by admin on March 8, 2012

esme's faux fur

i am sorry to tell you this, because i really wish it were otherwise, but anyone with a conscience simply must not buy fur.  our class had a presentation by a representative from the d.c. office of the humane society.  it is her mission to inform budding fashion designers about the reality behind the fur industry in the hopes that this industry will die a natural death.

esme had read about this issue, but the presentation brought it home to her.  we learned that there are only 2 ways to obtain fur:  trapping and farming.  each is incredibly inhumane.  trapped animals die a lingering and painful death.  traps meant for fur animals often trap family pets and even endangered species.  the animal is either caught by the paw and may be left to suffer for days, or slowly crushed to death.

you might think that farming fur animals would be a more humane approach.  it is not.  the animals spend their lives confined to tiny, grubby cages with no respect for their natural instincts (foxes, for instance, need to dig and will attempt to do this in the bottom of a wire cage).  some self-mutilate in response to stress.  their deaths are truly horrific.  they can’t be shot because this would mar the pelt, so they are often electrocuted through the anus.  sometimes they are crushed.  in china, which is the largest producer of fur, they are bludgeoned to death and sometimes skinned alive.  i am not exaggerating.  we were shown a video using a stuffed animal, and even this was too awful to watch.

china is known for producing “raccoon dog” fur.  it looks like raccoon, but is actually a species in the canine family.  there have been recent scandals where stores or designers bought what they thought was faux fur and turned out to be raccoon dog fur.

something that shocked esme was that the u.s. is one of the largest producers of fur, and one of the few countries in which fur production is unregulated.  many european and scandinavian countries have banned fur altogther, or have strict rules concerning its production.

i will tell you that even though esme averted her eyes from most of the videos shown, she still could not erase the horrible images of animal cruelty from her mind.  there is, however, some cause for optimism.  first of all, sales of fur have declined dramatically in the last few years.  many big designers (chanel, prada) proclaim themselves to be fur-free.  secondly, faux fur has come a long way.  esme has been very happy with her little faux fur shrug from cabi–it’s warm and soft and looks sufficiently “faux” not to arouse suspicion.

so go in peace, and embrace the faux—in this case it’s not tacky but cool.

sorry to be the bearer of bad news,




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