A Female In Dress On Which Animals May Be Seen Living Cruelty-Free

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Living Cruelty-Free

So you love animals and want to live your life without compromising theirs? You may already be vegan/vegetarian, but living an animal-friendly lifestyle goes beyond what we do or don’t eat—we can choose “cruelty-free” in many other aspects of our daily lives.

clothing

The case against the fur trade: Despite some harsh and graphic campaigns by organizations such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), fur clothing continues to be marketed and sold. The desire for exclusivity overshadows the cruel facts of the fur trade – animals used for their fur are killed by gassing, trapping, suffocation, anal and vaginal electric shocks. If found in a fur farm, these animals live miserable lives in harsh conditions before being executed just for human vanity. Garments are also quite often mislabeled to disguise the true source of the fur, which could easily have come from dogs, cats, rodents or even mice – that luxurious coat doesn’t look so appealing now, does it?

If an item of clothing isn’t specifically labeled as fake or fake, assume it comes at the expense of an animal’s life and don’t buy it. By purchasing items made from fur (toys, gloves, clothes) you are supporting the fur industry. Some people fool themselves into thinking that wearing a fur coat is “not as bad” as a full fur coat. But not like that. Even a small amount of fur causes suffering and death of animals.

The case against the leather industry: Leather is the processed skin of animals from factory farms. Surprisingly, they are often alive and aware. The tanning and manufacturing process to create leather products is the most economically important co-product of the highly profitable meat industry, as cowhide is worth about 10% of its total value, making it the most profitable part of its body. The ultra-soft calfskin, often called velor leather, is from extremely young animals bred for their hides, and its high value means that the meat is actually the byproduct in this case. They are slaughtered only at the age of 20 weeks.

Refrain from wearing leather and you’ll feel good in your own skin! In addition to man-made materials such as microfiber, cloth, imitation leather, artificial leather, PU or PVC leather, if you cannot compromise on quality, look for new innovative alternatives such as vegan leathers, made from plant-based materials.

Sheep wool and felt: Most of the world’s wool comes from sheep raised in Australia and New Zealand. Wool is not a simple process of gently shearing sheep that have a lot of wool and then turning it into a garment. Sheep are bred to have a lot of wool, they are raised by the millions, treated roughly and finally slaughtered.

Sheep are castrated and mutilated without anesthetic or painkillers and may be cut or injured during the shearing process. Because they have been bred to have an abnormal amount of wool, many sheep suffer from fly infestations, skin sores and wool parasites. Tragically, when they no longer produce fur, they are packed into multi-level ships and shipped around the world to countries where animal welfare standards are non-existent. Many do not even survive the journey. If they do, they are dragged off ships, loaded onto trucks, dragged by their ears and feet to unregulated slaughterhouses, where their throats are slit, often while fully conscious.

Angora: Angora comes from female rabbits that live in isolation in small, cramped cages. Unable to move and exercise, these rabbits develop painful wounds and deformities. Male Angora rabbits do not produce enough fur, so most male Angoras are slaughtered at birth.

Kashmir: Cashmere goats are raised in crowded, dirty stalls and sheared just when they need their wool coats the most, in winter. These goats are then more susceptible to disease from exposure to the cold.

Mohair: Goats raised for their mohair are sheared when they have their winter coat. Left naked, goats develop respiratory diseases and are susceptible to parasites. Weakened, many goats often die after being sheared. When their fur is no longer thick, they are slaughtered. Wool is simply not necessary; choose clothing made from lighter, color-fast materials, such as nylon, acrylic, polyester wool, cotton flannel, or synthetic shearling.

Below: Down is the very soft inner breast feathers of geese and ducks that keep the chicks and their mature eggs warm. Down is plucked from birds slaughtered for food or from live birds that have been restrained by force. These animals may undergo molting three to five times during their short miserable lives locked in large warehouses. After a gruesome life of plucking, these ducks and geese are sent to slaughter.

Down feathers are commonly found in pillows, jackets, vests, coats and comforters. Comforters are filled with the feathers of 30 – 40 birds. You can sleep comfortably knowing that no duck or goose has suffered and died by choosing products made from hypoallergenic synthetics, polyester filling or some high-tech fabrics. They are often machine washable and do not require dry cleaning as below.

Silk: When silkworms pupate, they live inside a cocoon made of thin threads that twist around themselves. Instead of being able to mature into a moth, their life is shortened while still inside their cocoon. The cocoons are immersed in boiling water until the pupa dies to obtain continuous silk threads. To make 100 grams (3.5 oz.) of silk thread, 1,500 pupae are killed. Millions of silkworms are boiled alive to make silk products such as shirts, dresses and ties.

As you can see, clothing made from animals is a scary business, but thankfully it’s getting easier to be more compassionate and responsible. A Google search using the keywords cruelty free, vegan, no leather etc will direct you to eco friendly retailers / designers.

Cosmetic and household products suitable for animals

Many manufacturers of cosmetics, personal care and household products still perform painful tests on animals even though NO LAW REQUIRES THEM TO DO SO. Rabbits and other animals are being blinded by having substances placed in their eyes in the infamous Draize test, and even more animals are being poisoned by being fed toxic substances in the LD50 test. Humane non-animal testing methods exist and are currently being used by hundreds of companies. As a consumer, you should use your purchasing power to pressure companies to switch to non-animal testing methods. Buy only “cruelty free” products!

Get into the habit of reading labels. A quick flip of the bottle and attention to the print on the bottom will tell you if the company does not test on animals or use animal ingredients. Many manufacturers will put “Not tested on animals” and “No animal ingredients” on their product labels. Don’t put cruelty on your shopping list! See which companies still test and which companies don’t.

So how cruelty-free is your lifestyle? Remember that even small changes help change the big picture and it would be fantastic to think that future generations will end the use of animals for food or clothing. And entertainment… that’s another story.

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