Fur not so fashionable, PETA says

It is Fashion Week in Toronto and a lot of fashionistas may be sporting a garment that has adorned people for centuries. Fur is often worn as a luxury item to exude wealth and style. But not everybody views it that way.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) held an anti-fur protest at David Pecault Square in Toronto on Oct. 23.

These animals are often skinned while still conscious and they spend their entire lives in filthy small cages.

— Caitlin Cass

PETA wants to bring attention to what it perceives is an extremely greedy and brutal industry.

“We just want people to think about what they are wearing and where that fur comes from,” said protester Caitlin Cass. “These animals are often skinned while still conscious and they spend their entire lives in filthy small cages.”

According to PETA, more than half the fur in North America comes from China where millions of cats and dogs are bludgeoned to death or strangled with wire nooses. PETA says the fur from China is often mislabeled on purpose, so people in North America could be wearing dog or cat fur and not even know it.

PETA also points out that that fur farmers use the cheapest killing methods which are also the most brutal, including electrocution, gassing and poisoning.

More humane options exist that also help the economy, protester Joe Murphy said.

“There are just as many jobs in the synthetic fur and synthetic clothing industry,” he said. “There are other jobs they can do.These animals live horrible lives and die just as horribly.”

Contrary to PETA’s claims, Harry Papadopoulos, owner of Elizabeth Furs, located in Scarborough was adamant that the fur industry in Canada is well regulated and the animals are not treated inhumanely.

”All the claims by PETA are fictitious, the animals’ value is in them being well cared for,” Papadopoulos said. “The fur industry is actually very green and environmentally friendly.”

“Fake fur is made from petrochemicals that take 300 years to disintegrate in the landfill. Real fur is biodegradable.”

Papadopoulos also accused PETA of terror tactics and of making up sensational videos.

“They get their videos from some backwater jungle in Asia,” he said. “But that is not how the fur industry in Canada operates.”

People in the fur industry obviously have an economic stake in portraying the industry in a favourable light, but several fashion designers have refused to use fur in their collections due to growing awareness about this issue.