BY RHIANN MOORE
Many fashion consumers don’t realize the cruelty of the fur industry, or that they are easily able to obtain warm winter jackets without it. Because of marketing campaigns by companies like Canada Goose, people think fur is necessary to keep them warm (especially in Canada). These presumptions, however, are massively mistaken. Despite false advertising and ignorance, consumers are gradually coming to realize the cruel and unnecessary nature of the commercial fur trade.
Fur is mainly obtained in two different ways: via the trapping of wild fur-bearing animals or through factory farms. Both are ridiculously cruel practices that hurt ecosystems, the environment and (obviously) animal life.
Trapping is a deeply violent act. Since regulations vary depending on where you are in Canada, traps have to be checked anywhere from once a day to once every 14 days. Whether it’s 24 hours or two full weeks the animals suffer absolute horrors while in these traps. While waiting for a hunter to come and kill them the animals will struggle with everything they have to get out of the traps. Often the captured animals break their teeth, chew off their paws or break bones to try and break free. They also suffer from dehydration, blood loss, hypothermia and more. Trapping is entirely unselective, often capturing animals who are companions or endangered creatures. Trapping apologists try and claim that the practice is humane and tightly regulated, but the few existing regulations are extremely unmonitored and the practice causes terrible suffering for any animal trapped.
If you hoped the injustice would lessen with fur farms, you hoped wrong. Equally as cruel, while also being detrimental to the environment, fur farms are a horrific nightmare for animals. Unfortunately, since over 75 per cent of Canada’s fur comes from them, they won’t go anywhere until the commercial fur trade ends. The animals are confined to tiny wire cages with zero room to run, hunt, hide or do anything they would do if they had their freedom. The animals are often killed before their first birthday when their pelts are deemed ready for ‘harvesting’. If that isn’t chilling enough to get you to quit wearing fur, think about the fact that in order to avoid damaging the fur, the fur-bearing animals are electrocuted anally or genitally.Many fur supporters and hunters try to feed the narrative that fur-bearing animals like coyotes are a ‘nuisance’ with no other value than their fur. But that is simply not true. Coyotes are integral to ecosystems in their territories because so many other predators have been driven out by development. When trappers kill the grown animal they leave behind babies who learn how to hunt incorrectly, which makes them more dangerous. While trying to eliminate the supposed threat, trappers instead created a problem where there wasn’t one initially.
The commercial fur trade is clearly unacceptable, inhumane and unnecessary. It’s up to consumers to take responsibility and stop buying fur products altogether. For cruelty-free options look to businesses like Fur Free Retailer, Vaute Couture and Wully Outerwear. You can also donate to protect Canadian wildlife and take the pledge to be fur-free.