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12 Animals You Didn't Realize People Wear

Profile photo of kjohnson

Posted August 3, 2016 by Kim Johnson

OK, so here’s the deal with wearing clothing made from fur or other animal-derived materials: It’s gross. With all the faux fur and other cruelty-free fashion available these days, is it really worth it to wear something that someone had to die for?

Chinese Fur Farm© Swiss Animal Protection | East International

Animals are often skinned alive for their fur, like this.

Yeah, we don’t think so, either. Here are 12 animals you probably didn’t even realize that people actually wear:

1. Cats

Not even cats, like the ones we share our homes with, are safe from the fur trade. In fact, millions of cats and dogs in China are beaten, hanged, bled to death, or strangled with wire nooses so that their fur can be turned into trim and trinkets. Their fur is often mislabeled and then sold in the U.S. and around the world.

Cat fur trade china

2. Dogs 

Dogs are also used for their skin. A PETA Asia eyewitness investigation revealed that dogs are bludgeoned and killed so that their skin can be turned into leather shoes, gloves, belts, and other accessories, which are sold all over the world. There’s no easy way to tell the difference between skin from dogs and skin from other animals.

dog leather slaughterhouse

3. Ostriches

If you’ve ever seen purses or other accessories with round bumps on them, they were probably made from the skin of intelligent, sensitive ostriches who suffered and were killed for fashion. The recognizable bumps on ostrich leather are actually the follicles where the ostriches’ feathers were ripped out. PETA investigators went inside the largest ostrich-slaughter facilities in the world and saw workers hit ostriches in the face, force the terrified birds into stun boxes, and then slit their throats, all while those next in line to be killed watched helplessly as their frightened flockmates were murdered right in front of them. 

ostrich slaughterhouse

4. Minks

Minks are semi-aquatic animals, but on fur farms, they’re denied the opportunity to swim or do anything that makes them happy. Instead, they’re forced to live in cramped wire cages for their whole lives—all so that their fur can be turned into coats and collars. A PETA eyewitness exposé of a massive fur farm in Wisconsin revealed that workers grabbed terrified, screaming minks by their sensitive tails, crammed them into a metal drum, and pumped it full of gas to suffocate them. The farmer broke the neck of one mink who had survived the gassing. Another mink survived for 20 minutes before finally dying.

minks

5. Foxes

At the same fur farm, an eyewitness also saw foxes who were kept in rows of filthy cages until they were gassed to death. Foxes are highly intelligent animals, and if left alone by humans (their sole predator), they can survive for up to nine years in the wild. But on fur farms, they only know a lifetime of misery before they’re killed far short of their natural life expectancy. Foxes not raised on fur farms are often caught in steel-jaw traps in the wild. These traps slam shut on their legs, leaving them in excruciating pain until trappers arrive to beat them to death hours or days later.

6. Rabbits

Much like minks and foxes who are killed for their fur, rabbits on fur farms typically never experience kindness from humans and aren’t given proper veterinary care, a comfortable place to lie down, or the opportunity to explore. Workers kill rabbits by breaking their necks, slitting their throats, or beating in their skulls. Then they string them up and skin them—sometimes while they’re still alive.

You may have heard of angora or “angora wool.” It’s actually fur taken from a specific breed of rabbit. Angora wool is used to make sweaters, scarves, winter hats, and other clothing and accessories. Unlike other rabbits, angora rabbits aren’t typically skinned for their fur. Instead, about every three months, their fur is ripped out by the fistful without pain relief and while they’re fully conscious.

angora gif

 

7. Raccoons

Raccoons’ lives are tragically and violently cut short in the fur industry. Raccoons used for their fur are sometimes hunted by dogs or suffer in steel-jaw traps, where they endure hours—or even days—of agony before they’re killed. Animals caught in traps may even chew off their trapped limb in an attempt to escape. 

raccoon

8. Chinchillas

The demand for chinchilla fur has resulted in the animals’ near extinction in the wild. If given the opportunity, chinchillas would live in herds of over 100 animals, but on fur farms, they’re usually kept alone in small cages until they’re killed for their fur. On a fur farm in Midland, Michigan, PETA investigators observed that chinchillas suffered from painful seizures after workers electrocuted them or broke their necks while they were still conscious. 

chinchilla

And at another breeding and fur farm in California, the owner admitted to amputating chinchillas’ injured limbs with “wire snips,” not giving the animals proper anesthetics, and using crude and painful methods, such as electrocution, to kill them.

chinchilla electrocution

9. Beavers

Beavers are extremely gentle, family-oriented animals who mate for life and remain close with their offspring. Beavers today are in constant danger of being caught in traps. The body-gripping traps used to capture and kill them for their fur cause these sensitive animals immeasurable suffering. In many cases, the traps fail to catch them quickly or on target. If the traps don’t kill them immediately, they can drown while trapped underwater.

beaver

10. Seals

Actually, almost no one wears seal fur anymore, but during the annual Canadian seal slaughter, tens of thousands of seals are still beaten or shot and then skinned so people can sell their soft fur for profit. The U.S., the European Union, and Russia have all banned seal-fur imports, and even though there’s virtually no market for seal fur anymore, the Canadian government still allows the slaughter to continue. 

