Working towards a fur-free world
For many years, city streets in winter have been dominated by soft, tactile materials. Collars, jackets, and sometimes smaller items, like a keyring or an accessory - some of these pieces so cheap that you would never think they could possibly be real fur. But appearances can be deceptive! Unfortunately, it is still not against the law to buy or sell real fur in the Netherlands. Millions of animals fall victim to the fur trade, and this number has risen over the years. Every fur collar sold has cost at least one animal its life and ensures that the fur industry will continue to claim new victims.
Did you know that:
Foxes, raccoons, raccoon dogs, rabbits and coyotes are used as fashion accessories? These animals live in appalling conditions in countries such as China, until the day they are turned into a fur product.
It’s only the back of a beautiful animal that is used for a fur collar? The rest, very often, is simply thrown away.
Worldwide, millions of mink, foxes, raccoon dogs, rabbits and other animals are killed for their skin every year?
Fur production is bad for the environment? The animals that are bred for their fur produce a great deal of manure, which pollutes the environment. Then, the fur has to be treated with aggressive chemicals (often with dyes as well), to prevent them from decomposing. These chemicals are not just bad for the environment, they are bad for human health, too.
There is no such thing as responsible fur? Some fur companies try to put a positive spin on fur, by using terms such as 'responsible fur', 'by-product' and sometimes even 'animal-friendly'. In so doing, they are trying to make out that fur is good for the environment, or that fur is what’s left over when an animal has been eaten. But the reality is quite different: animals which are farmed for their fur live a short and horrific life. Wild animals caught in traps die a slow and painful death. And fur is almost never a by-product. Rabbit fur, for instance, comes from rabbits which are specially bred for their fur. Their meat is virtually never eaten.
What can I do?
Buy fur-free and tell others about the animal suffering behind the fur trade. Not sure whether it's real fur? Best not to buy it. If you've already bought the item, make sure it disappears from public view by not wearing it. Instead of giving it away or consigning it to the back of you wardrobe, you could send it to Bont voor Dieren (Fur for Animals) or hand it in to your local LUSH store anywhere in the Netherlands. The fur items are used for training purposes, for example during guest lectures in schools. This allows school children to learn how to tell real fur from fake. And of course you could support an animal rights organisation. Worldwide, there are many organisations which fight for animals' rights by lobbying politicians, raising awareness and taking positive action. Together we can move towards a world without animal suffering (caused by the fur trade and animal testing). Will you help?