The animal fur industry fears three things above all else: a mild winter, an economic downturn, and, most of all, an informed consumer. Much to their chagrin, the folks within the industry seem to be facing a perfect storm, and fur-bearing animals may be the lucky beneficiaries.
Analyzing numbers put out by the fur industry, our staff has determined that 2008 sales of animal fur in the United States are the lowest on record since these statistics were first made available in 1991. In addition, a well-known fur industry reporter and analyst is predicting that 2009 fur imports—coats and other items being brought in from China and elsewhere for sale here—will hit their lowest point since 1981.
Especially in this economic climate, it’s hard to think of a more frivolous, offensive, and cruel luxury purchase than a full-length mink coat—which start at $2,000 and go up from there, and start on the production end with the pelts from 40 animals. Now, there’s no excuse for such a purchase—anyone with even a mild level of awareness knows about the cruel realities of fur and the abundance of stylish and functional alternatives to fur.
There’s no getting around the fact that the fur trade is a deplorable industry, whether mink are raised on fur factory farms, foxes are cruelly killed by electrocution, raccoon dogs are skinned alive, or real fur is unlabeled or mislabeled as fake fur.
Remind your friends and family members to be more creative this holiday season than the purchase of a fur for a spouse, companion, or friend. You can help stimulate the economy, get kudos for stellar gift-giving, and spare the animals all at once.