Although the fur and retail industries will deny it, there is no question that articles made from animal skins involve extreme pain and agony for the creatures who had to unwillingly die for consumers’ vanity and retailers’ greed.

Animals killed for their fur suffer untold misery during their capture, confinement and ultimate flaying.  While awaiting their fate, they are cramped into tiny cages and denied the very basics such as adequate shelter from the elements, clean water, food, veterinary care, or the opportunity to engage in natural behavior. Many go insane from the intensive confinement.

In many instances where overcrowded cages are stacked atop one another and are dropped from the transport trucks onto the ground below, many animals suffer shattered and broken bones for which they do not receive any veterinary care.  In preparation of obtaining the skins from animals, especially in overseas operations (China), there is the involvement of stomping, beatings with metal pipes, anal electrocution (frying from the inside out), and slamming their heads onto the concrete.  As each terrified animal awaits their turn at slaughter, they are forced to watch the ones before them have their skin peeled off while still alive and then have their wounded bodies tossed onto a pile to slowly die a painful, agonizing death.

More than half of the finished furs in the U.S. come from China, where millions of dogs and cats are bludgeoned, hanged, bled to death, strangled with wire nooses, and skinned alive for their fur.  Approximately 97% of fur trims from China are estimated to be real dog or cat fur, although they are deliberately mislabeled as faux.  A bill was passed to address the issue of deceptive practices; however, additional pressure needs to be placed upon the Chinese fur industry to end their inhumane slaughter methods.

Snakes often have their heads nailed to a tree and then are skinned while alive. Their slow metabolisms cause them to suffer in agony for days before they die. Crocodiles have chisels pounded into the backs of their heads to paralyze them and make it easier to skin them (alive).

Baby seals are clubbed to death in Canada, often at only 2 weeks of age.  Every year, a number of professional fishermen descend to beat hundreds of thousands of these seals to death for their pelts.  To avoid damaging the fur, sealers hook the seals in the eye, cheek, or mouth and drag them across the ice while they are still conscious (in many cases, their panicked mothers watch from a few feet away, helpless to do anything).

The seal slaughter is not a subsistence trade but an example of government waste in support of a dying industry.  Canada spends millions of taxpayer money each year to subsidize the massacre through Coast Guard support, pro-sealing campaigns, and travel.  The U.S. and the European Union have banned seal fur; and world leaders, including President Obama and the Dalai Lama, have denounced the massacre. However, it continues.

Animals globally suffer in the leather and wool trades as well.  They are denied any comforts and are routinely mutilated and tortured, having the skins ripped from their broken and abused bodies.

With so many excellent synthetic materials, consumers can choose a compassionate and equally attractive alternative to real animal skin — and prevent the abject misery that so many helpless animals are subjected to.

Everyone’s voice is needed to help stop the carnage that takes place on fur farms and in the skin trade around the world.  There are many excellent organizations that provide more information (PETA, Peta-Asia, The Humane Society, In Defense of Animals,, International Anti-Fur Coalition, Mercy for Animals) as well as investigative videos in PETA’s archives such as Cold-Blooded Horrors (narrated by Joaquin Phoenix), Chinese Fur Farms, Nightmare on a Chinchilla Farm, and Plucked Alive.  Another informative site is   Although the video footage is upsetting, turning away and ignoring it will not alleviate the suffering for the millions of animals who need our help.  

Fur and exotic skins do not come from any humane methods.  They ALL involve extreme cruelty.  We can ALL make a difference with our buying choices and by lending a voice and getting involved in a campaign.  Often, it only takes a minute to make a difference with the click of a mouse.  But that minute of your time can make a huge difference for another being somewhere in the world.

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 – Annoula Wylderich