The case against fur

If 101 Dalmatians taught us a few things, it is that:

  1. We should LOVE animals, not WEAR them;
  2. Fur is only worn by beautiful animals and ugly people;
  3. One has to be a real Cruel(la) Devil to enjoy wearing fur while knowing where it comes from and how it is made.

Recently, various organisations showed footage on how angora wool was made through torturing angora bunnies. It led to a public outrage everywhere, which resulted in the boycotting of clothing brands that use and sell angora wool, and which ultimately, to a number of retailers banning angora wool. So, how come this discovery was so shocking that it led to good/great results, while the same cannot be done for the use of fur? Is it just a matter of profit and money? The other day, I was walking on a market in Old Cairo and I was appalled with the amount of flat dead animals (fur) I saw for sale. Combined with the butchers hanging their animals from a hook outside in the open air, that day was interrupted by many disturbing moments. With today’s information available, I am surprised and appalled every time that I see real fur. Perhaps people feel beautiful and sexy in fur, but is that worth the suffering of these animals that are tortured and killed purely for their skin? It is still a dead animal around your neck. How is that beautiful? I remember being up one night while I was a student. I was studying until 3am and at one point, while taking a break, landed on some animal welfare videos. One of these was a video of how animals were skinned alive for their fur and I can still see how this animal, with the fur removed, was still alive, moving its eyes, and clearly suffering. It made me feel physically sick and I could not sleep that night.

One of the reasons I decided to become a vegetarian is that I wanted to apply a non-discriminatory approach to animals: we should not make distinctions as to which animals we consider pets and which we considered food, so I decided to not eat any animals.  Can’t we apply this same thought to fur? You would not use pets to make fur coats, so why use other animals? They are not ours to wear. What we see as normal is what we have grown up to believe is right. It’s the culture(s) and time(s) we live in. Haven’t we evolved enough in order to discard of fur? Why do some of us still wish to walk around like our ancestor cavemen used to?

Unless one lives in a remote and marginalised area where its people still use everything of an animal (meat, bones, skin and fur) in order to survive, there is no reasonable justification for fur. Not the mention the torture that is used – skinning them while alive, electrocution, etc. I cannot begin to imagine the agony these animals must be feeling… People have evolved and there are hundreds of materials available for clothing, including a high number of vegan materials like aertex, calico, chino, corduroy, cotton, denim, fiber, fleece, linen, nylon, polyester, velour, viscose, etc. And when it comes to materials that are not vegan, even leather (while not promoting the use of leather) is at least not the SOLE product (not that it is a by-product either) for which an animal is killed. Fur is. I have been accused of humanising animals. (Note: I don’t “baby” dogs or anything; I treat them like my four-legged family, but still like dogs.) The reason is that I put myself in their place when it comes to suffering. Again, if you look at the bio-industry, I wonder how it would be if women were to be impregnated forcefully, have their babies taken away and slaughtered while they are young (because that tastes better and the skin feels softer), and have the post-natal women hooked onto milking machines in order to harvest as much milk as possible – to be sold to aliens. When it comes to fur, I do the same thing: I imagine these aliens to be breeding humans, torturing and killing them, and wearing the skin around their neck because it makes them feel beautiful. Now, doesn’t this sound horrible and useless?

If that does not convince you, maybe these videos will:

I will never buy or wear fur. I do not even like to wear faux-fur as it may give the impression that I like how it looks, so I have removed the faux-fur lined hood on my jacket. I hope this post has at least made some people think about fur and whether or not to be against it. The idealist in me is hoping for a big change towards the end of the fur industry. The realist is me is thinking that many people seem to lack empathy these days, and if these people cannot even put themselves in the shoes of Syrian refugees or other people who have it worse than them, I wonder if they will even think about the fate of these innocent poor animals.

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