Opinion: Where your fur coat came from

Sanjana Iyer is a sophomore fashion merchandising major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]

Sanjana Iyer

In my time here on campus, I have had the misfortune of crossing paths with several students who proudly wear their fur and Uggs like priced possessions.

Last week, I stumbled upon an article on peta.org about China’s fur industry. I have always been opposed to fur, but it is unfortunate that many people are so uninformed about the cruel nature of this market, which supplies “more than half of the finished fur garments imported for sale in the United States.”

The fur market is, by far, one of the biggest threats to animals. There are tens of thousands of animals, including foxes, minks, rabbits, dogs and cats, which are killed mercilessly to make mere trims for fur coats. The condition under which fur is extracted from these animals is downright criminal to any living being.

According to bornfreeusa.org, some of the methods used to kill these animals include gassing, electrocution and even neck-breaking. All of this is done to ensure minimum harm to the fur, completely disregarding the plight of the animal.

We like to have dogs and cats as pets, but there are countries where it is acceptable to kill them on a daily basis, in order to extract fur for fashion purposes. We claim to love animals and have them as our pets, but we wear garments made out of the fur extracted by killing the very same species.  

Express.co.uk published a gruesome expose on the conditions of China’s fur industry. Although disturbing, it is necessary to spread awareness about the industry’s treatment and mass murder of dogs, cats, rabbits, seals and raccoons, to name a few.  

In fact, animals are sometimes still alive and breathing as they are skinned alive, before being tossed away onto a pile of bodies to die. There is such an obsession with preserving the quality of fur that the animal’s welfare is purely neglected in every way.

There are laws established in every country penalizing the slightest harm done toward another human being. And yet, in certain countries, mercilessly skinning animals alive and keeping them captured in horrible conditions is not even recognized as a crime. As far as animals are living, breathing beings just like us, don’t they deserve to be treated with the same basic rights?

Why do we have such a superiority complex as human beings that we feel it’s ok to kill animals and skin them alive, just so that we can sell it to a consumer for a profit?  

China’s fashion industry has been completely put to shame by the exposure of the nature of their fur trade. However, it should not be assumed that the rest of the world extends animals their basic ethical rights. According to World Society for the Protection of Animals, Europe practices the highest amount of fur-trade after China.

Unfortunately, to date, no single country has issued a full ban on all fur trade and fur production. The question is, how many more animals have to die — and how many more species have to go extinct, for us to realize the heinousness of this industry and stop it?