For Fur, It Ain’t Easy Being Green

By on January 29, 2009 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

It’s hard to believe he had the brashness to make the claim, but Fur Council of Canada executive vice president Alan Herscovici said last year, “You want to help nature? Ride your bike to work, put out your blue box and buy a fur coat.” It was another salvo in the Fur Council’s deceptive campaign claiming that fur is green—akin, by their way of thinking, to organic cotton, pesticide-free produce, or solar panels.

Fox in cage at fur farmToday we shred their greenwashing arguments in a new report titled “Toxic Fur” and a Flash movie showing how fur hurts the planet.

The industry is employing a bait-and-switch strategy, invoking sustainability to distract from the public’s very obvious animal cruelty concerns about their product. With sales lagging because of the economy, and with major designers and retailers shunning fur—such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, BCBG Max Azria, and—the industry is desperate and fighting to reclaim its market share.

But our report shows that the fur industry actually makes enormous energy investments to run their fur factory farms and tanneries, while trappers set and check miles of traps in gasoline-burning vehicles. A laundry list of toxic chemicals is used to dress and dye the fur (in order to transform the animal pelts into wearable garments), contributing not just to air and soil pollution, but posing significant risks to human health. Carcinogenic chemicals like formaldehyde, chromium, naphthalene, toluene and lead may be used in the different stages of fur processing. And it’s all done for a luxury product—while causing undeniable cruelty to animals.

For more information, you can download our full report.

Humane Society International

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