Archive for "Perspectives"

Fur is beautiful and cruel, purposeful and erotic

Sep 16, 2015 Comments Off on Fur is beautiful and cruel, purposeful and erotic

We all belong to the same bare race. We all, ultimately, care for the same things, and we are all naked apes, the children of fur. Wear it or don’t wear it, but don’t imagine you have a philosophical or anthropological right to tell anyone else what they should or shouldn’t do. We’ve all been wearing fur for a very long time, and if you really, really are concerned about the wild things and places and protecting nature, then you might reconsider cotton, the most destructive and wasteful crop on the planet…

Meat eaters shouldn’t throw rocks at fur wearers

May 26, 2015 Comments Off on Meat eaters shouldn’t throw rocks at fur wearers

Those who eschew fur and eat meat might be inclined to say the latter is more functional, since it provides a useful source of protein. They ignore the fact that fur provides a useful source of warmth. And it has some real advantages even over well-made fakes: It’s much better at absorbing moisture, say scientists, which makes it more comfortable to wear on damp winter days and in dry hot weather, too. Real fur also feels better than faux fur — it’s cooler to the touch….

No Patience or Respect for Humane Society’s Tenacity

Mar 23, 2015 Comments Off on No Patience or Respect for Humane Society’s Tenacity

“Never mind ethics. Never mind integrity. Never mind fair play. Never mind the public will. Winning is all that counts, so spend money willfully and wear down the opposition. Bury it with piles of greenbacks! Buy a victory. To hell with what the people want. Impose your values on those who don’t see it your way. Shove it down their provincial throats!”  Read more here…

CEO: “No, We Don’t Skin Animals Alive for Fur”

Feb 21, 2015 Comments Off on CEO: “No, We Don’t Skin Animals Alive for Fur”

The fur industry is regularly accused of skinning animals alive and the most recent attack came this weekend online in the Daily Mail. This time, enough is enough: it’s time to set the record straight. As the head of the fur industry’s trade body, I would like to make a pledge both to the industry and to the consumers of fur to whom we have a duty of care:One Industry One Voice - featured

“Some people claim that the fur industry skins animals alive. Let me be clear that would be totally unacceptable and impractical to do. I know of no one in the fur business who would do that. As CEO of the International Fur Federation (IFF) I promise that if anybody has real and factual evidence with names and locations clearly showing anyone in the fur industry taking part in the barbaric practice of animals being skinned alive then I pledge I will bring that evidence to the attention of the relevant authorities so that they can prosecute those involved. Please email me at [email protected] or contact the IFF via twitter (@we_are_fur) using the hashtag #IFFCEOPledge

This isn’t the first time in recent months this has come up. Late last year, Mimi Bekhechi of PETA UK wrote in the Huffington Post about fur farming and made similar claims.

However, the lack of details behind PETA’s arguments was startling. There was a video that purported to show what fur farming is ‘really like’ – but every attempt we’ve made to find out more about those alleged abuses – where, when and by whom – has been stonewalled.

It’s also easy to show “examples of animals who have endured lives of severe pain and suffering” and show sick animals when carefully editing a video from any kind of farm. As I’m sure sensible people are aware, all animals sometimes get sick. Dairy and fur farms are no different.

But in the European fur industry, such incidents are kept at a very low level in comparison with other animal industries. For example, only around 0.1% of housed mink have serious wounds.

Similarly, when inspecting 422,176 mink in 2009, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority found issues in the form of wounds, inflammation, dead tissue or disease in only 0.078% of the animals.

It’s all very well to talk of animals in squalor and deprivation, but the IFF rarely gets any details it can investigate rather than just a carefully edited and helpfully anonymous video designed to tug on the heartstrings. And “naturally shy” wild mink and foxes may like to live in a certain way, but the animals in farms have been bred in farms for generations and are far removed from their wild cousins.

There are strict methods of slaughter laid down by the Council of Europe, under which all agricultural farms operate, including fur farms. They don’t drown animals and they certainly don’t skin them alive.