Seal Slaughter 2

11. Bears

Bears are cruelly killed for their fur, too. They are often shot during terrifying hunts or ensnared, sometimes for days, in painful traps. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry reports that during hunts, as many as one in seven bears isn’t killed immediately after being shot, and some escape wounded, often dying later from blood loss, gangrene, or starvation.

black bear

For nearly two centuries, Britain’s Ministry of Defence has waged a war on black bears, allowing the slaughter of hundreds of them in Canada and using their pelts to make headpieces for The Queen’s Guards.

queen's guards bear hats

12. Coyotes

Wild coyotes killed for fur-trimmed jackets, like those sold by Canada Goose, can suffer for days in traps. They face blood loss, shock, dehydration, frostbite, gangrene, and attacks by predators. Mothers desperate to get back to their starving pups have been known to attempt to chew off their own limbs to escape. Animals who don’t succumb to the elements, blood loss, infection, or predators are often strangled, stomped on, or bludgeoned to death when the trapper returns.

WARNING: EXTREMELY HARD TO WATCH. Coyotes bark just like dogs when they’re scared. Even the coyotes killed for fur trim: http://peta2.me/2wo2x CC: Canada Goose [via Robert Banks]

Posted by peta2 on Sunday, February 28, 2016

All that for a coat? No, thanks!

No clothing is worth someone else’s life. Always shop cruelty-free! Stores like Forever 21, H&M, Wet Seal, Charlotte Russe, and Target have tons of cute (and cheap) fur-free and skin-free finds. Just check the labels before you buy. Still not sure if an item is cruelty-free? Ask us. We’ll help you out!

Fill out the form below to order a free How to Wear Vegan shopping guide. Bonus: You’ll get some awesome free stickers, too!*

*This form is limited to one order per e-mail address. At this time, orders can be shipped to the U.S., the U.K., and Canada ONLY. If you live outside these countries, check out peta2’s FREE printable sticker sheets instead. Orders can take up to six weeks to arrive.

For more ways to help, check this out

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  • Profile photo of NatalieTheknight

    889 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    This is disgusting skinning them alive how far will humanity go? I am glad i have stopped wearing and buying fur and leather.

  • Profile photo of chazcat

    890 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    What is it with people…N when do we stop this madness

  • Profile photo of jeaneen

    929 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    11

    I was in a store a few months ago and they had a fake fur, but it said it must be dry cleaned. I found this odd, as I bought a fake fur about fifteen years ago and it can be washed in the wash and placed in the dryer. So I asked the manager if the store and he said it was a first for him too and he would check it out and I went back a few days later and all the coats were gone and the manager said he returned them as he believed they were real fur. I am glad some stores care.

  • 930 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    This is truly horrific, it’s bad enough as it is but they can’t even humanely kill the animal first??? I saw a thing once that dog fur was used but it wasn’t on the label as such. It was even said that the manufactures were lied to by the suppliers of what it was. Now for the most part I just don’t by anything with any kind of fur on it. On the rare occasion that I do I’ll only get one that is totally obvious visually and by texture that it’s not animal fur.

    I do want to say that I’m not opposed to animals being used for clothing on the most part. However, only if the animal doesn’t suffer and it is done as a byproduct of them being killed for meat (ie a cow’s leather.)

    That being said if there is alternate that I’m just as happy I’ll go for that every time. It’s a no brainer.

    • Profile photo of Whitney-C

      929 days ago

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

      5

      Quick response to your comment of “only if the animal doesn’t suffer and it is done as a byproduct of them being killed for meat (i.e. a cow’s leather”:

      ALL cows killed both for leather *and* for food suffer tremendously. On today’s factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds and confined to wire cages, gestation crates, barren dirt lots, and other cruel confinement systems. These animals will never raise their families, root around in the soil, build nests, or do anything that is natural and important to them. Most won’t even feel the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded onto trucks bound for slaughter.

      Cows killed specifically for leather still endure the same horrors as cows on factory farming, including castration, branding, tail-docking, and dehorning—all without any painkillers. More specific info on that here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldr0-jMCznM.

  • Profile photo of marinnnadj

    930 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Thank you for this useful information. I bought a shaggy vest in H&M and instantly checked whether It was made from animal fur.
    The label says: 70% modacrylic, 30% polyester – I hope they didn’t lie.

    If it is anyhow useful, I heard Tom Tailor and Müller make clothes from cats fur.

  • 947 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    3

    It’s always great to eat healthy and guilt free. There is no need for eating animal carcuses. Every green plant seed and root has various type of vitamins and proteins etc. Many people wonder if you are a vegan how can you get your protein? It shows that such questions they ask because they have not done any research or the home work to find out how these vegetables, fruits and simple food stuff works in a human body. I am glad that I do not consume any animal caucuses.

  • 947 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    3

    Such evil wickedness showers upon innocent animals simply to get their fur or the skin is totally unacceptable. The number one method to STOP this cruel fur/animal skin industries is to educate the public and to spread the word around the globe as much as possible. Until the people stop purchasing these unethical products the greedy industries will keep manufacturing them while murdering the innocent animals every where. Also need to bring forth the new laws to BAN breeding these poor animals for commercial/industrial purpose. The violators should be given stiffer punishments together with heafty fines and long jail terms.

  • Profile photo of kylekylekyle

    948 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Is fleece vegan? And if not, what animal would that come from?

    Btw, I have an awesome hoodie made by OP, and it had faux fur. ;D

    • Profile photo of Whitney-C

      946 days ago

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

      0

      It depends on which type of fleece, to be honest. There’s wool fleece (which is not vegan) and there’s fleece made from cotton and polyester (which is vegan). Just check the tag on whichever clothing items to be sure!

  • Profile photo of LeahDemain

    954 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    3

    I know an alpaca farmer, and I know this may not be every farm, but he does by kill his alpacas for their fur. They shear them, and his alpacas have fre range or about 30 acres and 3 shelter barns they can move freely in and out.

  • Profile photo of scandariatoj14

    954 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    3

    Great Post! It really is not worth the killing of innocent living animals!

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