Since 80-85% of the global fur trade’s products are industrially produced on fur farms, these animals endure the same confinement and poor treatment as animals farmed for meat and dairy as farmers often want to maximise their profits, at the expense of the animals. To cut costs, killing methods often include suffocation, electrocution, gassing, and poisoning, all of which cause great stress and pain to the animal. Unlike animals that are produced for food, no laws exist on how the killing must be undertaken, therefore they are often extremely inhumane.
Much like animals being kept in captivity in zoos, the confined space available to the animals often causes an increase of abnormal behaviours such as pacing, self mutilation and even cannibalism.
The meat from the skinned animal, which is not considered fit for human consumption often ends up in animal feed or organic compost, and the fat from minks is often used in soap, face oils and cosmetics.
Some people, despite this, think that fur is in fact and ethical products. For example, the British Fur Trade Association (BFTA) says that fur is “a natural, renewable and sustainable resource that is kind to the environment and respectful of animals’ welfare”. However, many people realise that the conditions the animals are kept in is far from respectful, and not only this, the farming is actually detrimental to the environment. A 1979 study by the University of Michigan discovered that even though the environmental cost of faux-fur is relatively high (apparently one gallon of oil was needed to make three faux-lfur jackets), it still takes 20 times more energy to create a farmed-fur coat.
Therefore, ideally it would be great if people could could wear more sustainable fabrics, but if fur is really desirable, be sure to go for a faux option, in order to help both the environment and the animals.