The regulated fur industry is highly transparent. Many European countries, such as Denmark, now operate an ‘open farm’ policy inviting members of the public to visit farms to see for themselves the welfare standards in force. Fur farming has more stringent controls and welfare standards than most other forms of animal farming.

We are committed to developing higher standards all the time. All our members have signed a code of conduct covering welfare and the environment. We have an Origin Assured (OA) label to show which countries have regulations in place and we are currently looking at new technology to strengthen traceability.

We firmly believe everyone has the right to their own individual choice with fur. If they don’t want to buy or wear it, that is fine. Unlike some organisations, we don’t want to force our agenda onto other people. What we do want, however, is to assure everyone that skinning animals alive is unacceptable, barbaric, utterly impractical, and nothing to do with the fur items found in shops and on catwalks around the world.


Huffington Post (UK)


The Fur Debate – Recycled

Feb 18, 2015 Comments Off on The Fur Debate – Recycled

Should I wear that coat? Toss it away? Just sell it on eBay? Twenty years ago my answer would have been clear: I would have conducted a ritual burning of the mink while enveloped in a smug glow of political correctness. Read more….

Undercover Videos: Concerned Citizens or Shameless Self Promoters?

Oct 16, 2014 Comments Off on Undercover Videos: Concerned Citizens or Shameless Self Promoters?

In this age of “shock imagery” being used to promote political agendas, it’s easy to paint an entire industry by the actions of a single actor. As the fur farming industry well knows, a suspect video produced in China almost 10 years ago, of an animal being horribly skinned alive, is still being used to paint the industry worldwide. Though the creators of that video have refused to provide the un-cut footage, identify the perpetrators so they can be prosecuted (yes, it is a crime in China) or even reveal the location or time it was made, they still try to use it as “proof” that fur production should be outlawed.

Today we continue to find that animal-rights groups, in their efforts to ban animals from our diet, clothing, medical research and pet stores, are increasingly using “undercover” video as “whistleblower” evidence of cruelty or neglect. No one, especially those of us whose livelihoods depend upon healthy, well-cared for animals, wants to see an animal injured or treated badly. U.S. mink farmers, and, indeed, all animal agriculture, not only view animal welfare as a moral obligation, but know that humane care is critical to producing the quality food and fiber that America is recognized for.

Fur Commission USA supports both “whistleblower” protection laws and farm protection statutes. While extremists, often through deceit and creative editing, continue to generate and distribute shock imagery that supports their world-view, it is important to farmers in the U.S. that credible evidence of actual abuse or neglect is identified in a timely manner, reported to the proper government authorities for investigation so that any problems can be immediately corrected. It is, and should be, all about the well-being of the animals. Too often we see these anti-animal use groups hold back their “evidence” in order to receive maximum media coverage. They don’t want pesky issues like war, disease or human suffering to take attention away from their agenda. Does this help the animals? No. In fact, between the time a video may actually have been taken, edited and broadcast, months may have gone by. In that time, if the video is a true depiction, how much animal suffering could have been prevented? Regrettably, it is painfully obvious that often these organizations appear to care less about the animals, than they do about maximizing publicity, self-promotion and fund raising – and that should be the real crime.

Real fur is making a comeback in the fashion world

Sep 03, 2014 Comments Off on Real fur is making a comeback in the fashion world

The real deal is making a comeback, ironically driven by the abundance of fakes, writes Francesca Fearonc7cae4674ff87ea0e915ba30175f2ca4

The early-spring weather around the Milan and New York autumn/winter collections in February did little to deter the fashion crowd from parading for street-style photographers in their attention-grabbing furry jackets. Real or faux? That was the question. The real deal was eye-catching in bright, fun colours – and at times it was hard to spot the difference. And if it wasn’t being paraded outside, it certainly was making a spectacle on the catwalk – all of which goes to illustrate how times have changed.

