Many factors influence whether a particular clothing choice may be considered to be ethically or morally acceptable.  They include: the environmental impact of producing the raw materials, manufacturing, and eventual disposal of the product; the working conditions of people involved in all phases of production; and the distribution of benefits (e.g., “Fair Trade”).

In the case of fur and other animal-derived products, there are additional considerations.  While public opinion research has repeatedly confirmed that about 80% of North Americans believe that wearing fur is “a matter of personal choice”, research has also shown that for the killing of any animal to be considered as ethical or morally acceptable, the following four criteria must be satisfied:

  • Sustainable Use: The survival of the species should not be threatened;
  • Animal Welfare: No unnecessary pain or cruelty should be inflicted;
  • Important Use: Animals should not be killed for frivolous purposes;
  • Minimal Waste: As much of the animal as possible should be used.

For a full discussion of how the North American fur trade satisfies all four of the criteria required for the ethical use of animals, please visit our blog post: Why fur is the ethical clothing choice

Answer by :

Alan Herscovici, senior researcher, Truth About Fur

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