My parents gave me a black Chinese fur coat when I was about nineteen years old. It was a totally unexpected gift and I was extremely surprised and thrilled. It was a sleek, black, knee length, simple design with hidden toggles. If I used nonhuman animal proverbs, I would say that I thought I was the cat’s meow when I was wearing it. I wore it everywhere, along with my black leather knee high boots and most likely, a leather purse. I was disappointed when my coat simply wore out.
When I think back to how happy I was, I am understandably horrified that I once so highly regarded a product of such abject cruelty. That is the thing about being vegan. We can become paralyzed by what we once used to do-the simple unconscious acts of daily living that meted out untold cruelty, confinement and death to so many innocent beings. Or we can choose move past our past. We can acknowledge the cruelty in which we unknowingly participated and then we can celebrate the kindness and compassion and peace that arises when we live ethically and advocate for our fellow beings.
Advocacy, with clarity not condemnation, is my raison d’etre. When I leave this world, I want to know for myself that I did my best to protect and liberate those who suffer for our wants, not needs. Doing my best includes taking a long look at the pictures and facts surrounding the cruel industries that succeed in both fueling and satiating our learned appetites. This is tough for me. I can read the facts better than I can look at the pictures and videos and films and documentaries. But how can I inform people of what is going on if I cannot look at the damning and undeniable evidence?
So, although I do not seek out the pictures of our criminal behavior, I now look at them when they cross my path in social media and in the research that I do for this website. I encourage you to do same. It will change your mind about how you view the unnecessary suffering of these beings. In light of the recent charges in Quebec levied against the en slaver of farmed for fur nonhuman animals , I would like to share with you some of the facts surrounding the fashion fur industry.
“China produces 85% of the fur worldwide and has no animal welfare laws to protect animals.
Over two million dogs and cats are slaughtered each year , mostly in China and other Asian countries.
They are bludgeoned, hanged, bled to death, and strangled with wire nooses.
Their fur is often mislabeled as that of other animals and exported into the U.S, the European Union, and other countries.
Fur farmed animals are killed by gassing, neck breaking, anal electrocution, clubbing, trapping and injection with poisons so as not to damage their pelts.”
2) The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals
“Every year one hundred million animals are killed for their fur, worldwide.”
“It is estimated that there are over 200 fur farms in Canada.
They are large scale industrial operations that confine foxes and mink in small wire cages.
Other farmed for fur animals include rabbits, chinchillas and raccoon dogs and bobcats.
These species, excluding rabbits, are not domesticated.
There are currently no laws regulating the keeping, handling or killing of cage-raised fur-bearing animals in Canada.
They spend their short, miserable lives trapped in tiny wire cages stacked together in long sheds, where they eat, sleep, urinate and defecate.
In order to avoid damaging the fur, animals are killed by gassing or anal electrocution.”
Farms around the world are no different as evidenced in these pictures taken in Finland.
Dog and Cat Fur:
The fur from slaughtered dogs and cats is exported to Canada and other countries worldwide where it is used in trim on winter apparel.
“The Canadian Textile and Labeling Act does not require the labeling of animal pelts or hides.”
This means that your fake fur may have dog or cat fur in it and even the fur of other nonhuman animals.
“Leg-hold traps (and other traps) remain legal in every Province and Territory in Canada (and in most U.S. states).
All leg-hold traps are designed to hold a wild animal until the trapper arrives.
Animals suffer from dehydration, blood loss, hypothermia and death.
Animals resort to chewing or wringing off their own trapped limb in order to escape, breaking teeth and bones in the process.”
Leg-hold traps do not discriminate. Other species including dogs and cats are regularly caught and die in the traps.
“In British Columbia, it is legal to set a leg-hold trap just 200 metres from a dwelling including a home or school.”
Annie’s Vegan View
Avoid buying fake fur unless there is a label declaring it to be so.
Donate the fur apparel you have to shelters for nonhuman animals.
Do your own research.
Now that you know the truth, please don’t look away.
Spread the word.
May all beings be happy and free.
14 thoughts on “Frightening Fur Facts”
The fur industry only shows the beautiful final products and obviously does not want anybody to see what happened to the animal when it lost its pelt; and for sure how did the animal lived its life before losing it for its fur.
Most of the people do not want to know these facts or to see these pictures. For them, only the final result counts. When I was younger, I also have a beautiful long brown leather coat with a cut similar to the one worn by the German officers during the last war. For me, even though I knew where the leather was coming from, I was not revolted because on our farm, the animals were well treated and all of them were well fed and taken care of. Today, the animals are not treated the same way and are abused.
I try from now on to eliminate as much as I can any use of animal product and I do not miss an occasion to inform people on the subject. Some of them appreciate the information while some others are offended to be informed on the matter.
You are right about the cruel misconceptions presented by all of the industries which use and profit from the enslavement, torture and murder of non human beings.
I remember that coat and I, too, owned and wore lots of leather.
