Monday, 23 February 2015

A Cruelty Free 2015?

A look at some acts of animal cruelty

Each year millions of animals are killed all in the name of fashion and vanity. Why don’t you pledge to be cruelty free?

Whether its fur, leather, wool or cosmetics an unprecedented amount of suffering and death takes place in order for some to ‘look pretty’.

Last year saw angora being banished and withdrawn from the highstreet, after PETA Asia’s shocking investigation into the inhumane treatment of rabbits in China.

The inquiry found that rabbit’s fur was plucked from their bodies, rather than being sheared, leaving them suffering in severe pain after the process.

The rabbits that had not died from the loss of blood and pain were put back in their cages, their fur grew and again they were faced with the same torturing process. 

H&M recalled hats and scarves that were made from angora and pressure was put on Topshop, who had a coat on its shelves made from the material at the time. Brands such as Lacoste, Monsoon and House of Fraser promised never to use angora again.

But this is only one example in a long story of cruelty to animals in the fashion industry; there are fur farms in China, the world’s largest fur exporter, where there are no penalties for abusing animals.

Swiss Animal Protection/EAST International learned that many of the animals in these fur farms are still alive and struggling desperately when workers flip them onto their backs or hang them up by their legs or tails to skin them.

It is the same story with leather. One of the biggest world exporters of leather is India where once again there are very few laws on animal cruelty.

In India, a PETA investigation discovered that workers break cows’ tails and rub chili peppers and tobacco into their eyes in order to force them to get up and walk after they collapse from exhaustion on the way to the slaughterhouse.

Sheep farmers are not paid by the hour but by the amount of wool they acquire, this means that they are in a race to get as much wool as they can and has created terrible treatment of sheep.

In Australia, where more than 50 percent of the world’s merino wool originates, lambs are forced to endure a procedure called “mulesing,” in which huge chunks of skin are cut from the animals’ backsides, often without any painkillers

Why condone this behavior by buying leather, fur and wool products?

Some of the top brands in fashion have cruelty free lines Stella McCartney and the more affordable Forever 21 and H&M.

Online cruelty-free or “vegan” retailers are also a click away:

·        Alternative Outfitters is an online vegan boutique whose mission is to provide high quality products that are always fashionable and cruelty free. Products are shipped from America, however, and may incur a customs charge.,

·        Kalila is a shoe company who is intent on producing both cruelty-free and eco-friendly footwear. Its products are hand-made in small European family owned factories, where workers are paid fair wages and all processes are strictly controlled.

·        MooNeuaura is a shoe brand whose promise it is to create high quality goods and unique footwear that it animal and eco- friendly.

But that’s just the fashion industry. states that over 100 million animals die every year from testing and experiments used for the cosmetic, drug and chemical testing.

The website claims that the actual number is a lot more as mice, rats, birds, and cold-blooded animals are not covered by even the minimal protections of the Animal Welfare Act and therefore go uncounted.

PETA states that these smaller animals make up more than 95 percent of animals that are used in testing.

In March 2013 the European Union placed a ban on the sale of any cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients that have been tested on animals. This means that companies who wish to sell their products to countries in Europe must abandon testing their cosmetics on animals.

It also means that it is easier for readers of this article to become cruelty free now that it is only these types of products that are available.

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