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Animals used for the Fur Trade!

For centuries humans have used animals for their own advantage. Humans initially started wearing clothes made from animal pelts and hide somewhere around 17,000 years ago. From that point forward, fur clothes and fur accessories have become a symbol of wealth, luxury and fashion. In the early days, Royalty would wear and exhibit fur fashion exclusively. But with time, fur became a fashion statement for all social classes which in return increased the demand for fur in the fashion industry. Us humans often use the resources of nature for our own benefits without thinking of the repercussions of our actions. Sure, the fur some choose to wear looks very fancy and feels cozy and comfortable, but the picture behind manufacturing it is equally horrifying.

The ever increasing demand for fur has led to the establishment of Fur Farms, where animals are held captive to harvest their fur. Almost around one hundred million animals are bred and held captive or killed on fur farms to explicitly provide for the fashion industry. This fur is then used not only for traditional fur coats but also for real fur trim for hooded jackets, and real fur pompoms used on hats, gloves, shoes and a range of other clothing and accessories. It is estimated that as many as half of the animals raised for their hide are slaughtered to fulfill the market demand for fur.

Fur that originates from animals that are not raised on factory fur farms comes from trapping. As sad and horrifying it is, trapping is often practiced as a recreational activity by adults and children alike all around the world. The steel-jawed leg hold trap is the most commonly used apparatus for trapping and has been restricted in a lot of European countries for a long time. Traps incur incredible agony and anguish, both to the target animal as well as unintended targets such as pets and endangered species. Underwater traps are also used to catch beavers, minks, and muskrats; they are all only semi-aquatic mammals so their deaths are especially drawn out and unpleasant.

Shockingly, fur is right now in fashion as exhibited by the way that the fur sales are on an all-time high in the last few years. In addition, a number of designers and fashion houses working in fur, shearling or fur trim have grown over the past five years. In China, millions of cats and dogs are bludgeoned to death, turned into trim and sold to unsuspecting customers in retail stores around the world. In spite of the presence of bans in various nations on either fur farms, leg hold traps or bans on specific kinds of fur, the World Trade Organization (WTO) doesn't think about trade on ethical grounds and in this way, it allows the trade of fur in various countries, regardless of what laws that nation may have set up to secure the welfare of animals.

As opposed to the fur industry’s purposeful propaganda, fur production ruins the environment. Fur coats and accessories are stacked with harmful synthetic chemicals to prevent them from decomposing in the consumer's wardrobe. What people fail to realize is that the fur that is used as a fashion accessory has caused the animal a tremendous amount of suffering and we do not have any right to wear clothing made from animals.

The real question is what can be done to stop this cruelty? It is only when people quit buying fur that the fur trade will cease to exist. Try not to purchase any product made from animal fur and before buying any product that looks like fur, make sure to confirm from the retailer whether its real or faux. Also, do not be afraid to speak up against the retailers that sell fur products. The sale of fur should not be advocated. The reason for such brutality is simply unadulterated vanity. Faux fur is easily available in the market if you think fur is so essential to your fashion wardrobe. Go fur-free and always remember, COMPASSION is true FASHION!

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Pooja Advani

Pet Industry Expert, Canine Behaviourist, Consultation & Training

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