The Ethics of Fur

Fur is never ethical

The tide is turning against fur and the industry knows it.

With overseas bans on fur farming in many countries, fur trapping banned or restricted in others and a general disgust at taking the skin of an animal for a vanity garment, furriers are desperately searching for new ways to peddle their gruesome wares.

They are doing this by using fur in different ways than they did many years ago – fur trims instead of full coats, touting it as an ‘eco’ choice and producing so-called humane fur.

 

Real fur is not an environmental choice

There is nothing eco-friendly about real fur – it is environmentally unfriendly. Toxic chemicals are commonly used to preserve and process the skins and it also takes 20 times as much energy to process a coat made from animal fur as it does one made from fake fur. Fur coats are not biodegradable – they are coated in chemicals to stop them from rotting.

A 2011 study of fur farms by independent organisation CE Delft investigated farms in the Netherlands and Belgium to determine the impact of fur production on the environment. It found that with regard to different environmental issues, such as climate change and land and water use, fur is much more harmful than textiles.

 

‘Humane Fur’

Fur production is inherently cruel. Most fur comes from China where there are no animal welfare laws but in recent years the fur trade has begun talking about ‘high welfare’ fur from European and Canadian farms.

The Fur Free Alliance reports: “Like 'green fur', the idea that fur can ever be ethical or humane is simply a marketing term, hiding the truth about the life and death of the millions of animals used in the fur industry and designed to draw people away from thinking about the moral implications of wearing fur.

“The fur trade seeks to make fur farming respectable but the ‘high welfare’ fur myth has been exposed repeatedly with investigations on ‘high welfare’ farms, proving that even developed countries claiming to produce ‘ethical fur’ are rearing animals in shocking conditions."