Guest post by Lesley Fox
– Editor’s note: this post is a followup to our recent post on the “Fur is Green” campaign by the Fur Council of Canada –
It’s really not worth the rebuttal, but I just can’t help but comment on the “Fur is Green” campaign by The Fur Council of Canada. Their desperation to appear hip, timely or relevant couldn’t be more transparent.
Claiming that fur and fur-trimmed products are “green”, “ecological”, or “environmental” is the equivalent of saying, “have a nice day”. There are no restrictions or regulations on using these terms and the fur industry has no independent endorsement or certification of its so-called commitment to the environment or “eco” practices.
The whole process of turning an animal into a fur coat or trim is extremely energy intensive. It involves soaking, washing, fleshing, turning, tanning, extraction, wringing, drying, cleaning, plucking, shearing, trimming, shaving, buffing, drying and finishing. Don’t forget about all of the chemical treatments necessary to keep pelts from decaying or collecting fleas! Plus, it’s a global product that relies on fossil fuels to be transported all over the world. And if you already own a fur, the industry recommends you store it in a temperature-controlled vault during the warm summer.
The fur industry knows this whole campaign is a farce. In their own recent publications (2007) they admitted that China, the largest manufacturer of fur products and textiles made with fur, was considering imposing an extremely punitive value added tax on fur dressers and tanneries because they are considered “industries causing excessive pollution”.
Trapping and fur farms
Animals killed for their fur come from the wild or fur farms.
The trapping and removing of millions of wildlife from the wild is very disruptive to our eco-system. Animals are not chosen because they are “surplus”, weak, sick or diseased. They are killed because they happen to be the 10 or 12 species that have nice, thick fur that will sell at auction.
The fur trade will claim that no endangered species are used in their fur products, as if this was a commendable feature. But refraining from intentionally harming or killing endangered species is the LAW, and following the law is a bare minimum requirement of all industries! The truth is, traps cannot distinguish endangered species from non-endangered ones. There is no sign for endangered animals, like eagles or swift foxes, to warn them: “Hey, if you are an endangered species do not step here.”
Fur farms are no better. Animals such as minks and foxes are often raised on large-scale operations for their fur. Animal waste, runoff, water consumption, transportation, housing materials/lighting and feed crops are also extremely energy intensive.
Fur is NOT a fabric. It is an unnecessary and cruel product. It is skin ripped off a once breathing, feeling animal. There is nothing “green” or “ecological” about cruelty.
Lesley Fox is the Executive Director for the non-profit anti-fur group, Fur-Bearer Defenders. www.banlegholdtraps.com
Image credit: Eric Bégin, courtesy Flickr