The Bloody Price for Fur

By , Fortuna, CA
Would you wear clothes you knew animals had to die for? What if you knew they died a painful death? Over 50 million animals worldwide die a year for fur. These animals include raccoons, rabbits, foxes, chinchillas, beavers, wolves, coyotes, and even domesticated dogs and cats. Since the moment they are captured, sometimes even born, they are put into tiny cages where they await a cruel and painful death.

The places the animals are kept are so small, that 1 out of 4 trapped animals start to chew off their own feet or show signs of self-mutilation. Animals need a big enough space of land to be able to run around and be free, but instead, they are put into small cages where they can only take a few steps. Most of the time, the animals have to share their cage with around 3 other animals. The cages are stacked on top of one another and put in open sheds where the animals have no protection from the weather. The fur farms are filthy, causing disease and pests. The food they give to the animals is so bad that it’s unfit to be used for the pet food industry. This usually includes things like calves heads, beef lungs and windpipes, unborn calves, chicken and turkey heads, beef and chicken organs, cow udders, and fish heads. Water is usually given by the nipple system which often freezes during the winter. Their water limitation causes respiration and body temperatures to increase causing heat stress.

You might think that an animal living under these conditions would look forward to their death, but in fur farms, death is the worst part. The main methods of killing are electrocution of the genitals, stomping or beating, strangling, neck breaking, and if their lucky, gassing. Electrocution and neck breaking might not seem like a very terrible way to die, but when the animals are electrocuted, rods are forced into their mouths and anuses while they are fully conscious. Even though this genital electrocution is suppose to assure you that the animal has died, studies show that the animals are still alive, just suffering from an unbearable muscle pain not allowing them to move. Neck breaking works by jerking the animal’s vertebra out of its socket causing the neck to break. It can take an animal up to five minutes to become brain dead from neck breaking, until then, their body just jerks and twitches. Since many of these methods aren’t fully effective on killing, many animals are still conscious while being skinned and remain conscious up to ten minutes after their skin has been removed.

Fur has become a worldwide industry. There is no law in the U.S that trully protects animals in fur farms but in India, it’s illegal to kill healthy animals that would be of better use for meat and dairy. Since their fur industry sells 10 times more than their meat industry, they get around the law by making sure the animal’s sick or injured. They do this by breaking their legs or poisoning them. On their way to the fur farms, the cows are tied from their noses and forced to do what is called a death march. During a death march, the cows are forced to endure harsh weather and walk for miles without food or water. Many cows collapse, but the ones that do make it are then crammed into Lorries on top of one another. In China, not just abandoned dogs and cats are used for fur; some of them have name tags. In Australia, which provides 50 percent of the world’s wool, they use a method called mulesing in which huge chunks of skin and flesh are cut from the animals backsides without pain killers. Then they are shipped to the Middle East on multilevel ships, a journey that lasts for months. When they arrive, they are loaded onto trucks and then dragged from their ears and legs to the slaughterhouse.

Fur doesn’t just hurt the animals, it hurts the environment too. All the animals manure and feces, one mink alone producing about 44 pounds, causes problems to the water ecosystem. It takes at least 100 chinchillas to make one fur coat, that’s a lot of waste for just one coat. Also, many of the chemicals they use to make the fur coats end up contaminating water and lead to pollution.

So much energy is used to make all our leather goods. It’s become such a big industry, it seems impossible to imagine a world without it. We’ve become so used to it, that sometimes you don’t even notice when you have some on, whether it be on your bag, shoes, or belt. It might be very difficult to go from manufacturing billions of dollars worth of fur to none, but there’s a much better alternative, faux fur. It’s better for the animals and for the environment. It takes a real fur coat 15 times more energy to make than a faux fur coat. Taking into account all the coats and products we make a year, if we switched to faux fur I believe we would see a dramatic difference in pollution.

The fur industry has to be put to a stop. The first step I believe is to pass a law that protects animals on fur farms, making sure that they have good shelters and access to clean and safe food. The next step is to limit the use of fur. We don’t need all these luxury items. And the last step, to switch to just faux fur.

They have put millions of animals to death in unimaginably painful ways, giving them shelter in a cage and food that just makes the animals worse, and all for what?… fashion.





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