According to PETA each year, approximately 50 million minks, foxes, rabbits and beavers are raised on farms around the world only to be slaughtered for their fur. And what for? Style. To look ‘good’.
The fur industry has grown by 70% over the last 10 years and is worth £9billion annually, this despite 58% of people believing the use of fur is unethical. Perhaps the other 42% don’t really know how products are made.
85% of the fur industry’s skin comes from animals living captive in fur factory farms. Animals live in unbearably small cages, in fear, diseases and infested with parasites; many if not all suffer psychologically. And all for the sake of a global industry that does nothing but feed ego.
The most common fur animals are minks and foxes. These are instinctually wild animals which have never been domesticated. As a result they can’t adapt to lives in captivity, even those bred in fur farms. According to a website Last Chance For Animals, “ranch-raised minks are confined to a 12 inch by 18 inch cage. This type of intensive confinement can result in self-mutilation, cannibalism, and high-levels of stress that weaken the immune system and makes animals more susceptible to disease.”
It’s difficult to understand how fur remains popular given that most are not ignorant to the ethical dilemma of wearing it. Part of the problem is endorsement by celebrity. Rihanna recently wore a fur-trimmed coat at the Lanvin show at Paris Fashion Week. Her post on Instagram racked up 367,000 likes. While her followers weren’t ‘liking’ the fur, it doesn’t mean they weren’t being influenced to buy it in future. It wouldn’t take much effort for Rhianna to simply not wear fur, and she’d be no doubt saving the lives of many innocent animals.
The one thing that links every living creature on this planet is the instinct to survive. The difference is that we’re aware of ourselves. We’ve a moral compass; we have the ability to choose not to do bad things, like skinning an animal to look good. We just have to look in their eyes and not through them, to see and feel their pain. Rihanna’s choices would make us believe that perhaps she doesn’t have that ability.
Next time you go to a shop and have the desire to buy a fur coat or a fur trimmed bag, instead of looking at the beauty of it, and how exceptional you look in it, pop your head into the dark side and picture the creatures that are suffering this very moment, by being de-skinned or being traumatised just for an expensive coat!
Ultimately this is an industry based on money. This is a game where money conquers all, even the harshest treatment of the cutest animals. And this is sadly a trait that sullies the human race. Charlie Chaplin perhaps sums it up best in The Great Dictator with the lines “Greed has poisoned man’s soul… We think too much and feel too little.”