“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.”
— Albert Schweitzer

Animals Used in Clothing

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Buying clothes and accessories that are made from animals directly supports cruelty.

Fur used to make clothing and trinkets usually comes from fur farms where thousands of foxes, minks and raccoon dogs and other animals are crammed into small wire mesh cages for their whole lives. These caged wild animals often become so frustrated that they end up self-mutilating, biting off their own limbs and tails. Dogs, cats and rabbits are also farmed for their fur in appalling conditions. Animals killed for their fur are often electrocuted or beaten to death so as not to damage the pelts. Many are still alive and conscious when they are skinned.

Millions of sheep perish from shearing operations because their wool is removed before the weather has warmed up, primarily for business reasons. Wool is cut with sharp shears at speeds that inevitably take apart noses, ears and other parts of the animal and practically all sheep are injured in one way or another.

Many think that leather is simply a by-product of the meat industry, but this is not the case. The leather industry supports the cruel factory farms and the misery of the slaughterhouse. In reality, leather is a co-product of the meat industry, generating significant profits for both factory farms and the leather tradeitself. In fact, without the lucrative sale of animal skins for leather, factory farms would not even be able to turn a profit by selling meat alone. Ultimately, buying leather products subsidizes factory farms while providing financial incentive for them to produce more leather. Almost all the animals that end up as belts and shoes suffer intensive confinement, crowding, branding, castration, tail-docking, de-horning and cruel treatment during transportation and slaughter.

In addition, most leather comes from developing countries like India and China, where animal welfare laws are either non-existent or not enforced. Conditions for animals in these countries are particularly cruel and the cows are so malnourished that they yield little, if any, meat. Old and sick cows are often forced to march long distances, then crammed tightly into illegal transport trucks that take them to the slaughterhouse. Upon arrival, handlers may beat and torture weak and injured cows to force them to walk to the killing floor.

Not only is the breeding and killing of animals for leather cruel in itself, but the chemicals used in the tanning process – including formaldehyde, chromium, arsenic, and cyanide-based dyes and finishes – pose serious threats to both the environment and human health.

List of web resources:

Fur: http://furisdead.com
Leather: http://cowsarecool.com
Wool: http://savethesheep.com