There will always be a conversation about the wearing of fur. The advocates for both sides passionate about their causes. Fall/Winter fashion has included more fur than in recent history. Karl Lagerfeld creating Fendi's first couture collection in 2015 which included over 25 pieces of fur. The truth is, as long as there is demand there will be supply.

Fur is till today, primarily purchased to keep warm, in many cold climate cultures, the wearing of fur is natural. It has of-course evolved into a status symbol, over time, due to it's high price.

Perhaps the greatest issue with this traditional industry is the lack of regulation. What was once a small business practice involving the hunting of wild animals, has now, due to high demand, turned into a billion dollar industry. This industry of-course supports the livelihood of thousands of people.

Historically we have worn fur to keep us warm, so why stop now ?

Because, the animal rights activists say, there are so many other ways to stay warm, without the harm of these creatures.

The fur wearers come back with a reminder that all animals bred for human consumption are treated inhumanely. So why is a chicken different to a mink …

The fur farming industry, unlike the animal meat farming industry, is not as closely regulated, particularly in China that are infamous for their inhumane skinning techniques.

Regardless of how you feel, these are the facts:

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More than 50 million animals are violently killed for use in fashion every year.

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Neither fur nor fur trim is a byproduct of the meat industry. Rabbit fur is often falsely identified as a byproduct of meat production. The truth is, few rabbit skins are obtained from slaughterhouses, which more often dispose of the undesirable pelts of rabbits bred to make meat. Fur comes from animals who are factory-farmed or trapped purely for fashion.

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It takes 30-40 rabbits and 150 chinchilla to make one women's full length coat.

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The most popular selling coat is mink.

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Fur farming is an inhuman practice that involves cramped conditions, and the painful skinning by electrocution, gassing, neck breaking or lethal injection, to protect the fur from deterioration.

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Many animals are skinned alive to ensure the best quality fur.

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The ban on Astrakhan, a fur from a lamb 15-30 days away from being born, has now turned into an underground black market. It is sourced by killing both the ewe and the unborn lamb. The lamb's unique, highly prized curly fur begins to unwind and straighten within three days of birth.

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Although not a fur, Shahtoosh, often used to make shawls, is made from the endangered Tibetan antelope, or chiru. Chiru cannot be domesticated and must be killed in order to obtain their wool. Illegal to sell or possess since 1975, shahtoosh shawls are still found in a thriving black market still catering to customers in London, New York, and Los Angeles who will pay as much as $17,000 for a shawl. As many as 20,000 chiru are killed every year for their wool.

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Fur farming is now illegal in many European countries such as UK and Austria. USA and China are the major source of fashion furs worldwide.

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Fur farms harm the environment. One million pounds of feces are produced annually by U.S. mink farms alone. One dangerous component of this waste is nearly 1,000 tons of phosphorus, which pollutes nearby rivers and streams.

This article was originally posted on 25 Nov, 2015

Dec 8, 2017