms is used as fur trim.
Animals are trapped in the wild or raised on industrial fur farms under deplorable conditions to feed the fur trim habit. Animals that end their days as trim include: fox, mink, chinchilla, raccoon, coyote, and rabbit. On occasion, unsuspecting consumers may even be buying fur trim made out of domestic dog or cat fur, imported from the Far East.
So it is important to remember that:
- Fur trim is not a by-product of the full-fur coat industry.
- Just because a product is inexpensive does not mean the fur is fake.
- At least one animal dies for each piece of fur trim or fur accessory.
- Fur trim is produced using the same cruel methods that manufacture full-fur coats.
- If the label does not explicitly state that the trim is synthetic, avoid the product and thus the risk that it is made from real fur.
- Fur trim, implicated in the suffering and death of millions of animals every year, is unnecessary in the modern day and age, when many superior, synthetic alternatives are available.
Fur producers often claim that their animals are well looked but evidence shows that this is not the case.
Good food, low stress and a clean environment are central to any animal's health and wellbeing. And it is precisely the absence of all three of these factors that makes fur farms so conducive to disease, mental distress, and high mortality rates. The Canadian Fur Institute says, "Mink, fox and chinchilla farmers feed their animals with eggs, meat and fish that have been judged unfit for human consumption." This "food" generally consists of slaughterhouse byproducts, which the fur farms obtain for free or for very little money. The use of this lowgrade food is one of the main causes of TME, a disease similar to mad cow disease.
Furbearers that are confined on intensive farms exhibit neurotic behaviors, such as weaving, pacing, self-mutilation and cannibalism - all of which are signs of extreme mental distress. These abnormal behaviors are a direct result of the barren, filthy and miserable conditions under which these intelligent, sensitive animals are forced to exist.
Death, when it comes, is brutal. Animals are dispatched in a way designed first and foremost to protect their pelts from damage: gassing, neck-breaking, poisoning and electrocution via the mouth or genitals are four of the most common methods.
And this is at regulated fur farms. In China, the biggest exporter of pelts in the world, fur farming is completely unregulated. There are no laws whatsoeverto protect animals. Here animals are routinely skinned alive because it is thought to make the pelt softer, is considered easier to do and uses fewer resources than killing humanely.
In 2005, the Swiss Animal Protection (SAP) released an undercover video depicting details of a fur farm in Hebei, China in which men were seen throwing live animals to the ground and skinning them while they were still alive.
On a human level it is important to note the toxic side effects of the industry!
While raw pelts may indeed be biodegradable, the fur industry neglects to mention that all of the animal skins used to make fur coats are tanned. Tanning is a procedure that stabilizes the collagen or protein fibers in animals skins specifically to stop them from biodegrading. Today's tanning processes use a variety of environmentally damaging substances, including mineral salts, formaldehyde, coal tar derivatives, and various oils, dyes, and finishes,
Among the disastrous consequences of this noxious waste is the threat to human health from the highly elevated levels of lead, cyanide, and formaldehyde in the ground water near tanneries. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention found that the incidence of leukemia among residents in an area surrounding one tannery in Kentucky was five times the national average.
People who work in tanneries are dying of cancer caused by exposure to dimethylformamide and other toxic chemicals used to process and dye the skins. The coal tar derivatives used are extremely potent cancer-causing agents. According to one study released by the New York State Department of Health, more than half of all testicular cancer victims work in tanneries.Most of the world’s farmed fur is produced by European farmers. There are 6,000 fur farms in the EU. The EU accounts for 70% of fox production. Finland is the largest United States supplier of fox pelts. The United States is a major exporter of furskins. China with its huge fur industry is the largest importer and re-exporter of fur in the world.
Demand fell in the late 1980s and 1990s because of a number of factors, including the failure of designers to come up with exciting new lines, and also the efforts of animal rights campaigners. Since the turn of the millennium, however, sales worldwide have soared to record highs, fuelled by radically new techniques for working with fur, and a sharp rise in disposable income in China and Russia. This growing demand has led to the development of extensive fur farming operations in countries such as China, where activist groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have raised concerns about inhumane treatment of animals and the nature of some slaughterhouse practices.
Farmers argue that today's farmed animals only know farm life. Hunters and trappers argue that the ultimate in "free range" fur comes from wild harvest where the animals live all their lives in the wild.