The Fierce Fight over Fur

(Videos and links included in this article can contain disturbing and graphic footage that may not be appropriate for all viewers).

Various of looks of fur on the runway in 2012 (photo: courtesy of

Various of looks of fur on the runway in 2012 (photo:

With the return of fur to the runway, the for and the against of this debate is leaving bystanders wondering whether fur is still considered taboo or not.  Whether it’s the fur proud, the anti-fur, or the fur falsifiers– there are very different point of views each time fur hits the runway.

Booming Sales and Balanced Discussion

According to a Fall 2012 article by Jenna Sauers, sales in the fur industry rose 70% during the 10year period between 2000 and 2010. Sauers also pointed out, “This development is surprising to anyone who remembers the highly publicized battles over fur and animal welfare of the 1980s and 1990s.” Sauers’ exploration of this change in the fashion industry inspired the Huffington Post Live panel discussion about the fur controversy this past November.

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Skinned Alive and The Power of PETA 

 During the discussion on Huffington Post Live, panelist Katie Cleary, founder of Peace for Animals, mentioned videos of the harvesting process that is linked to the fur industry. Such videos are found on websites such as The International Anti-Fur Coalition (IAFC) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).


While the IAFC has created a theme song called “Skinned Alive” (See Above), PETA is the largest animal rights organization that includes over 3 million members and supporters in their effort to end animal suffering- many being high profile figures in society. In an article from early 2012, PETA came to the defense of Duchess Kate Middleton when she found herself in the middle of a fur debate. “[Duchess Kate’s] decision not to wear fur puts her in the company of public figures such as Michelle Obama, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, and the late Princess Diana, all of whom swore off fur because of the cruelty inherent in the fur industry,” a PETA spokesman was quoted as saying.

“The Natural, Responsible Choice”

The tagline of the Fur Information Council of America (FICA) is their response to the criticism (and videos) of the anti- fur campaigns. “In many cases members of our industry have asked for verification of authenticity on these tapes and never received it. And, in fact, in some cases it has been proven that the footage was staged in order to create these films.”

Additionally, FICA explains, “The production of farmed and wild furs in the US is regulated by state and federal government authorities, and by industry codes of practice in conjunction with scientific advice from a panel of highly respected veterinary scientists. Fur is an excellent example of ‘sustainable use of renewable resources’, a principle promoted by the World Wildlife Fund and other environmental protection organizations.”

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