Fur, Down, Wool and Leather.


To make a 40 inch fur coat it takes between 30 and 200 chinchilla, or 60 mink, 50 sables, 50 muskrats, 45 opossums, 40 raccoons, 35 rabbits, 20 foxes, 20 otters, 18 lynx, 16 coyotes, 15 beavers or 8 seals.

Eighty-five percent of the fur industry’s skins come from animals living captive on fur factory farms. Life on a fur farm is short and painful. Animals such as foxes, who would naturally roam hundreds of miles, live miserable existences on fur farms in cramped cages. They are killed by the cheapest methods available, including anal electrocution, injection of insecticide, hanging, gassing and suffocation.

10-20 million  raccoons, coyotes, wolves, bobcats, opossums, nutria, beavers, otters, and other fur-bearing animals are trapped every year for their fur. For every targeted animal,  two non-target animals, which trappers call 'trash animals,' are also killed. 

Trapped animals suffer for hours or days, before being killed by trappers. Sometimes they chew off their own limbs in their desperation to escape.

69 countries have banned the leg-hold trap but it is still commonly used in many US states.

You'll find loads of information, and also a fun three minute animated video about fur at: 

PETA's website has shocking footage of animals skinned alive in China, the world's number one fur exporter. The gruesome dog and cat fur trade is covered there. 

And learn about Canada's annual seal slaughter at: 

DOWN feathers that plump many pillows and winter coats are often ripped from conscious, uncomprehending animals. Sadly for the geese, their feathers replenish, so a goose will suffer plucking repeatedly during it's life. Then, of course, ducks and geese from the down industry are slaughtered. In the US, birds are exempt from Federal Humane Slaughter Laws.

 Synthetic fibers now being produced are just as soft and warm as down so there is no longer any excuse for this kind of cruelty.

WOOL, which always seemed such a benign use of animals, now comes with a sad story. Factory farming has reached the wool industry. Wool considered to be of the highest caliber has not been exposed to the elements, so increasingly, sheep are spending their lives indoors, devoid of pastures and even of sunlight.

Those living outdoors do not have easy lives. Their coats, which should provide natural insulation from the cold, the rain, and from the sun, are sheared away. Australia loses about 1 million sheep every year, post shearing, to exposure.

Sheep used for wool are treated similarly to animals raised primarily for food. They are castrated, have their tails docked, and have strips of flesh cut from their hind quarters (to deter flies which lay eggs), in a barbaric known as "mulesing," all without anesthetic. Finally, they are used for food. Australia, the world's largest wool exporter, ships the majority of its sheep to the Middle East where after the torturous journey they are slaughtered by methods that do not conform to Australian welfare acts. Please check out to learn more about this issue.  

LEATHER is usually a lucrative byproduct of the beef industry. To wear it is to support that industry, to make it more profitable. Plus many animals are killed for the leather produced - their flesh is the byproduct.

A sad irony is that because cows are revered in India, cows used for Indian leather suffer the most. They cannot be slaughtered in Indian so are taken out of the country on death marches that can last for days, the animals receiving no food or water. Cows who collapse during the march have their eyes smeared with chili peppers and their tails broken in an effort to keep them moving

To find out more about the plight of cows slaughtered for leather go to


Why not deck yourself out in a really animal friendly wardrobe? Moo Shoes, in New York and on the web, has a great selection of non leather shoes, bags and belts. is terrific for humorous animal friendly shirts (such as the one pictured, modeled by HSUS's Miyun Park), and has loads of fun designs. We see so many T-shirts with corporation logos -- Isn't it great to advertise something worth selling?