Neanderthal men and women wore the skins of wild animals for warmth after using the meat, but they had few choices in freezing northern climates.
Millennia later in our ‘civilised’ society, although we have myriad choices of fabrics and trims which do no harm to wild and intensely farmed animals, some still choose to wear fur.
Across the world, more than 100m wild animals are killed each year, not just to make coats, but it's estimated that more than half of the animals are killed just for the trim around hoods and coats. (1)
When people stop to think about a beautiful arctic fox being caged all of its life then cruelly dispatched (2), or animals caught in traps in the wild which are often horrifically wounded for days before the hunter arrives, sometimes gnawing off their owns limbs to escape, I think they would not choose fur.
The Queen switches to faux fur
The UK banned fur farming in 2000, and Defra is considering banning sales of fur after Brexit.
In 2019 the Queen decided to stop having outfits made of real fur, and only use fake or ‘faux’ fur.
The fur industry of Canada condemned the use of faux fur saying that ‘up to one gallon of petroleum is used to produce three synthetic jackets’. (3)
Hobson’s choice? There are millions of beautiful, flattering, and warm garments out there which use neither fake nor real fur, so if you are concerned, you can ditch both, although Eluxe magazine has found plenty of fashion designers creating eco-friendly fur from things like recycled plastic bottles. And if you want to buy ‘faux fur’, check the label carefully. https://furfreeretailer.com/
Mutated Coronavirus strain found in Mink
But there’s an even more sinister reason than utterly cruel and inhumane treatment of animals that feel pain and terror, to stop buying fur.
A mutated version of the Coronavirus, possibly vaccine resistant, has infected factory-farmed minks in Denmark, which has led to the culling of more than 17m mink in Denmark. Several hundred people (nearly 800 at the time of writing) have been infected with the mutated virus.
Parts of Denmark have had to go into full lockdown, travelling from Denmark to the UK has been banned, and clearly the Danish economy will be badly affected, not to mention the risk of serious illness and death to the hundreds of people who have caught the mutated virus.
A silver lining?
Denmark is the world’s largest producer of mink – this cull will wipe out the industry (Spain, Italy, Sweden, and the USA have all reported Covid infections in mink) so perhaps it will mean an end to factory farming of wild animals.
Author: Alison Knight
Image: JoAnne McArthur/WeAnimals