When I was younger, I remember walking by a fur store and at the sight of each garment I would think, “That animal was once moving, breathing, and happy.” I had grown up in a household of animal lovers and have always owned two or three cats throughout my life. I had a faux fur shawl for my Barbie to add some glamour to her outfit, but I could never imagine myself wearing fur clothing. It would be touching and displaying something stolen from an animal at the sake of its life.
As I grew older and more knowledgeable of the sick world of the fur trade, my beliefs became more secure on the subject. Looking further into the treatment and handling of animals victim to fur gave my opposition reassurance. More people also need to be informed of the reality of the fur trade’s cruelty and disregard for animal life. The wrong of the fur industry includes agonizing animal death by trapping, regular accidental killing of endangered species, and the slaughtering of household pets. Although the most disturbing cases are known to be overseas in places far from the US, some problems involving the fur trade are being found closer to home then some may think.
The international fur trade abuses and kills 2 million domestic animals alone each year. In one season, typically half a million cats are killed. Fur companies have been found to hold 50,000 cat skins and an equal amount of dog skins in a single factory. Many of the cats and dogs are strays, but most are pets stolen from their owners. I immediately think of how devastated I would be if my own pets were taken from me and then skinned.
The domestic animals’ furs are used for clothing, and are nearly indistinguishable from those of mink or fox when dyed. From this originated the problem of false labeling, as found in a popular department chain in the US. The Burlington Coat Factory was uncovered to be selling fur-trimmed garments with the label “Mongolia Dog Fur” when it was, in disturbing truth, German Shepherd fur. If you support the fur trade, are you supporting the slaughtering of our four-legged best friends?
Fur trapping is also distasteful and murderous, especially because of its crude methods and common accidental killing of endangered species. The 10 million animals trapped in the wild for their fur every year are purposely given slow, painful deaths to protect the quality of their pelts. Animals make desperate attempts at escape, such as tearing at their flesh, breaking bones, and chewing off their own limbs. Those who do not escape are later beaten, crushed, clubbed, or suffocated to kill them without damaging the fur. One creature killing another in this way is simply immoral and sinful.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.