During the 1980s and ’90s, fur was fashion’s biggest faux pas, unless you were Italian or Russian and insisted on your freedom of choice. Wearing fur was not only frowned upon, but people were also attacked in the streets of London and New York if they wore so much as a fur scarf. Fur was regarded as elitist and was the focus of high-profile campaigns by animal-rights movements such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), fronted by supermodels such as Naomi Campbell and Karen Mulder in 1994, posing naked in ads decrying fur as fashion.

Christopher Kane uses shearling in one of his catwalk creations.

This attitude towards fur still rings true for a certain generation, and was rekindled 15 years after that famous PETA campaign when Campbell was lambasted in 2009 for wearing a sable coat. It was highlighted again only a year ago, when Paula Reed, fashion director for Harvey Nichols in London, quit her job amid the furore over the exclusive department store selling clothes trimmed with fox, rabbit and raccoon fur despite the store’s strict no-fur policy.

At the same time, we are witnessing striking improvements in faux fur, which can barely be distinguished from the real thing. The arrival of young designers specialising in these fuzzy materials, such as London labels Shrimps and Helen Moore, are giving faux fur a new lease on life.

Ironically, the trend for faux fur appears to be having an impact on the old taboos against real fur, which are melting away among the younger, fashion-crazed women who have adopted fuzzy fur jackets, jeans and plain stilettos as their default look during recent winters.

A fur coat from Saint Laurent's autumn/winter 2014 collection

A fur coat from Saint Laurent’s autumn/winter 2014 collection

Images of style icons Rihanna in fox fur on the ski slopes or Kate Moss in pearl minks, along with the fluoro-coloured fox stoles Prada featured a few seasons ago, also seem to be fuelling the astonishing rehabilitation of real fur among this generation of women. Such is the shift in attitude that the International Fur Trade Federation published figures showing fur sales were £10.3 billion (HK$134.5 billion) in 2012.

The antifur movement, however, is still bubbling away in the background, but animal-rights protesters lying down outside Roberto Cavalli’s show in February were not getting the same attention they once did. The industry in the West has gone a long way towards cleaning up its act since the 1980s in terms of fur farming. The fur trade supports and is a member of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and does not use endangered species.

Meanwhile, organisations such as Saga Furs have been working for several years with young designers who have been creating clothes that use fur like velvet, silk or any other fabric. In his autumn/winter collection, Christopher Kane melds pearl mink with black nylon and baby-pink shearling with black patent in dresses and coats. Peter Pilotto’s geometric alpine print knits sprouted contrasting fox trims, and at Balenciaga, Jason Wu trimmed a bright, laminated cable knit with a fur collar, while ribbed sweaters were re-imagined with thick fur ribs for an alternate take on the sporty look.

London label Shrimps is giving faux fur a new lease on life.

Adding to the street-cool makeover that Hedi Slimane is giving Saint Laurent were fur shorts and graphic black-and-white fur chubbies – boxy fur jackets from the early 1970s recycled for the modern generation. Frida Giannini similarly paid homage to the famous Saint Laurent chubby at Gucci, revamping it in pale blue shearling to wear with toning jeans and sunglasses.

There are Italian brands whose histories are crafted in fur, notably Fendi and Marni, that are constantly developing new skills with dyeing, finishing and cutting. Such is the expertise in the ateliers that sometimes at Fendi it was unclear whether a coat or dress was made from velvet or in fact was shaved mink with a mesh-like texture – an example of fur’s versatility. When it comes to construction, Prada has pushed the envelope with intricate picture coats from its recent summer collection, while Marni experimented with complex fur, feather, grass and jangly embroidery combinations in its latest collection, which looked very tribal.

Shearling dominated Prada’s autumn/winter 2014 collection.

For those ill at ease with fur farming, many designers use shearling and Mongolian lamb – industry by-products that would have been discarded otherwise. A teddy bear shearling opened Bottega Veneta’s show and dominated the Prada collection, where colourful strips of fur were inserted into filmy sack dresses under boxy sheepskin jackets. Hermès was among those using astrakhan and silky brushed Mongolian lamb, while German fashion label Schumacher used a fluffier Mongolian lamb to create a laid-back but expensive boho look.

