Sable Coat from Arpel Fur no 36 Photo by Fur Fashion ScansMuch to our dismay Fur seems to be making a comeback on the catwalk as well as on the street. It’s unfortunate that after years of animal rights campaigns to show the horrors of the fur industry, that people still find it a display of their wealth to wear tortured and dead animals on their backs. 2009 has been dubbed by many fashion experts as out with the faux fur and in with the real thing. Fashion trends are all well and good, but should trends like this exist and at what cost?

PETA and many other animal welfare organizations have spent decades trying to spread the message that fur is cruel and in fact, well its hard to say lightly but murder. Some fashion lovers may try to mislead you into believing its a humane practice but facts and studies prove otherwise. I will spare you the raunchy and heartbreaking pictures, but if you are interested in viewing the abuses, have at it! But be warned, they are not for the faint at heart. But beyond photographic evidence there has been many investigations into the horrible animal abuse that comes with fur. Currently there are absolutely NO federal regulations on the American fur industry and as we have all seen with the recent economic crisis, absolute deregulation is rarely a good thing. In fact without restrictions fur industry workers carry on incredible cruelty including, genital and anal electrocution, drowning, and keeping animals in unsanitary tight quarters.

Hundreds of animals, mainly minks and foxes, but also chinchillas, lynxes, and even tiny  hamsters are killed everyday and then horribly skinned in order to meet the fashion industries demands. Maybe for some these animals may not seem cute or cuddly. But what if this were your dog or cat being mistreated and then killed? Well, fur that is imported in from China is sometimes made from the fur of dogs and cats. For some really gut wrenching video of this practice click here. If you can’t bear to see it, as most of us can’t these poor domestic dogs and cats are kept several to a cage, without food or water, transported on the back of trucks and brutally killed for their fur!

So now that I’ve gotten you surrely depressed, I thought I would bring some hope! The Humane Society has an ongoing Fur Free Campaign where they pressure retailers and designers to give up the use of fur. Also, PETA has a few great campaigns out there fighting against the fur industry. In fact they even have a ton of celebrities pose naked for their Rather Go Naked than Wear Fur posters. They also have just announced their annual Worst Dressed List and topping 2009’s list was none other than Madonna followed closely by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen , Maggie Gyllenhaal and a few others. These campaigns are meant to use celebrity power to bring awareness about the fur campaign. And its not just PETA out there on the streets, some citizens have attempted to bring light to celebrities that use fur. Some animal activist had been vandalizing Hollywood’s Walk of Fame with the statement “Fur Hags.”

Costilla Jacket by loyale Photo By EquitaGiving up fur doesn’t mean you have to give up fashion as well. There are responsible ways to wear faux fur. Many propenents of fur will tell you that faux fur is more harmful to the environment, however this is false.  The raising of animals just to kill for fur is much more wasteful than creating faux fur materials. However, faux fur materials are not the greatest either. Recently there is some great new faux furs made out of organic cotton such as Loyale Jacket or Linda Loudermilk’s collection of eco faux furs. And if you are wondering where to find fur free stores, check out the Humane Society’s Fur Free Guide.

Coats for Cubs Photo By ms golightlyAnd some of you may still have fur laying around the house, but no longer want to wear it out in public.There are plenty of great places to donate your fur! PETA takes donations and gives the fur to the homeless and Coats for Cubs accepts fur donations which they use to help wildlife rehibilitators. And until Earth Day, Buffalo Exchange is accepting donations on behalf of Coats for Cubs.

I am sure to the fashion industry it may seem stylish to use fur, but when you think about how hurtful and harmful, what is the point? To kill an animal just to look hip, doesn’t exactly register to me. So I hope this fur fad of 2009 fizzles out fast!

To  learn more about the fur industry and to get involved check out the website Fur is Dead or Fur Free.

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