Is it wrong to kill animals for their fur? (essay)

This is a long, slightly rambling essay on “is it wrong to kill animals for their fur?” It was dictated using Dragon Dictate. I am against all animal fur. It is personal. That said, opinions on the fur trade are always personal. Please comment and add your opinion.


Yes, on the internet people ask whether it is wrong to kill animals for their fur. It is my firm belief that the vast majority of people on the planet believe that it is wrong to kill animals for their fur but it still happens a lot. This is because businesses make a lot of money out of animal fur. Businesses are not moral entities. They are concerned with one thing; to make a monetary profit. Therefore they can act immorally and indecently. They can, in countries where the law allows, act inhumanely and sometimes in the most horrendous way but they don’t really care as long as they make money. Businesses need to be regulated for this reason. But big businesses influence governments.

Cat fur protest

Cat fur protest Madrid.

I hate to repeat it but the world’s main source of animal fur is China. They export it worldwide. It can be quite difficult to know the difference between fake and real fur. Real fur is cheaper than fake fur, incidentally. Which means that there are an awful lot of animals being killed under the most horrendous conditions in China. I won’t describe those conditions here because it is too upsetting but believe me it happens. It would seem that a significant proportion of Chinese people don’t think that it is wrong to kill animals for their fur. This begs the question as to why this is the case. There are no animal welfare laws in China. I have to conclude that the Chinese don’t really care about animal welfare. I don’t mean to refer to all Chinese. There must be many Chinese you do genuinely care but not enough to change the law in the country even if that were possible.

The fur of an animal is embedded into the skin of the animal which is part of the anatomy. When you remove the skin (pelt) you are farming that animal. You are harvesting it. You are treating the animal as an object to be used and if necessary, abused. You are not treating the animal as a sentient, feeling being just like human beings. It is my firm belief that humans have no right to treat animals like this. It is our duty to live in harmony with them as best we can.

The world is meant to be more civilised than in the past. At one time in the past it may have been necessary for the sake of survival to harvest animals for their fur but this is no longer the case. There are many regulations, treaties and national laws which restrict, regulate and ban the fur trade. However, despite a gradual growth in legislation to ban the fur trade it still occurs, sometimes illegally, and sometimes because in the country where the fur is traded there are no laws against it. Also it can be very difficult to enforce laws which ban this business.

It is ironic to note that the world’s most beautiful animals have the most beautiful fur and therefore it is these animals which are killed for the skin on the back. This means that the world loses their beauty. It means that we diminish the beauty of the world simply because some people like to wear fur. It is believed that fur can make some people look more attractive. So we are killing animals to make some people look more attractive. The detriment to the planet in killing these animals far outweighs the benefit of making someone more attractive. That argument alone should be enough to ban the fur trade worldwide.

The fur trade is built around the concept that animals are there to be used by humans for their economic benefit. In the 21st century this concept is no longer tenable. If people really insist upon wearing animal fur then they can wear artificial animal fur and be just as attractive. There is no need to kill an animal and put it through a lot of pain when there are perfectly good alternatives.

Cats stolen and caged for cat meat and fur in China

Cats stolen and caged for cat meat and fur in China

The fur trade is going through a transition and has been for some time. At one time, many hundreds of thousands of pelts were taken from beautiful wild cat species but nowadays such pelts are really quite rare. Even the bobcat in America is hunted under certain regulations and restrictions. Although in my opinion all hunting should be banned on a moral basis. Sometimes bobcats are trapped and then killed which causes a lot of distress. Do we have to put animals through this distress simply to make clothes look more attractive to humans? The equation doesn’t add up.

The bottom line as to whether it is wrong to kill animals for their fur is about the morality and ethics of the process. If you believe that humans are human-animals and if you believe that all animals have basic rights and that animals should not be used by humans for economic gain then quite clearly it is immoral and indecent to kill animals for their fur. If you have been raised by parents who believe that animals exist to serve humans and if you’re insensitive to the pain that you cause animals then you will not see it as immoral to kill them for their fur. Most people are in the former camp but there are still many people who don’t see a problem with it and legislators do not want to upset these people. They have a voice. They believe they have rights. Many law makers are the type of person who condone and support the fur trade.

Jackie Kennedy in genuine leopard fur coat

Jackie Kennedy in genuine leopard fur coat. The coat is styled simply to emphasis the fur.

Style icons such as Jackie Kennedy when she was alive have a great impact upon other people and their attitude towards animal fur. It is argued that celebrities and style icons have a duty towards others, the planet and wildlife to educate people and turn them away from wearing animal fur.