The cows who lived on your farm may have been treated “well”, but sadly this was not the norm, even then. Factory farming of species in not the culprit, even though it is unbelievably cruel. Our belief that we have the right to use nonhumans for our own purposes is the culprit.
I am glad to hear that you bring up the subject-awareness is key.
Even though I am aware of all this that was still painful to read. If only we had known then!
It would be great if we had known then, but I am so glad that we know now. And it is painful to see! If I could wrap my arms around those suffering, I most certainly would. There but for fortune.
I know that the plight of the dolphins is close to your heart and I just read that another albino baby has been captured-a travesty!
Hi Anne and Judy…
When I read your reply to Judy’s comment I thought I’d pass this site along even though I’m sure there’s a good chance you’re both aware of it. But just in case:
Thanks for sharing this link. I am pretty sure that both Judy and I are aware. However, a good link is never wasted. Others who look at my website may well check it out.
Thank you for writing about this and for not looking away. I do look at the photos that come to my inbox and the ones you have here, but I don’t seek them out. I’m still crying as I type this…..it’s so heartbreaking. When the photos are large enough that you can really see their eyes…that’s beyond words, how horrific it is and the anguish I (and all of us here, I’m sure) feel. It’s nothing compared to what they feel, but I never get those images out of my mind. It’s not from the fur industry, but several years ago there was a photo that I accidentally ran across of a cat in a lab experiment and that made me go “cruelty-free” other than I still had cheese and eggs in my diet, but everything else to do with supporting other animals’ suffering, I stopped. And I still remember that photo to this day.
I’ve been going through a pretty rough time in my personal life for a while now and I get very depressed about it, but I would go through this and worse until the day I die if it would save even one suffering soul out there who had the misfortune of being born not-human in a world run by humans and run so badly.
I understand your struggle and yes, it can be very tough. But, as you do, I do feel that knowing the truth and living with compassion is so important. At least we have the chance to make a difference, to change hearts and minds.
I hope that your personal struggles lessen soon.
So hard to look at, and so depressing. I almost don’t blame people for looking away, at least, not vegans who are already aware, because too much of it can make you feel helpless and hopeless. In a sense it takes real courage to face up to the facts, and sadly, I think most non-vegan folk just don’t have that courage.
I understand how you feel and my feelings about these images have evolved over time. Not too long ago, I could not look at them at all and now there are still some images from which I turn away. The images that I do see often make me cry, but I feel that it is nothing compared to what their nonhuman subjects endure. I don’t seek out these images, because it might take away from the time I spend researching and trying to inform. I do look at most of those that come across my computer screen through social media.
And I do think that they have a place. Jo-Anne McArthur’s work, for instance, is playing a big role in challenging people to look and to question their morals and ethics. It is a hard truth to witness, but it is the truth.
Your Grammie Annie Vegan View sums it up very well. Even though the item may claim to be synthetic or fake fur, one never knows. Why take a chance? As well, fake fur is usually made from a petroleum based product that is not evironmentally friendly or biodegradeable.
I have heard people who speak in favour of fur farms say that the animals are treated very well otherwise the fur would not be lusterous and usable. Really? Perhaps they should climb in the cages with the animals!
It’s hard to look at the images but much, much harder on the poor animals that suffer horrifically.
I did not know that fake fur, if it is truly fake, ismade from a petroleum based product, but I am not surprised. I went looking for winter coats last year and was so proud to have found two that did not have down in them. I did not like the idea of the fake fur, because of what it represents, but could not find any without it. I reassured when the label did not say fur. Now I know this doesn’t mean anything.
So now I have two down free coats that are trimmed in fake fur. Gotta go shopping again-no more fake fur for me!
Thank you for your article. I find the fur industry to be one of the most upsetting, personally for me. I watched the Earthlings documentary earlier this year before I became vegan and saw what these animals go through. One particular image of a fox being skinned alive will stay with me for the rest of my life and forever haunt my mind. I cannot believe that this still goes on in this day and age. I have never owned anything made of real fur but when I was younger I did own a leather jacket. I feel shame now when I think I paid for this and actually thought I looked good in another animals skin. I wish I had known then, what I know now.
Like you, I won’t wear faux fur anymore either, not only because it may be real fur but I also believe it is promoting “a look” that we need to get away from. I have removed the faux fur trim from my parka coat and will be wearing it again this winter. I am so glad it was removable or I would have been looking for a new winter coat now too. I also needed know about the petroleum used to produce “faux fur” that Cindy mentioned above.
It is great to have these dialogues with fellow vegans on your website Anne. I am learning such a lot from you all.
The stores are again filled with Canada Goose coats -filled with down and trimmed with coyote fur. It is a sickening site. I also deplore the little fur pom poms that wave in the air as they sit atop children’s hats. This i, without a doubt, human and other animal species abuse. Time to start targeting the social media sites of this despicable company.