Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fur free fashion in Amsterdam

The internation fashion week has started in Amsterdam, and we can see a lot of fur on the catwalk again. A real shame and proof of the efficacy of the international fur lobby. But as I blogged before, there are those who challenge the use of fur in fashion. And not just animal activists, but designers too.

Recently the norwegian initiative "Mote mot pels" (fashion against fur) made global headlines when they succeeded in making the Oslo fashion week fur free. If you want to know why Oslo Fashion ditched fur, read more about it here

But this isn't just happening in Norway. In Holland fashion insiders are calling out the fur industry as well.

Fur Free is an initiative of Jojanneke van der Veer (DJ Wannabeastar) and Femke Dekker (My little underground). This initiative is bringing together people from the fashion industry to protest against the fur industry in a positive way.

And they have done it! On the 24th of January they made headlines across the country with their fur free exhibition. And it looks lovely.

Just check out this video:



"Style today" on fur free in the hortus botanicus (dutch)

Voor de expositie Fur Free benaderden Jojanneke en Femke vijf Nederlandse ontwerpers die geen echt bont verwerken in hun collecties. ,,Iedereen was direct enthousiast. We hebben de designers volledig vrij gelaten in hun interpretatie van Fur Free.

Translation: For the Fur Free exposition Jojanneke en Femke approached five dutch designers who don't use real fur in their collections. Everybody was enthousiastic. The designers were completely free to interpret the Fur Free project.

And that free interpretation made for some fine handy work I have to say. The entire Fur Free exhibition looks almost like a fairy tale.

Jojanneke Van der Veer and Femke Dekkers are already planning their next anti fur event in Holland, and this time they want to go after not just designers, but stylists and photographers as well.

You can find some great pictures of this exhibition on this blog. Just scroll down and enjoy.

Visit the Fur Free site and read up on the designers backing this project.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fur is green: ethics and fur

As I promised in my post on the Touch of luxe blog, I visited the campaign website fur is green

And as I thought, this campaign site of the canadian fur council makes for some great blogging material. The entire "fur is green" campaign is breathtaking. Logic or reason doesn't seem to matter much...

The site is divided in three parts:

1. fur is eco-logical
2. animal welfare
3. people & cultures

The topic of today: animal welfare

fur is green: animal welfare

The first impression I get is that they are trying to deflect any form of sensible discussion. These quotes are a nice example of it:

In North America, about 95% of the people eat and wear products from animals

The fur trade accounts for about one-quarter of one percent of the animals we use for food, clothing and other purposes each year. About twice as many unwanted pets are put down in humane shelters

So if you read between the lines (not to difficult here) it is quite obvious what they say. Many animals suffer and die anyway, so why care? Why not care about something else?

As if the fur industry is rectified by other industries or by roadkill. I guess polluting the oceans is ok because so many of us drive cars? And after all, aren't those millions of cars more polluting than an oil tanker destroying a natural habitat? Following this train of logic, we shouldn't worry about anything and we would wind up destroying ourselves... very logical. And not uncommon in discussions about fur. This shows how weak the position of the fur trade really is. They usually try to avoid a direct discussion.

fur is green on fur farming

When humans raise animals, they have a responsibility to provide for their welfare and prevent unnecessary suffering

Like the suffering for a totally unnecessary luxury fashion item such as fur? A fur collar, some trim, a fox tail,...

Farmers are responsible for their animals’ care from birth to death. Mink are generally euthanized with bottled carbon monoxide gas

Gassing them to get their fur isn't euthanasia. It is slaughter. This isn't a sick dog that is being put down by a vet to end its suffering.

Farmed mink are fed with leftovers from abattoirs, fish plants and other food-processing -- they ''recycle'' wastes that would otherwise go to landfills

The "leftovers" from slaughterhouses are also being used as petfood and about a million other things. As if the fur industry is a key player here.

