Standing Up to Animal-Rights Bullies – Case Study #1

Alan Herscovici, Senior Researcher, Truth About Fur By Alan Herscovici, Senior Researcher, Truth About Fur

animal-rights bullies, Ingrid Newkirk, PETA

Ingrid Newkirk, queen of the animal-rights bullies.

Unfortunately, this could happen to anyone working with fur these days, especially retailers selling any sort of fur or fur-trimmed products.

A veteran North American retail furrier – who shall remain nameless here, to protect the innocent – has participated for the past ten years in a high-profile fund-raising fashion show, in support of a local charity. About a month before this year’s show, he spoke with the organizers who confirmed that they were looking forward to working with him again. Then the animal-rights bullies showed up.

Just two weeks before the event, he received a call from the fashion-show producer. She informed him that the Events Committee had decided they could not include his products in the show this year. “One of the sponsors is against fur,” she said, as if this explained everything. The committee had made their decision and nothing could be done, she told him bluntly.

And that might have been the end of the story, except this retailer is not the sort who likes to be told that “nothing can be done” … especially when it involves mindless kowtowing to anti-fur bigots. Sensing that the show producer was not open to discussion, he went above her head and contacted the charity’s Events Coordinator. What he did next should be an inspiration to all furriers – and, indeed, to everyone who believes in democracy.

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5 Reasons Why We Must Wear Leather and Fur

Truth About Fur By Truth About Fur

The world is changing and, with it, our approach to consumption. As the impact of global warming worsens, many consumers are rethinking what they buy, and how much of it. “Local”, “organic” and “minimalism” are all buzzwords many of us are drawn to, and some people question the need to eat animals, or wear leather and fur. Where does that leave us with animal use?

fur design, fur coat, fur designer, sewing, fox, wear leather

The use of animals is an ethical dilemma that many people question, but most people agree that if animals are well-treated, they are not in danger of becoming extinct, none of the animal is wasted, and the animal is put to good use, then it is acceptable for us to use and consume them.


Animal use is an integral part of many people’s lives, and is linked to essential products in our everyday life, such as medication, food, and clothing. Animals are used in medical testing in order to find cures to life-threatening diseases. We eat animals and while some people question the need to do this, there is plenty of evidence it can be done without harm to our planet. In fact, lots of land is better suited for pasture than for cultivation. And remember that animal manure is used to replenish the soil to grow crops. But if we are concerned about possible impacts, a small reduction in the amount of meat we consume – and waste – can go a long way. And lastly, we wear many types of animal products in order to protect ourselves from the elements. Fashion may not be essential, but clothing is. The need to keep warm in cold weather is a matter of life and death.

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September Fur News: It’s Fur Fashion Season

Truth About Fur By Truth About Fur

fur news, fur fashion, louis vuitton, selena gomez, trapper hat, fur

It’s time for our September Fur In The News roundup and we want to talk about fur fashion! Namely the “hat of the season”, which just happens to be a trapper hat made of fur (above). Those are fashion trends we can get on board with! And for the guys, it’s all about fur slides. Have you bought your pair yet? And be sure to check out this fantastic feature in Vogue‘s September issue.

Speaking of trapper hats, we were pleased to read this article about how more women are hunting. It would be nice to hear of the same thing happening with trapping. And speaking of women in trapping, here’s a lady who truly inspires us. We love this video of Jane Dragon telling us about how nothing is wasted when using animals – a great example of how to use animals responsibly.

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Born Free USA Campaign Misrepresents Trapping

Alan Herscovici, Senior Researcher, Truth About Fur By Alan Herscovici, Senior Researcher, Truth About Fur

trapping, Randy Mersereau, box trap, fisher, raccoon, Born Free

Randy Mersereau demonstrates a quick-killing box set for fisher or raccoon in New Brunswick. The trap is placed high on an inclined pole to keep it out of the reach of dogs that may be attracted by the bait. Photo: Truth About Fur.

A recent on-line, anti-trapping rant by Born Free USA boss Adam Roberts (“What kind of person still traps wild animals?”Huffington Post, Sept. 7, 2016) underscores how trappers are on the front line in the war against humans using animals – a war in which the weapons of choice are misleading images, inflammatory rhetoric, and exploiting the information gap between rural and urban cultures.

Roberts’ attack drives home how important it is to explain, again and again, the vital role trappers play in responsible wildlife management and conservation.

Like other “animal-rights” groups, the folks at Born Free rage against a wide range of animal-use activities. This time, as part of their “Victims of Vanity 2” campaign, they are promoting an “undercover” trap-line video showing “atrocities” that they claim “occur regularly across America”.

