Fur Trade: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Fur Trade: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Post by RoxasXIII » Thu Dec 24, 2015 5:41 pm

Please note that I want to keep this a fairly neutral discussion thread, so please refrain from getting into arguments for or against either side.

I am by no means a vegetarian; I come from a family that loves animals, but also loves to eat animals. A couple years ago, I became fascinated with the fur industry. It is one of the most controversial industries in the modern world, but there is no sign of it going away any time soon. Tired of hearing only the side of PETA et al., I set out to form my own opinion by gathering as much information as I could.

This is a list, sorted to show the good (pro-) facts, the bad (anti-) facts, and the ugly realities, all with the goal of being as unbiased as possible. I encourage you, after reading this, to form your own opinion from the whole story.


The Good
-conditions in fur farms have improved significantly over the past few decades
-American fur farms have rules and regulations to ensure the well being of the animals
-the animals are kept in individual cages to prevent biting and cannibalism
-injured/sick animals are isolated and treated professionally
-an unhealthy animal typically does not produce quality fur
-if done correctly, gassing and electrocution are very humane
-the wire cage floors prevent the animals from living in their own filth
-there is no true substitute for real fur - yet - as actually realistic synthetics are significantly more expensive for consumers than the real thing
-there are people who work at fur farms because they respect the animals and want to give them the best care that is financially feasible
-animal rights videos are often shock videos, with people being paid specifically to abuse the animals

The Bad
-the animals are typically harvested at only one year old
-the animals spend almost their whole lives in small cages
-the animals often face various psychological issues that cannot be handled by the ranchers, with self mutilation sometimes occurring as a side effect
-wire cage floors can cause injury to the animals' feet
-early death is not uncommon
-if done improperly, euthanasia methods can cause the animals to suffer
-China is the largest exporter of fur, and its fur industry is not regulated and does have animal cruelty

The Ugly
-destroying the industry will put people all over the world out of work
-animal rights extremists' raids involving releasing the animals from there cages fail as the animals cannot survive in the wild and get hit by cars (see this news article for an example (clean of any graphic images))
-closing down a fur farm results in the animals either being sold to other farms or euthanized
-synthetic furs aren't quite there yet, in terms of function over fashion, with real fur being warmer and more comfortable
-the industry still makes billions of dollars a year and is showing no signs of decrease
-boycotts very rarely work in any industry
-there are currently no means of euthanasia that are clean and cost effective and still work humanely 100%

If you wish to discuss the topic, post a reply. I also might add to the three sections if someone offers a point that I missed in any of them. I am going to reiterate that I want to keep this a fairly neutral discussion thread, so please refrain from getting into arguments over either side; stating and explaining your opinion is okay, however. Also refrain from posting or linking to any articles orimages that people may find shocking or disturbing.

If you like this format and want me to cover another topic in the same manner, pm me.
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Re: Fur Trade: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Post by alethe » Thu Dec 24, 2015 9:29 pm

ah yes, the fur industry. Honestly, I don't agree with any of it. To me, the animal should be living free and happy before its killed, and respected. That's the difference I see with fur farming versus hunting. Hunters tend to respect the animals they kill. Mass furring, however, feels like a different story.

It is true that synthetic furs aren't worth anything in terms of profit or functionality, but I feel that furs should be harvested naturally rather than fating the animal to die on its birth.


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Re: Fur Trade: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Post by RoxasXIII » Fri Dec 25, 2015 3:29 pm

I can't say that I agree with it either, just that I've come to accept that it is a major industry. Much like the meat industry, it unfortunately does require animals to be born fated to die early. Sadly in some cases, ethical and economical just aren't meant to mix.
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Re: Fur Trade: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Post by alethe » Fri Dec 25, 2015 8:29 pm

yep. And ethics is a heavily gray area that varies person to person. Its something that'll never really get fixed.


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Re: Fur Trade: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Post by paperpaws » Tue Dec 29, 2015 6:09 am

Heh, I always love to see people provide honest information and leaving people to form their own opinions based on that.

That said, to me, I personally read the list of "The Good" as "What Could Have Been Worse". I just cannot agree with the 'using' of animals in this fashion when most of the time, there is no necessity for it. I can understand fur clothing in cold areas where it may very well be required to stay alive, but when it comes to clothing and 'fashion' production in the western world, it is pointlessly cruel to me. Granted, living conditions are nowhere near as bad as they could be or have been, but that does not change the fact they could be far, far better still, and I cannot agree with considering animals just another trade product in an economy where it is not necessary as a means to stay alive.

All the things you listed in the ugly are definitely worth consideration, though... Personally, my approach would simply be to avoid supporting the fur industry by not purchasing anything produced out of it... I thought that was getting more common, but-
RoxasXIII wrote:-the industry still makes billions of dollars a year and is showing no signs of decrease
seems like it is not, or does not have as much effect as I would hope or expect it to have. Huh.
RoxasXIII wrote:I can't say that I agree with it either, just that I've come to accept that it is a major industry. Much like the meat industry, it unfortunately does require animals to be born fated to die early. Sadly in some cases, ethical and economical just aren't meant to mix.
Very true. I just... try to not support either of those, but unfortunately, situations like these are never black and white and there is never any decision that can be made that would lead to only upsides. It's sad, really.
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Re: Fur Trade: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Post by SolitaryHowl » Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:32 pm

Thank you for posting this, very informative.

The fur trade is a huge industry - if it was ever outlawed, it would cause the whole industry to go underground/to the black market...where there is NO animal welfare regulations what so ever. The way its being done now isn't perfect, but its probably better than how it was in the past.

And it is true that real fur is warmer than synthetic fur. I did a lot of research before I bought my parka (it has real coyote fur on the hood trim, and its filled with goose down on the inside) - up here, when you're outside for long periods of time in very cold weather, having high quality real fur products certainly helps. Buying that parka was the best thing I've ever done for myself.
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