Naturally they also claim to be a well regulated industry that cares about animal welfare. And why do they care? This is why:

There is a strong incentive to respect these codes because there is no other way to produce high quality fur; farmers who do not care for their animals will not remain in business very long.

So the reasons to care about animal welfare are selfish? But is it true? Is animal welfare that important to them and is the fur trade an ethical industry?

Let's see:

1.Norwegian veterinarians want to ban fur farming.

2. danish fur: two out of three mink farms break animal welfare laws...Also fitting that the fur is green campaign just happens to refer to the danish fur industry as a fine example of animal welfare.

3. Norwegian fur farms exposed

4. just watch this video:

Up Against the Wall / Kniven på strupen from Ola Waagen on Vimeo.


The fur industry an ethical industry? The fur trade and animal welfare don't seem to fit together.

They also mention trapping, this is a subject that I will cover in the future. But yes you guest it: traps, snares and what else not aren't humane.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Touch of luxe: 100 days of fur

Mink i bur
(norwegian fur farm: 2010)

Fur is no longer about your grandmother's old fur coat.

This quote came from a blog I found, called a touch of luxe

And no, fur isn't about your grandmother's coat, it's about those mink in that picture. Spending their entire lives in a small wire-mesh cage in the name of fashion.

So what is this blog about? We can't find much info on their about page.

The only thing we can figure out is...that the blog deals with fur and fashion. They have this to say about ethics:

One important note: this is a fashion blog, not a philosophy seminar.

And they refer us to the fur is green campaign website...great. So, no thinking here about animal welfare or ethics. Oh wait, they do talk about it. Well, just a little:

ethics

The fur trade is regulated, nationally and internationally, to ensure that no species are endangered; the furs used are abundant.

How noble of the fur trade! The furs sold are not breaking international law. Or is this the least you should demand of any product? And yes, the furs are abundant. Since most fur comes from fur farms.

Nothing new yet. But this is new: fur experiment

An experiment where a young women is going to wear fur 100 days straight...to see if wearing fur is "safe". I'm mostly interested in the reasons for this experiment.

Here are some of them:

A few months ago we were trying to figure out the reasons why people don’t wear fur. Is it because of the animal welfare? For most people, I don’t think so. We all know that animals are a part of our lives, we eat them, use them to make our shoes, and we wear them on our bodies

Why do most people don't wear fur? Animal welfare? Could be true. The problem is: this is why people would be against fur, not why they 'just' wouldn't wear fur. Maybe many people just don't want to wear fur for some other reason. And of course, the "a touch of luxe" blog throws this phrase around a lot:

Fur is no longer about your grandmother's old fur coat.

Maybe people don't want to wear fur because they think it's old fashioned?

But what about ethics? Animal welfare problems don't dissolve just because you wear leather shoes. The problems are still there. Is fur produced ethically? According to Norwegian veterinarians this is not the case. You can read about it here: veterinarians want to ban fur farming

You should also read why Oslo Fashion Week went fur free. It is clear that the general public is turning more and more against the fur trade. This isn't a small group of "extremists".

Skittent pelsdyrskur
(norwegian fur farm: 2010)

Just like animal rights activists shouldn’t stand outside Safeway and scream at people buying steaks, or no government should tell a woman to cover her face, no one should make me feel uncomfortable for wearing fur.

So Sharia law (like a woman being forced to wear a burka) and someone feeling uncomfortable for wearing fur is the same thing? Is that what is being implied here? And activists expressing their views (freedom of speech) is a fundamental civil right. And I see they hang out the basic stereotype of "the screaming activist".

So the entire experiment comes down to this: people are afraid of wearing fur because they will be "hassled" by a small group of animal activists and by wearing fur for 100 days they will try and prove that it is safe to wear fur. I'm guessing animal activists handing out flyers are a threat to national security and the very fabric of democracy?

