Consider for a moment the source of clothing items such as leather boots, or fur jackets. Many people do not think about the origin of their clothes. However, on closer examination, it is easy to see that these particular items of clothing are constructed of a dead animal’s carcass. Some people do not sympathize for the animals that were sacrificed to create wearable items because they do not realize the pain and torture the animal went through just to create a piece of clothing. Therefore, people concerned with being ethically and environmentally responsible should choose faux or synthetic materials when purchasing clothing and accessories.
Furthermore, choosing animal based clothing or accessories directly causes harm and suffering to animals who are killed for their skins or furs. If a person were to step onto a fur farm, and witness the ways these animals are stripped of their skins, it would cause them to think twice about wearing animal products. Something that may come as a shock is that animals, which are typically considered house pets, such as dogs, cats, and bunnies are some of the most common animals farmed for their fur and skin. Frequently, animals on fur farms are kept in tiny crates, sometimes crammed with dozens of animals, packed so tightly that they cannot even move.
Additionally, these animals rarely receive proper veterinary care for illnesses or injuries, and they often lack even basic necessities such as proper food and water. This is done so that the company in charge of skinning the animals can save money and increase monetary profits. Many of the animals kept in these conditions go insane and exhibit severely abnormal behaviors such as biting off their own limbs, eating their cage mates, and when they have enough room, constant pacing. These cages full of suffering animals are typically kept either outside, unprotected from the elements, or inside dark barns, where the overwhelming smell of urine and waste causes their lungs and eyes to burn. Additionally, due to squalid conditions, parasites and diseases frequently run rampant on these fur and skin farms, making the lives of the animals even more miserable. Animals rights investigators have documented a vast number of cases of animals on fur farms being given inadequate or rotting food and being deprived of water due to water delivery systems that freeze in the winter, or break because of human error. The lack of even basic care for these animals is allowed because there are no laws that directly protect animals on fur farms. Understanding how fur farmed animals often meet their ends allows for a deeper glimpse into the repulsive fur trade. Since keeping the animals’ skin and furs intact and in good condition is the most important factor to fur farmers, animals are often skinned while under anesthesia, where it is common that animals wake up and are alive during the process. Another method involves farmers shoving metal rods into the live animals’ mouths or anuses to fatally electrocute them, which is extremely painful and traumatic to the animal, but does not damage the fur or skin. Other animals are killed with a poison called strychnine, which suffocates the animal by paralyzing them, resulting in a terrifying death. The combination of abysmal living conditions and brutal deaths gives evidence to the fact that animals on fur farms lack even a minimally decent quality of life.
In addition ethical considerations, the production of wool, fur, leather, and other wearable animal based items has devastating impacts on the environment, including pollution, water contamination, and contributing to climate change. One such instance can be witnessed in the case of minks, which are farmed and skinned in large numbers for their fur. Each mink produces about forty four pounds of feces in their lifetime. That adds up to about one million pounds of feces produced annually on U.S. mink farms alone. The reason this is so dangerous is because nearly 1,000 tons of phosphorus are released from the feces. The phosphorus and other harmful waste products are released into local water supplies, resulting in mass contamination. Skinning animals for their fur also has drastic effects on the air. For example, in Denmark, each year more than fourteen million minks are killed for their fur. The urine produced by that amount of of farmed minks causes more than 8,000 pounds of ammonia to be diffused into the air annually, severely reducing air quality levels and contributing to climate change. It is clear to see that the negative effects of fur farming have even greater implications than the cruel treatment of animals; it also causes alarming impacts to the health and wellbeing of people worldwide.
Many people disagree with ending the fur and skin trade because many animal materials are very warm and durable. While animal materials do indeed possess those qualities, in our modern day world they are no longer needed. People have now created faux and synthetic materials that not only resemble animal products, but are just as durable if not more. Therefore, there is simply no need to continue cruelly skinning animals. The vast amount of faux and synthetic alternatives to animal based products, renders these items entirely needless to today’s fashion industry.
After considering these points, and seeing that there really is no need for the fur industry, there is only one reasonable conclusion-- stop supporting this cruel enterprise. Abstaining from buying clothing and materials made of animal products and spreading the word about the horrors of the fur and skin trade can help lessen the demand for these products. If the demand dwindles enough, fur farming would not be profitable, which could bring about the end of the animal fur and skin industry in its entirety. Ending the bloody, animal fur and skin trade would not only eliminate the pain and suffering of millions of animals, but would make the world a much safer environment for people as well. Therefore, the simple act of making informed and responsible decisions when purchasing clothing and accessories enables the potential to end a worldwide crisis, and save the lives of millions of mistreated animals.