Depending on their cultural values, people have distinct opinions regarding the ethics of fur use. Most people who wear fur clothing chase exclusivity since fur is regarded as a luxury product. However, the fur industry has numerous adverse effects for humans, the environment, and animals. Moreover, due to numerous cheap artificial fur alternatives, its use has become highly unethical. Even though fur has always been a part of human clothing, its mass use has led to unquantifiable damage to the ecosystem. Millions of animals have died as a result of fur production, which had a severe impact on the environment. The production of fur has led to an increase in climate change due to increased levels of pollution, land devastation, and chronic water contamination. Statistically, over 80% of fur comes from animals raised on farms. The materials are manufactured in factories that are more profit-oriented rather than environmentally conscious. Today, the popularity of fur continues to grow due to the changing fashion trends. Besides, the use of fur constantly becomes more popular in house design, which further increases the environmental harm. Therefore, the growing popularity of fur products has severe environmental and ethical implications that impact the lives of not only the affected animals but also the future generations.
Significant portion of fur used worldwide originates from farm animals. The animals live in deplorable conditions, and it is hard for them to adapt to life in captivity. Is this right if it was done to humans? Over 1 billion rabbits are raised and killed on farms solely for the production of fur (“Last Chance for Animals,” 2020). Additionally, another 50 million animals, including seals, foxes, dogs, and minks are raised in various farms around the world with the sole purpose of fur production (“Last Chance for Animals,” 2020). China is the world’s leading producer of fur; thus, the country has weak laws regarding animal treatment on such farms. In this case, the hostilities that animals face at the hands of fur traders have forced many governments around the world to outlaw fur production. For instance, in England and Wales, fur farming was considered illegal since the early 2000s (Hoskins, 2013). While human lives matter, animals’ life is taken for granted. In the United States, public sentiments regarding the legality of the fur industry have also been on the rise. Furthermore, investigative reports have confirmed that some of these animals are often skinned alive, resulting in immeasurable suffering. Millions of dogs in China are straggled, bled to death, or hanged to obtain fur. Moreover, drowns are often used to kill aquatic animals though structured traps. Is this not being human to the animals? Generally, it is terrible and annoying that most animals are mistreated on our face. The agencies that are concerned with animal rights are trying to raise awareness about the nature of animal cruelty.
Fur production is also associated with intense human suffering. The toxic emissions have led to increased degrees of water contamination (PETA, 2012). The Center for Disease Control and Prevention statistics show that cases of Leukemia are on the rise in Kentucky at a higher rate compared to the national average. Why should some countries continue with the use of fur with the harmful impacts it has n humans? The US mink industry accounts for about 1,000 tons of phosphorus emitted into the environment each year (The Humane Society of the United States, 2009). Consequently, globally, over 3.5 million lives are in jeopardy (PETA, 2012). The chemicals have contributed to the increase in cancer cases among the workers who are regularly exposed to chemical fur treatment practices (Hoskins, 2013). Scholars have also established similar health trends among the workers in Italy and Sweden. Therefore, the fur industry threatens people’s well-being all over the world which include our families and loved ones. Mostly, fur production takes place where environmental hygiene is not well observed. In Bangladesh, most of the fur is produced in slums with poor hygiene standards (PETA, 2012). The Human Rights Watch Report attests that most of the contaminated water enters into various water bodies, which are often used as drinking reservoirs (PETA, 2012). Contaminated water has severely affected farmers’ skin while undertaking their daily routines. In addition, end products manufactured from fur contain strong allergic elements that often cause skin discomfort. Why should I endanger my life to use fur?. In 2012, Blacksmith Institute in India in the year reported that tanneries occupied the fourth position globally on the list of the most toxic pollutants. Usually, when an animal is slaughtered and skinned, the fur is treated with chemicals to make it more durable (PETA, 2012). The chemicals often used include hydrogen peroxide, formaldehyde, and ammonia, which are used as a preservative and drying agent. In China, where environmental laws are ignored, toxic emissions have had severe impacts both on the environment and people. Cheng Fengxia, a professor at Shaanxi University of Science and Technology, states that the prevailing environmental pollution from fur farming is one of the main issues in the country (PETA, 2012). Accordingly, the findings of the World Bank, fur farm industries are one of the world’s most severe environmental pollutants (Hoskins, 2013). The pollutants have been associated with increased cases of respiratory problems among humans. Animal wastes and animal carcasses also increased the severity of air pollution, which leads to the growing prevalence of preventable diseases (PETA, 2012). Such industry practices lead to severe environmental pollution due to the production of carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide. The idea of fur use is disappointing and should be stopped. Hence, urgent measures need to be put in place to address the environmental challenges due to fur use.
Fur use is associated with significant harmful effects both to the environment and animals. The animals are often mistreated and brutally slaughtered solely for fur production purposes. In some cases, they are even killed alive, which has severe ethical implications for the modern world. The environmental damage caused by the fur industries is unquantifiable. Toxic gases and chemical emissions lead to the contamination of water bodies. Humans and animals that come into contact with contaminated water are more prone to developing preventable diseases and dying as a result. Therefore, due to the adverse effects of fur production, state agencies, and animal rights activist must stand for ethical animal treatment. The fur industry should be outlawed, and the dissenting companies should face severe penalties for the production of fur products. Moreover, international organizations such as the World Bank should set aside funds aimed at investing in ideas that will help develop alternatives to fur products. By so doing, animals will be safe, and the risks associated with fur production will be significantly reduced in the future.
Hoskins, T. (2013, October 29). Is the fur trade sustainable? The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/sustainable-fashion-blog/is-fur-trade-sustainable
Last Chance for Animals. (2020). Fur trade facts. Last chance for animals. Lcanimal. https://www.lcanimal.org/index.php/campaigns/fur/fur-trade-facts
PETA. (2012). Wool, fur, and leather: Hazardous to the environment. PETA. https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-clothing/animals-used-clothing-factsheets/wool-fur-leather-hazardous-environment/
The Human Society of the United States. (2009). Toxic fur: The impacts of fur production on the environment and the risks to human health. Humanesociety.org. https://www.humanesociety.org/sites/default/files/docs/2009-toxic-fur-production-impact.pdf