In the late 80s, organizations such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and Respect for Animals issued a worldwide campaign against the fur trade. Some extremists went as far as pouring red paint on public figures that wore fur. PETA recruited stores like Topshop and Forever 21 to boycott the trend. Celebrities like long-time vegan, Natalie Portman who refuses to eat or wear anything that comes from an animal, started to come into the spot light as heros.
It is difficult to play judge and jury since the fur trade employs thousands of people including First Nations that hunt in northern Canada and Russia. However, animals in most slaughter houses and fur farms live in horrendous conditions, often stuffed in undersized cages and never succeed in seeing the light of day before they are murdered. Fur farms have also been known to utilize the most cost efficient ways to kill the animals without damaging the pelts such as poisoning, manual strangulation and occasionally they even skin them alive.
Eventually, the heat of the controversy started to die down and in the late 2000s, Anna Wintour featured fur on the cover on American Vogue. Animal pelts soon started to come back in style. Today, it is coming back in different ways; sometimes synthetic and sometimes vintage which is helping to reduce the number of souls that are lost to fashion.
Karl Lagerfeld once said that it is "childish" to boycott fur in fashion in a world where it is normal to eat animals. The choice of going for fabulous looking fur or going home with a clean conscious is yours to make. What would you choose?
|An iconic anti-fur campaign by Respect for Animals.|