Many collections featured fuzzy furs dyed in pastel, neon or richly deep hues, almost blurring pre-conceived lines that separate real and faux fur. The very idea of dyeing a pelt seems indulgent, but the fashion world appears to be boldly venturing into coloured fur, and in doing so, some stylists and bloggers are swiftly adopting the look.

There is considerable irony in how the striking improvements in faux fur seem to have stimulated demand for the real thing, and now it’s raised the question of where the current generation of women fall on the big fur debate. It seems that some don’t mind if it is real fur or faux – just as long as it looks good. It’s a sensitive and complex matter, in which the meat-lover who scorns fur may have as much reason to feel guilty as the fur-wearing fashionista.


Fur farming and the trapping of wild animals, even for wildlife conservation management programmes, is still hugely controversial. However, welfare is at the heart of the fur trade today compared to 30 years ago. Over 85 per cent of fur sold now is farmed, mainly fox and mink, under strict conditions in Scandinavia, North America, Russia and Namibia. The rest is made up of wild fur, such as coyote, beaver and raccoon.

These come from certified trappers in Russia and North America that are carefully regulated by governments and usually support indigenous communities in places such as Canada. China is also a major source of fur and is now under pressure to improve conditions on its farms. All real fur should be marked with Origin Assured labels.


Source: Style Magazine

South China Morning Post



PETA’s Most Outrageously Dishonest Ad Campaigns

Jun 03, 2014 Comments Off on PETA’s Most Outrageously Dishonest Ad Campaigns

The animal rights group has once again released a spurious ad linking milk to autism. It’s not the first time they’ve used pseudoscience to fear monger

It appears PETA will do just about anything to save the animals, even if that means making things up. The advocacy group has managed to offend women, breast-feeders, Catholics, Jews, obese people and many others over the years with campaigns intended to shock, but perhaps most insulting of all is its reliance on deliberately spurious information. In the past decade, the animal rights group has become a full-on propaganda machine with no qualms about disseminating pseudoscience, the latest example of which resurfaced this week its website.

In a play on the legendary “Got milk?” campaign, the ad features a bowl of milk with a Cheerios frowny face next to the alarming question: “Got autism?” A statement directs readers to the PETA website to learn more: “Studies have shown a link between cow’s milk and autism.” Taking a page straight out of the anti-vaccine truther playbook, PETA is using autism as a fear-mongering tool, despite the fact that its claims have no solid scientific backing. The group cites two outdated studies on its site, both of which are misleading and vague, with tiny sample sizes between 25 and 30 people.

The bogus ad actually first ran in 2008 on a billboard in New Jersey, and though it was eventually pulled after the public complained, PETA apparently thought it was a good idea to bring it back—despite the fact that a recent review of studies linking autism and milk consumption declared the findings “limited and weak.”

This isn’t the first time PETA has chosen to sow fear with false or misleading information. Here are some greatest hits from the annals of manipulation.

Eating Hot Wings Could Shrink Your Unborn Son’s Penis.

PETA doesn’t love the National Buffalo Wing Festival, but rather than going after chicken dismemberment on the merits, they targeted expecting parents. In an effort to persuade the festival’s organizer to cancel the event, PETA spokeswoman Lindsay Rajt claimed in an open letter that “consuming poultry while pregnant may lead to birth defects in utero, including smaller-than-average penises for newborn boys.” Rajt wrote that researchers found “a significant link between chicken consumption and decreased penis size because of a chemical compound found in the meat.” The only problem was that even the author of the study didn’t buy it. “I think any link between eating buffalo wings—even by pregnant women—and the size of their son’s genitals is very tenuous,” said Shanna H. Swan, PhD, a professor in the department of preventive medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Feeding Your Baby Meat Is Like Letting It Smoke Cigars.