In America, on a state-by-state basis, in general, trapping of animals for their fur and the killing of them is accepted. This may be a throwback somewhat to the olden days, The Amercian Wild West. It is difficult to shake off the past. The levels of trapping and hunting and shooting of animals for their fur in Europe and in the UK is much less common. It would appear that the more advanced the country becomes the less likelihood there is of killing animals for their fur. That is not to denigrate or criticise America which is obviously an advanced nation but at certain levels and in certain respects the country may not seem advanced to outsiders.

To return to the question in the title of this essay: most people believe that it is wrong to kill animals for their fur but not enough people believe it to petition politicians to change the law to totally ban what I consider to be an inhumane and immoral activity. You can see which side I’m on.

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Is it wrong to kill animals for their fur? (essay) — 8 Comments

  1. I am deeply against using animals for their fur or skins. How would you like one of your relatives or you, yourself to be skinned? However I am seeing it more again at (no less) worn at cultural events and on cold weather on the streets of New York. There was a time when I was afraid to wear an acrylic coat that looked like fur for fear of being accosted no matter how warm it was. I’m not sure that wasn’t better times except for the fear.

  2. I do NOT believe that we need to wear fur! Or to display the hide of any creature. There are too many species now extinct and many more species on the endangered lists or critically endangered because of the human desire to kill or look SO good wearing fur. It took millions of years to have the many species of animal, plant and mineral life to get to this era. We should revere the beautiful and wonderful nature we have been blessed with. The human species is NOT the be all and end all of everything. If truth be told, the human species is the Saddest of all creatures, as it does not consider what it is doing to the beautiful world we have at this moment in time.

  3. Growing up I was dragged to church every Sunday. There was a woman who always sat in front of us wearing her huge assortment of furs. Many of them included the heads which I found especially repulsive. I have went from fanatical vegetarian to meat eater and now fall somewhere in between we are very moderate meat eaters. I would never wear fur but have no major issues with leather and products from animals raised for food. What I have noticed is there are now designers, I love purses, who only put out lines made of high quality fake leather.
    Killing wild animals or worse farming them for fur is something of the past. And I agree with one of the posters here. I looked at fake fur coat that was so realistic I was afraid I’d get red paint hurled at me.

  4. What should we do with the furs of all those animals that you pay others to kill for you so you can put them in cans and bags and boxes with a “Cat Food” label on it for you?

    It’s considered a crime in almost all cultures on earth that if any animal must be killed for any use, then ALL of that animal must be used. Failure to do this falls under “Wanton Waste” laws in all hunting laws. For a hunter to waste an animal’s body they can be fined thousands of dollars, have all their hunting-gear confiscated, denied any future hunting licenses, and even have their vehicles taken from them. This is a serious crime against nature (and in the end, even against ourselves). This belief is reflected in all native cultures across the planet. (Except of course the ones that came from the UK who invaded N. America and never see a problem with wasting any others animals’ lives for their own beliefs and values.)

    Keep on trying to stop the killing of animals and you’ll end up with millions of cats starving to death or going permanently blind in your own homes. You people really need to learn how to think things through more clearly. It’s not just about cats.

    • You have avoided dealing with an important aspect of this argument. Killing animal fur is killing an animal to make someone look better. It is no different to using animals for research for cosmetics. If animals are killed under regulated conditions for food then that is obviously quite different. It’s about the ethics and morality of the situation.

      There is also the issue as to how these animals are killed in China primarily. They are killed in the most brutal manner. Not even you could condone that. I defy you to condone the way these animals are killed in China.

  5. The author states ” … for the sake of survival to harvest animals for their fur…” in reference to the ancient need to kill animals. The point that has been missed is that ancient people harvested ALL of the animal, not just the pelt. Nothing was left as waste. Today, the fur industry leaves everything but the pelt for waste. That is what is wrong.

    To kill for self defense or food is the only reason killing is acceptable. Regardless of how cold and cruel it is, something must die to sustain another’s life. That’s the way it is. With that in mind, as long as the animal’s meat is used to feed people or other animals (cats and dogs for instance) then the selling of the pelt is not wrong.

    I’ve read many articles berating trophy hunters of big game. Most countries require the meat from the hunt to be donated to the local people for food. You never hear about that because it doesn’t fit the anti hunting agenda.

    So… as long as death is quick and the meat is used, the fur trade could continue. We need to get politicians to agree and fight for animals humane treatment, even if they are only food animals.

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