Well, I"ll take a look at the fur is green site and see what they have to say about ethics. It should make for some interesting blogging material.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fur free fashion in Holland

Rev med lange klør

Norway made world history when the Oslo fashion week went fur free, thanks to designers and other fashion insiders over at mote mot pels (fashion against fur). (If you want to know why Oslo Fashion week went fur free, click here

But Norway isn't the only country in the world housing fashion minded individuals who give fur the could shoulder. In Holland we have a similar group called Fur free. You can find their website at furfreefashion.net

Fur free is an initiative of Jojanneke van der Veer (DJ Wannabeastar) and Femke Dekker (My little underground)

Their message is simple but needed more then ever: Have a heart No to fur...

How does 'Fur free' hope to ban fur for good?

Like this:

Now we would have happily chained ourselves to a mink cage again but we decided to take a different route: A fashionable and positive statement showing you how beautiful fashion can be without being cruel to animals or damaging to our environment. So we will organize Fur Free shows, Fur Free exhibitions, publish Fur Free magazines, write Fur Free manifesto’s.

So in other words: positive actions showing the world you can be fashionable without fur. The fur industry thought they could hijack the fashion industry, well think again!

Actions like this show every designer (young and old) that we can do things differently:

On January 24th we will present another Fur Free event. Hosted at one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens, the Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam, fashion designers Bas Kosters, And Beyond, Antoine Peters, Hester Vlamings and LEW will exhibit a fur free fashion showpiece in the garden’s threeclimate greenhouse

You can find more information here: fur free fashion exhibition

So if you are in Holland, don't forget to check it out. You can find a fur free preview made by award winning designer Bas Kosters here

Friday, January 14, 2011

Why Oslo Fashion week went fur free

Revevalp i bur uten skygge

I recently blogged about the Oslo Fashion Week(OFW) going fur free. A few weeks later this news is still making headlines all over the world in both online and traditional media.

Browsing through the blogosphere one thing quickly became self evident. Not many people knew what the hell was going on in Norway. This is why I started this blog. Face it: norwegian is a language spoken by a few million people, so most people will never know what is being said in the norwegian media...unless someone writes about it in plain english. This is what I am doing and will continue to do.

So why did the Oslo Fashion week go fur free? Why was fur fobidden? Not done?

Since 2008 animal rights activists from such groups as dyrs frihet(animal freedom) have been documenting what has been going on behind the scenes in the norwegian fur industry. Year after year they brought out videos and pictures of norwegian fur farms. You can find the pictures and videos here: fur farm pictures

You can find documentation on their campaignwebsite (in both english and norwegian) here

This short documentary (with english subtitles) gives you a good idea of what is going on. You get to hear veterinarians on fur farming, the activists and see the fur farms:

Up Against the Wall / Kniven på strupen from Ola Waagen on Vimeo.


Of course this is not the first time animal activists expose atrocities in the fur industry. And most of the time the activists are accused of being criminals, hoaxers, ... the usual propaganda. But this time the situation was different. And I blogged about it before: veterinarians want to ban fur farming

Already in august 2009 the norwegian veterinary association issued this statement (in norwegian): abolish fur farming

Dagens pelsdyrhold er basert på hold av aktive rovdyr i små nettingbur. Driftsformen betyr at dyrene ikke får tilfredsstilt naturlige adferdsbehov.

DNV har tidligere uttrykt skepsis til pelsdyrholdet. På tross av gode intensjoner i næringa, viser det seg at det fortsatt er store dyrevelferdsmessige problemer i pelsdyrholdet.

Translation: Todays fur farming practices are based on keeping active predators confined in small wire mesh cages. This means that animals cannot act in a natural way.

The norwegian veterinary association had in the past already expressed their scepticism to fur farming. Even with good intentions in the fur industry, it is clear that there continue to be strong animal welfare problems within the fur industry.

And yes, this is a big deal. But this isn't everything. In the last few years, the Danish fur industry has been exposed as well to the general public. Here is my previous blogpost about it: Another blow to the danish fur industry

The images of animal rights group Anima created a shockwave. Denmark suddenly got confronted with the 'ethical' fur industry in their own backyard. Official authorities started inspecting the farms and guess what? Mink were living under bad conditions in two out of three farms. This was all over the danish media.