This billboard alleging that meat increases the risk of heart disease and cancers on par with smoking ran in the U.K. in 2013, but it was soon pulled after the country’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) declared its assertions unsubstantiated. According to the ASA, the ad made the unproven claim that eating any kind of meat in any quantity caused chronic diseases because meat contains cholesterol.

Eating Meat Is Child Abuse.

“Meat can help make kids fat and sick,” PETA said in a press release accompanying this ad, which ran in Canada and Wales in 2011. “In addition to facing the social challenges caused by childhood obesity—which can lead to lifelong psychological trauma—children who are fed a diet of burgers, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and other foods that are laden with saturated fat and cholesterol have their health put at risk.” Definitely nothing to do with the carbs, candy or soda.

Hot Dogs Can Lead to Erectile Disfunction.

PETA has long trumpeted the vegan diet as a solution to erectile dysfunction to win over manly meat-eaters, citing studies that have shown that the common bedroom issue can be a consequence of a meat heavy diet. The group even wrote a letter to the VP of Carlos Danger Weiners, asking that the company start producing a vegan hotdog because “playing on the double entendre of Anthony Weiner’s name to sell a product that can contribute to impotence in men is like selling an energy drink that puts you to sleep.” What they didn’t mention is that moderate meat consumption has no effect on bedroom performance, and that erectile dysfunction is most commonly caused by many other factors.

Your Pet Is Totally Fine Going Veggie.

PETA wants your pets to give up animal consumption, too. Never mind evolution and the natural food chain.  They trot out a lone border collie named Bramble as a star example, claiming it lived nearly 27 years after consuming a diet of rice, lentils, and organic vegetables. They also cite a study with no source that claims that “the ailments associated with meat consumption in humans—such as allergies, various types of cancer, and kidney, heart, and bone problems—also affect many nonhumans.” Unfortunately, most veterinarians disagree. “For cats, it’s really inappropriate. It goes against their physiology and isn’t something I would recommend at all,” says Cailin Heinze, VMD, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist and assistant professor of nutrition at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. ”For dogs, certainly vegetarian and vegan diets can be done, but they need to be done very, very carefully. There is a lot of room for error, and these diets probably are not as appropriate as diets that contain at least some animal protein.”


PETA’s Most Outrageously Dishonest Ad Campaigns
The animal rights group has once again released a spurious ad linking milk to autism. It’s not the first time they’ve used pseudoscience to fear monger
Author: Elizabeth Kulze
Posted: 06/02/14 14:42 EDT

Extreme animal-rights tactics erode support

May 23, 2014 Comments Off on Extreme animal-rights tactics erode support


By JOSEPH PERKINS / Orange County Register
Published: May 22, 2014

“Demonstrate against Saks Fifth Avenue’s Summer Fur Promotion.” So exhorts an invitation by the Animal Protection and Rescue League, which plans to make a ruckus next month outside the store at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa.

Hopefully, Saks won’t be subject to the same kind of attack suffered last July by Furs by Graf, a San Diego family-owned store targeted by the so-called Animal Liberation Front, which the Justice Department has listed as a domestic terrorist group.6

ALF’s self-styled “anarchists” defaced the furrier’s store windows, painted slogans on its exterior and sprayed acid inside the store. And if that was not enough, ALF also vandalized the homes of Furs by Graf’s owners.

And fur sellers like Saks, like Graf are hardly the only targets of animal-rights activists. Any enterprise that uses animals for any purpose can find itself in the cross hairs of groups like the League or ALF.

Indeed, in March, Chipotle Mexican Grill closed down one of its San Francisco restaurants when it was the target of a protest by the animal-rights group Direct Action Everywhere, which accused the chain of “violence against animals” for selling burritos and tacos containing meat.

And, in January, the annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena was disrupted by rabble rousers from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who blocked the path of a float sponsored by SeaWorld that featured a family of orcas.

These are the lengths to which animal-rights activists often go to advance their putative “movement.” The more extreme activists will employ “any means necessary,” as promised by the so-called “eco-pirates” featured in the Animal Planet series “Whale Wars.”