“What kind of person purposely destroys a beaver dam and sets a ‘wall of death’ of Conibear traps,” asks Roberts, “knowing that the unsuspecting beavers will return to repair their handiwork – only to be possibly smashed across their abdomens and drowned?”

The insinuation is that such traps cause terrible suffering. Born Free‘s own video, however, shows beavers that have clearly been struck by the trap bar across the back of the neck, breaking cervical vertebrae and causing rapid death, just as this quick-killing trap is intended to do. These traps were developed through several decades of (on-going) scientific research to provide the most humane possible methods for controlling wildlife populations.

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Is PETA’s Angora Rabbit Video Staged?

Simon Ward, Editor, Man In Nature By Simon Ward, Editor, Man In Nature

Angora rabbit, PETA, wool

The Angora rabbit has been bred for its wool for more than 2,000 years without fuss. But PETA can’t leave well enough alone. Photo: Oldhaus.

Sensationalized videos claiming to show “animal abuse” are sadly a fact of life these days for animal agriculture, and they’re often promoted (if not actually filmed) by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. One such video, dealing with wool production from Angora rabbits, premiered in 2013 and has gone unchallenged – until now. An Angora farmer in the US contacted us to raise some real concerns about this video, which we think are worth sharing.

Before dissecting the video, let’s start with a backgrounder on Angora wool production.

There are two distinct types of Angora rabbit: those that moult, and those that don’t.

Those that moult have their wool plucked every three or four months, just before moulting begins. Plucking produces the best wool because most of the guard hairs are left behind, but it is time-consuming. Plucking leaves in place the incoming coat, although one breed, the French Angora, can be fed a depilatory which results in the exposure of bare skin. Here’s a video showing how to pluck an Angora properly.

Angoras that don’t moult are sheared. Because the guard hairs are included, the wool is not such high quality, but collecting it is quicker and the yield is higher because wool can be sheared even from sensitive areas of the rabbit’s body. Shearing is therefore more common in commercial operations. The most important commercial breed is the high-yielding and virtually mat-free German Angora. Ninety per cent of Angora wool production today is in China, and almost all Chinese farms raise German Angoras. Here’s a video showing how to shear an Angora properly.

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Why Fur Is the Ethical Clothing Choice

Alan Herscovici, Senior Researcher, Truth About Fur By Alan Herscovici, Senior Researcher, Truth About Fur

ethical clothing, ethical, trapping, fur farming, beaver

In every stage of production, fur makes the grade as ethical clothing. Photos (clockwise from left): Alcide Giroux; Truth About Fur; Steve; Diane Giroux.

Is fur an ethical clothing choice? The media often seem confused about this question, acknowledging the resurgence of fur in designer collections while uncritically reporting sensationalist animal activist complaints about this trend. The implied (and often explicit) message is that consumers are less bothered about whether fur is an ethical clothing choice, and more concerned about looking good. In short, “fashion trumps ethics”. But is this true?

To answer this question, we must take a step back and ask what makes it ethical to use any animal product.

Some of the best work on this subject was done by the Royal Commission on Seals and the Sealing Industry in Canada (1984-86). Public-opinion research conducted in six Western countries (the UK, France, West Germany, Norway, Canada and the US) showed that “there is no agreement on whether it is ethical or moral to kill seals. The choice is a matter of personal conviction.” [Report of the Royal Commission, Vol. 1, p. 23, 1986.]

The Royal Commission also found, however, that there is “substantial weight of opinion that if the killing of any wild animals is to be accepted as ethical, it should satisfy the following conditions”:

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August Fur News: Fur Fashion and Faux Fur Pas

Truth About Fur By Truth About Fur

As we are now officially into fur season, this month’s Fur in the News roundup features a lot of fur fashion, and some faux fur pas


Heading for the beach in fall? Elle shows you how to keep warm.

If you are in denial that summer is over, never fear, we still have a few good tips on how to combine fur into your beachwear wardrobe. Elle has several suggestions on how to wear fur on the beach (above) and Cindy Crawford shows us how to wear fur boots on a boat trip. Too bad she wasn’t in a kayak made of seal skin. Lucky for us, the summer’s most popular parka was made of fur and we think it will transition nicely into your fall fashion wardrobe. What else should you be wearing for fall? The fashionistas are suggesting fur sandals and these amazing fur backpacks from Fendi. Back to school is very chic this year!

If you love fur fashion, then you might be interested in reading about the longest fashion collaboration to date – the one between Karl Lagerfeld and Fendi which has resulted in some incredible fur fashion. And if you want to learn the tricks of the trade, then check out this school in Finland which teaches the skills to design and make fur garments.

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