Many beautiful animals inhabit the earth. Each one is distinct in their appearance, abilities, habitat, and role in the ecosystem. Some of the most definitive and awe-inspiring characteristics of particular species of animals are their exotic hides, feathers, and fur.
Non-human animals need their hides, feathers, and fur to regulate body temperature, provide protection, and in some cases also serve as camouflage.
While trapping animals in the wild for their fur still exists, approximately 85% of fur used in the fashion industry is farmed. Across the globe, fur farms breed animals in captivity and subsequently execute them in horrifying ways to make fur clothing and fur trimmed accessories.
The Fur Commission USA cites an enormous variety of species killed specifically for their fur and hidesincluding but not limited to fox, rabbit, mink, beaver, ermine, otter, sable, seal, coyotes, chinchilla, marten, raccoon, opossum, leopard, lynx, bobcat, goat, lamb, and pony.
If you read any fur association website, they relate the long history of the fur trade as if humans have not developed the technology to manufacture warm and fashionable clothing for the naked human to wear as protection in winter and stave off the elements.
Ironically, the fur industry markets their fur products as ethical based on arguments of natural warmth, beauty, durability, and as sustainable use of renewable resources.
The global fur industry is a mosh pit of countries that still support and allow gruesome fur farms to function, ban certain types of fur farming while permitting others, and vary in the regulation of the import and export of specific species including fur from dogs and cats which is commonly used in faux fur products.
While the most progressive countries have banned certain fur farming industries or are in the process of phasing out fur farming, a complete ban on fur farming, processing, import, export, and sale of fur from all animal species is the only answer.
“In Israel,” says International Anti-Fur Coalition Founder, Jane Halevy, “the animal rights movement is very strong.” Citing Israel’s growing vegan and vegetarian thought and lifestyle, Israel has established an international animal rights presence.
“We have many laws protecting animals,” Jane says. In the Holy Land, secular anti-cruelty laws and sentiment are reinforced by religious law, the Torah, that prohibits Tza'ar Ba'alei Chayim, the suffering of living creatures, promoting compassion toward all of God's creations including non-human animals.
“Israel’s economy does not include fur farming,” Jane says, “but Israel does support a small market importing fur products for retail sale.”
In 2009, the International Anti-Fur Coalition publicly revealed DNA testing that proved fur clothing imported from China and sold as faux fur in Israel was not synthetic fur, but genuine cat, dog, and rabbit fur.
With immense support from the public and Members of the Knesset, Jane and the International Anti-Fur Coalition began a campaign to completely ban fur in Israel. Jane says, “International furriers are fighting very hard against a ban. They know very well that the domino effect can't be stopped. Once Israel outlaws fur, more countries will follow our lead.”
In spite of the longstanding ultra-Orthodox tradition to wear shtreimel (hats primarily produced from sable, mink, marten or fox fur) in conjunction with common religious exemptions in lawmaking, Jane says, “The International Anti-Fur Coalition has gained a lot of support from well known rabbis asking their followers to switch the use of real fur hats to synthetic fur hats.”
The most outspoken and well respected Haredi leader, Rabbi Shlomo Pappenheim, is at the forefront of educating and evolving the thought of the ultra-Orthodox community to use synthetic shtreimels.
On Worldwide Fur Free Friday, November 29, 2013, the global animal rights community will take to the streets in united protest against the fur industry.
“Worldwide Fur Free Friday,” Jane states, “is a simultaneous day of action promoting compassion towards animals and encouraging evolution toward the abolishment of the cruel fur industry.”
Fur Free Friday protests on Black Friday originated in the United States to heighten awareness about the cruelties of the fur trade. The International Anti-Fur Coalition has upped the ante and momentum of the animal rights community to protest in solidarity.
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice. Education is the key word,” Jane states. “Silence is betrayal. We all need to act. Activism should be a rent that everyone should pay to live on this earth.”
Worldwide Fur Free Friday events are planned by animal rights communities in countries across the world including, Israel, Ireland, Scotland, Chile, Hungary, Denmark, Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Czech Republic, Australia, Germany, South Africa, United Kingdom, Austria, Spain, and the United States.
Click here for a complete list of Worldwide Fur Free Friday actions. Join or create a new Worldwide Fur Free Friday action.
I grew up in a tropical country and fashion is big there, so there are still some fashionistas who'd wear fur during Christmastime. Although they're faux (so they claim), there's a startling discovery recently that SOME FAUX FUR is actually from raccoons, cats, dogs, rabbits, etc., or are from real fur but of a LESSER QUALITY one. See links below, I hope these will help:
But yes, a lot of people still wear fur... And there goes my mind again wondering if real or "faux" fur were used in Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie. (See another thread of mine.)