Of course, whenever animal-rights activists engage in acts of “civil disobedience,” they argue that their end justifies their means. “Throughout history,” states PETA, “some people have felt the need to break the law in order to fight injustice.” That’s all animal-rights activists are doing, it suggests.

But there is an appropriate way to defend animals, just as there is an appropriate way to protest abortion, for instance, or protest income inequality.

And just as the group Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust turns off reasonable-minded people when it harasses women at abortion clinics, just as the Occupy movement engenders bad will when its supporters throw bricks through bank windows and assault police, animal-rights activists lose support from folks who might otherwise back them but for their often-extreme tactics.

This confrontational tactic employed against Chipotle, SeaWorld, Furs by Graf and other targets can be blamed on leaders of the animal-rights movement.

That includes Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder of PETA, which claims a quarter-million members throughout the country, including all too many vacuous Hollywood types who pose for naked pictures for PETA to show their contempt for those who dare to wear fur.

Newkirk, whose so-called “Naked Truth” tour stopped in San Diego this past February, once declared that “a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” Indeed, to her mind, there is no difference between a rodent, a swine, a canine and a human child. And anyone who thinks differently, she has stated, suffers from a “supremacist perversion.”

It is that kind of thinking that undergirds the animal rights movement in this country. Newkirk and her ilk are not simply interested in the humane treatment of animals (which most reasonable-minded Americans support). They advocate nothing less than a complete ban on human use of animals.

If they had their way, there would be no animals used in medical research, despite the fact that such research has led to practically every major medical breakthrough of the past century.

There would be no steakhouses or fish markets. No zoos, no aquariums, no pet stores. No dog shows, no horse races. No “Free Willy,” no live-action “101 Dalmatians,” no “Seabiscuit.” No leather shoes, and absolutely no fur coats.

Animal-rights activists want to impose their extremist views on all Americans. And when gentle persuasion doesn’t work, they are only too willing to resort to drastic measures.


Dutch reversal of fur ban is a win for human rights

May 23, 2014 Comments Off on Dutch reversal of fur ban is a win for human rights

In a surprisingly clear and quick verdict a Dutch national court in The Hague yesterday overturned the ban that would have put an end to mink farming in The Netherlands in 2024. The ban was passed by the Dutch Senate in December 2012, but with reference to the European Human Rights Convention the court declared the fur ban unconstitutional.

The fur ban was based on the argument that fur is “an unnecessary luxury product” but did not offer the Dutch fur farmers any compensation for the ban taking away their livelihood. This is contrary to the European Human Rights Convention.

“The European fur industry is very pleased to learn that human rights, after all, are more important than coincidental political winds on such an individual matter as ‘morality’. The production and use of fur should be the subject of the individual’s freedom of choice rather than the subject of legislation violating the basic rights of human beings. There are no reasonable arguments to destroy an entirely well-functioning industry that demonstrates high animal welfare standards and generates large export incomes,” says Kenneth Ingman, Chairman of Fur Europe, an umbrella organization for the European fur industry.

Naturally, also the Dutch fur farmers received the court verdict with joy.

“We have always believed we had a strong case, and we are pleased to see that an independent court quickly and clearly has stated that the law banning mink farming was completely wrong. It is a big relief for Dutch fur farmers who have regained their livelihood and can now return to a normal day to day family life,” says Wim Verhagen, Managing Director of the Dutch Fur Breeders´ Association.

The verdict is expected to have an international impact since fur bans are being discussed in a number of countries.

“The message from The Netherlands is clearly that those few politicians in Europe who want to ban fur, need to think twice. I hope the message from the Dutch court will convince them that instead of banning an industry that performs incredibly well on both animal welfare standards and export income, they should help further developing the industry,” says Kenneth Ingman, Chairman of Fur Europe.

The Netherlands is the world’s third largest mink producing country with an annual production of 5 million skins. A calculation from audit company KPMG estimates the compensation for shutting down Dutch mink farming amounts to €1.2 billion Euro.