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Why I don’t Wear Fur

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Emy Will

Emy Will

Greetings from Johannesburg, South Africa. Although I have a doctorate in psychotherapy, my main passion is advocating for nonhuman animal rights. I condemn all cruelty to nonhuman animals and therefore follow a vegan lifestyle. I would like to connect with other animal activists from all over the world. The fur trade is one of the most abhorrent practices on this planet. Innocent animals are subjected to prolonged suffering for a trivial fashion item. As the chairperson of Fur Free SA. we campaign towards ending the global fur industry. This might not happen in my lifetime, but even if I leave one footprint behind, that is one step closer to the goal. This blog is a forum to discuss all aspects of the fur industry. It also raises issues around animal activism in general. Johannesburg is a crazy city and I need to escape from time to time. This photo was taken next to the magnificent Zambezi river.

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The following post is reblogged from Jeanhttp://jeanofalltrades.wordpress.com/Why I don’t Wear Fur. January 16, 2012 · 9:51 am

Thank you for the information Jean, but most of all, THANK YOU FOR CARINGclapping-happy-smiley-emoticon

Why I don’t Wear Fur

I usually keep this blog light. It’s not a soapbox or forum for me to rant. Fashion is fun, right? But today, I want to explain the fur-free blog badge I added to the right column of this blog. It’s subtle. This post isn’t.

bunny

Fur is a cruel, cruel industry. I’ve been to mink and fox farms, and I’ve seen firsthand the horrors that these poor creatures endure day in and day out in the name of fashion.

No one can be 100% cruelty-free or eco-friendly, no matter how hard we try. My computer is made of petrochemicals. I eat avocados knowing they were shipped thousands of miles to get to me. But fur is an easy one. I can simply avoid it. It’s an unnecessary “luxury.”

Here’s why:

It’s bad for the environment. The waste runoff from fur farms pollutes rivers and streams. Chemicals and feces are often found in waters near fur farms. Fur is natural, but in order to keep fur from decomposing like a dead squirrel on the road, it gets treated with a bevy of chemicals–from formaldehyde to ammonia. Trapping is no better. Deer, birds, dogs and cats often end up in traps meant for other animals. Plus, the ecosystem is affected when people mess with the balance of nature.

It’s cruel. Foxes are anally electrocuted before they are skinned. Mink usually have their necks broken or are injected with poison. Death is slow because their precious pelts need to be preserved. Their lives in filthy cages aren’t better. The foxes I saw were despondent. The mink ran endlessly in circles–driven insane by captivity. Mink that are free live solitary lives near water where they can travel for miles a day. Foxes are intelligent, social creatures. Watching them in the wild is amazing; seeing them suffer in cages makes me hate humanity.

catAlice looks good in fur

From beavers, chinchillas, and mink, to rabbits, seals, and even dogs and cats, millions of animalsneedlessly suffer. There are no laws protecting fur-bearing animals. If you’re unconvinced, check outthis video. If you wear fur you need to see it so you know where fur comes from. If you just wear “a little” like fur trim, remember that no amount is humane. Animals die all the same.

The good news is, fur is completely avoidable. If you think suffering and death is too high a price to pay for fashion, you’ve got choices.

First, you can support retailers and designers who don’t use fur. There are hundreds! From Stella McCartney to H&M, you’ll find something stylish that isn’t cruel. Here’s the fur-free list. If you’re buying faux fur, make sure it really is faux. Sometimes, real fur from China is labelled fauxbecause so many people aren’t buying real fur and it’s cheaper to use the real deal.

If you really like the look of fur, visit Fabulous Furs, an online shop devoted entirely to high-end faux fur items, from pillows and throws to full-length coats.

If you’re concerned about the synthetics used in the making of faux fur, well, then don’t wear tennis shoes or lip gloss! They’re made with synthetics too. If you truly want an eco wardrobe, you probably aren’t wearing fur (real or faux). You’re most likely into alternatives like hemp and bamboo or recycled plastics like the ones Patagonia and Nulethics are working with.

Vote with your dollars. Fur sales are on the decline. Let your favorite retailers know that you don’t support fur and you won’t support them if they carry fur. You can be cool without being cruel.

If you have fur you can donate it. My mom and I were always sad that her mother wore fur. Oma was a wonderful person but never connected the dots regarding where her fur came from. The soft, wavy Persian lamb coat was once a fetus that was ripped from its mother’s womb. Two lives lost for a collar on a coat. We donated the coat to a wildlife center that uses them to line the beds of orphaned animals. It’s a nice way to give back to animals and keep fur (even vintage coats) from being fashion statements.

I wrote this post to educate and inform. I want to share my concerns–the things that keep me up at night and the images that haunt me. I want to increase the circle of compassion. So where do you stand on the fur issue? How do you incorporate ethics into your fashion choices?

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6 Comments

  1. […] The following post is reblogged from Jean @ I don't Wear Fur. January 16, 2012 · 9:51 am Thank you for the information Jean, but most of all, THANK YOU FOR CARING Why I don’t Wear Fur I usually ke…  […]

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  2. I appreciate you reblogging this! Thanks to you doing so, more people get to find out about the horrors of this industry–and vote with their dollars. Don’t buy it! Also, now that my post is in the top 5 “posts of the day” on my blog, it’s visible to others. I hope some of the fashionistas who visit my blog (but might not think about the cruelties of fur) read it. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carol says:

    Hi Emy
    In the process of clearing out a storage garage belonging to my stepmother, I found some garments made from animal fur. I live in Cape Town. What can we do with the garments – I read the suggestion about donating to a wildlife rescue organisation but do you know about any specific place/organisation that takes these garments and won’t resell them for people to wear?
    Thank you

    Like

  4. carmen says:

    Hello my dear Emy! I’m happy you reblogged my daughter Jean’s post. I have the same little bunny (fur-free blog) on my side bar that connects to her post. She has a heart of gold (like YOU and many of us). As she said, my mother wore fur coats and had several. I never liked them as a child because I knew they were the skin of dead animals. It made me sad. My dad was a hunter while I was growing up and that made me shudder. I would not eat meat as a child.

    It is because of Jean that I became vegan, finding out the horror of the dairy industry and seeing first hand how egg-laying hens are confined to battery cages, a miserable existence. I only wish I had gone vegan sooner. I thought milk and unfertilized eggs do not hurt the animals. How wrong I was.

    A little off topic since we are talking about fur. I am very thankful you are actively involved with animal welfare and get the word out on your blog and are donating so much of your time to this urgent message. We don’t need fur, only the animals do! It is my hope that more and more people will choose compassion.

    I am extremely careful when I buy faux fur. I do know the difference very well. I do this to promote the look without cruelty. I am now having a hard time to wear leather. Once upon a time I thought it was a byproduct and it would be thrown in the garbage because the animals (mostly cows and pigs) were killed for meat. Now I found out from Jean it is actually a co-product with much money to be made, all at the expense and abuse of these poor animals. Leather is now like fur to me: the skin of dead animals and it is making me very sad to wear it. I am finding fake leather and canvas shoes that are stylish and cruelty-free. I have not given away my leather shoes yet, but I still feel sad when I wear them.

    Thank you for caring!!!
    With love and compassion,

    ❤ carmen

    Like

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