12 November 2009
Animals Used For Clothing Attending the zoo when you were a child was the best day ever at the time. You would walk in and see glass cages with different kinds of animals to your left and your right with all kinds of vegetation, each satisfying the needs of that animal. You would run up to the cage, face squished up against the glass and just stare at them for minutes in amazement even if they were just sleeping or sitting still. You would walk around for hours looking at all the different kinds of animals including, foxes, seals, beavers, tigers, and bears. But little did we know when we were younger, that some of these animals are farmed and killed for their fur. Although we may see fur coats and other clothing articles in magazines worn by models and actors, is it really worth killing innocent animals that we once loved visiting at the zoo? The killing of animals to use their fur is not something that has just been occurring in the 20th century, it has been going on for much longer than that. In the 1970’s and 1980’s there were a lot of animal welfare movements that had taken place that affected the fur industry. Women would walk by in their fur coats and welfare activists would throw red paint at them (Parsons). Time has progressed and new generations have arisen, and people are still acting out against the use of fur for people’s pleasure and fashion to keep people informed. There are even activist organizations that have campaigns and websites that talk about the treatment of animals for their fur. PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is a big activist organization that uses propaganda by asking celebrities to participate in their campaigns to stop people from killing innocent animals for their fur. People who wear the fur coats and accessories either do not know how their fur coat was made or do not care. Activists and organizations around the world are trying to inform people about the mistreatment and abuse of animals and also how the animals are killed.
Fur Farms are the most convenient way for the slaughtering and producing of animal fur for clothing and accessories. According to the International Fur Trade Federation, “Eighty-five percent of the fur industry’s skins come from animals on fur factory farms”(qtd. in Wool). The animals are bred and kept in small cages on the farm and depending on the type of animal that is being bred determines when their life is cut short. These fur farms are found and operated everywhere around the world. According to Nick Foulkes, a writer for ES Magazine, “Seventy-three percent of fur farms are in Europe, 12 percent are in North America, and the rest are dispersed throughout the world, in countries such as Argentina, China, and Russia” (qtd. in Inside).Within these fur farms, they use many different methods to kill these animals but in ways that will protect their fur from being damaged. Neck breaking, electrocution with clamps, gassing and poison called strychnine which affects the animal’s muscles causing them to die, are all used to kill the animals (Inside). Some of these methods allow the animals to feel the excruciating pain while they die, while others are painless and fast. Another common way of killing the animals for their fur are hunting and trapping. Depending on the person, some people choose to have the traps capture the animals for them. But in other cases, some choose to wait in excitement silently to shoot either an arrow or a bullet at the animal. Hunting is a common activity in the United States and many consider is a sport just like fishing. Bill Freedman, a Ph.D., points out that,”"Harvesting" refers to the killing of wild animals as a source of meat, fur, antlers, or other useful products, or as an outdoor sport.” The animal is then slaughtered and made into meat and either the whole body or just the head is preserved to hang up on their walls. Animal’s lives are being cut