On November 28, animal advocates from around the world will again be mobilizing on the busiest shopping day of the year to help end the suffering of furbearing animals for Fur Free Friday. This campaign takes place annually on the day after Thanksgiving to get people to realize there’s nothing fashionable or luxurious about fur.
According to In Defense of Animals (IDA), Fur Free Friday has has become one of the most widely attended demonstrations held for animal protection and offers animal advocates an opportunity to collectively come together to help educate the public about the fur industry and the animals it harms, including rabbits, chinchillas, seals, bobcats, mink, foxes, beavers, dogs and cats, among others.
The fur industry likes to claim that fur is an eco-friendly “renewable resource” and its production is humane, but problems resulting from water and air pollution from fur farms to the toxic chemicals used to process pelts to keep them from rotting, prove there is nothing about fur that is environmentally friendly.
For the millions of animals around the world who are exploited by this industry for nothing more than our vanity, there’s nothing humane about it either.
One of the biggest problems in the U.S. is that furbearing animals that are farmed aren’t considered wild animals, but they’re not really considered domestic either. While licenses may be required for farms, there are exemptions from both the Animal Welfare Act and the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, and there are few other laws in place to protect them from cruelty or inhumane living conditions.
A few federal laws may protect wild animals to a degree, but even the fur that comes from them is the result of suffering at the hands of trappers who have an arsenal of tools used to maim and kill, including leghold traps, body-crushing Conibear traps and snares.
But more than laws to protect them from egregious suffering inherent to this industry, furbearing animals simply need us to stop buying their fur.
While there are plenty of faux fur options available, they still send the message that fur is trendy and also open the door to problems with mislabeling, leading caring consumers to unwittingly support this industry.
The good news is that activists are continuing to fight to shut this industry down. There are a number of easy ways to join with organizations, including IDA, PETA, Last Chance for Animals and others, to help support Fur Free Friday this Friday and every other day:
- You can join an event in your area. Visit IDA’s events page to see what’s going on. If you don’t live near an event, or can’t make it out, you can still download materials to share any time.
- Ask your representatives to support stronger laws when it comes to fur labeling.
- If you happen to be in possession of fur items, you can give them back to the animals. Coats for Cubs, a nationwide program sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States, collects them and donates them to wildlife rehabilitators who use them to provide comfort to injured and orphaned animals.
- Join Four Paws’ campaign to Save Kimi, which is asking Burberry to stop using fur.
- Shop the Fox. There are a growing number of companies and designers who are ditching fur in favor of ethical alternatives. You can find and support stores that have committed to not sell fur at the Fur Free Alliance’s Fur Free Retailer program.
- If your favorite retailer isn’t fur free, ask them to change by writing them, or starting a Care2 petition like this one asking the Shopping Channel to stop selling fur.
- Join the Association for the Protection of Furbearing Animals, the Montreal SPCA and Lush’s new campaign to Make Fur History.