OK, so here’s the deal about wearing clothing made from animal fur—it’s gross. I mean, with all the faux fur and other cruelty-free fashion available in stores these days, is it really worth it to wear something someone else had to die for?
Yeah, we don’t think so, either. Why, you ask? Well …
Here are 11 animals you probably didn’t even realize people actually wear:
Not even “man’s best friend” is safe from the fur trade. Millions of dogs and cats in China are bludgeoned, hanged, bled to death, and strangled with wire nooses so that their fur can be turned into trim and trinkets. Often cat and dog fur is mislabeled and then sold in the U.S.
Minks LOVE to swim and can even swim to depths of 50 feet on just one breath! But minks raised on fur farms are forced to live in small, dirty cages until they’re killed for their fur and are denied the opportunity to swim, which causes them a great deal of stress since this is their most natural urge.
Most of the world’s alpacas currently live in Peru, but the demand for alpaca wool has increased so much that more than 150,000 alpacas are now registered in the U.S., with the largest herds in Ohio and Washington state. Like other animals killed for fur, they’re kept in inhumane conditions and then cruelly slaughtered for their skin.
Rabbits are extremely social animals who love nibbling on snacks like apples and green veggies, and adopted rabbit companions make lifelong bonds with humans, play with toys, and can even learn to use litterboxes. But on fur farms, workers kill rabbits using cruel methods—breaking their necks or beating in their skulls—before stringing them up by the legs and cutting off their heads.
In the Chinese angora wool industry, rabbits have their fur ripped out while they’re conscious and struggling. Undercover footage shot by PETA Asia found workers who were violently ripping the fur from the rabbits’ sensitive skin as they screamed at the top of their lungs in pain.
Foxes are highly intelligent, bushy-tailed animals, and if left alone by humans (their sole predator), they can survive up to nine years in the wild. Unfortunately, many foxes are kept in tiny, filthy wire cages their whole lives before being killed for their fur. Others are caught in steel-jaw traps, which crush their legs until trappers arrive to beat them to death hours or days later.
In nature, raccoons can live seven years or longer. They’re smart, love frolicking and nesting, and have routines for finding food and shelter (and they can plot out and remember different hiding places for each).
Raccoons’ lives are often tragically and violently cut short for their fur. Like foxes, raccoons are hunted by starved dogs and often suffer in steel-jaw traps, where they endure hours of agony before they are killed—or chew an arm or leg off in an effort to escape.
These shy and sensitive animals can live up to 15 years in the wild and are considered social “chatterboxes”—chinchillas can spend all night long “talking” to each other through a variety of vocalizations like barks, chirps, and squeaks. Aw!
The demand for chinchilla fur has resulted in their near extinction. On a fur farm in Midland, Michigan, PETA investigators observed that chinchillas were suffering from painful seizures after being electrocuted or having their necks broken while they were still conscious.
Beavers are extremely gentle, family-oriented animals who mate for life and remain lifelong friends with their offspring.
Beavers today are in constant danger of being caught in traps. The body-gripping traps used to capture and kill beavers for their fur cause these sensitive animals immeasurable suffering. In many cases, the traps fail to catch the animals quickly or on target. If the traps do not kill the beavers immediately, they can slowly drown, suffering for up to 20 minutes before dying.
Mother seals and their pups form a very strong bond and recognize each other by sound and smell. Female seals nurse their pups for a few days before going out to sea to feed, leaving the pup in a nursery group or a protected area for three to five days. When the mothers return, they call their pup with a distinctive bark that the pup will answer.
Thousands of the mothers return from feeding to find that their pup has been murdered during the Canadian seal slaughter. During this slaughter, tens of thousands of seals are bludgeoned and skinned so that their fur can be turned into fur coats.
For nearly two centuries, Britain’s Ministry of Defence has waged a war on black bears, allowing the slaughter of hundreds of these animals in Canada and using their pelts to make headpieces for The Queen’s Guards.
Bears are cruelly killed for their hides; they are either shot during hunts or ensnared, sometimes for days, in painful traps. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources reports that during hunts, as many as one bear in seven is not killed immediately after being shot, and some escape wounded, often dying later from blood loss, gangrene, or starvation.
No clothing is worth someone else dying for. Instead, always shop cruelty-free at stores like Forever 21, H&M, Wet Seal, Charlotte Russe, and even Target for cute (and cheap) fur-free finds. If you’re wondering if a product is faux, just check the label. Still not sure? Ask us. We’ll help you out!