Also in Sweden the fur industry is now under attack...And if you put all of this togehter. It is not difficult to see why fur got banned at the Oslo Fashion Week. Scandinavia, the heart of the international fur industry, has been exposed. The general public, celebs and even politicians are turning against them. This could very well be the end for this industry. Just one example of the broad opposition against the fur industry in Norway is the facebookpage Forby pels nå
(outlaw fur now). It has over 174000 members as of this moment. You can read more about the public outcry against the fur industry here

The more you read and think about it, the more these words make sense...don't they?

It has been a very natural choice for us,” says Paul Vasbotten, general manager of the Oslo Fashion Week. “We are doing this in order to increase ethical values in fashion.

The ban itself was made possible by people from the fashion industry itself:

The ban is a response to the efforts Mote Mot Pels (Fashion Against Fur), an anti-fur initiative that has received the support of more than 220 Norwegian fashion industry insiders
(source:discerningbrute:oslo fashion week bans fur

I just hope other fashion week events will one day soon do the same and ban fur. They are right over there at the fashion guard when they say this:

New York Fashion week could learn a thing or two from Norway.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Excellent welfare in european fur farms?

Revevalp med avbitt hale

I am getting more and more convinced that the fur industry will say just about anything. Today I was browsing the European Fur Breeders Association's website (EFBA) and found this: excellent animal welfare

The news item on their website says the following:

Veterinarian controls confirm excellent animal welfare in European fur farms

disease incidence and mortality of mink is at a low level that is significantly below that of other livestock in Denmark

EFBA news 2010

Denmark? They forget to mention that many furbreeders in Denmark break animal welfare laws and that animals live under bad conditions in two out of three farms: danish fur breeders

How anyone can find a pdf with some nice pictues convincing is beyond me.

Just remember that veterinarians in Norway want to ban fur farming So anyone who wears fur should really think about the animal welfare issues. Fur is indefensible.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Norwegian fur industry: Up against the wall

I found an interesting documentary on youtube today about the norwegian fur industry.

Subtitles available (captions in english and several other languages) If you don't see any subtitles, click the arrow in the lower right corner and then press on CC. There you can turn on subtitles.



Direct link to the video

I found this video on the blog of swedish animal rights group Djurens Rätts. You can find their blog here (in swedish)

After watching this video I understand why the veterinarians of Norway want to ban fur farming: ban fur farming

Monday, January 10, 2011

Celebs against fur

Avlstispe

Norwegian animal rights group NOAH just started a new campaing aimed at the fur industry: 100 celebrities against fur

Thanks to recent investigations done by norwegian animal rights groups, Norway has been confronted with the ethical and animal welfare problems in the fur industry. You can find my previous blogposts about it here(fur farms) and here (pressure mounting)

NOAH wants to keep up the pressure on the industry in 2011 and hopes they can reach an even broader audience thanks to local celebrities who publicly denounce fur.

Dagbladet(in norwegian)

Martinsen forteller at hovedmålet med denne kampanjen er å legge grunnlaget for konkrete skritt i retning av å forby pelsoppdrett i Norge.

Translation: Martinsen (NOAH) says the main purpose of this campaign is to lay a foundation that could lead to a ban on fur farming.

On their website the animal rights group says:

I november i fjor samlet nærmere 6000 mennesker seg i NOAHs fakkeltog mot pels som ble arrangert for syvende året på rad. Ikke lenge etter startet NOAH kampanjen Mote mot Pels som samlet over 200 aktører fra mote-Norge til å ta avstand fra bruken av pels.

Translation: In november we gathered about 6000 people for a march against fur (held for the seventh year in a row). Not long after that NOAH started the campaign mote mot pels (fashion against fur).

Når NOAH som startskudd for antipelskampanjen i 2011 lanserer 100 kjente stemmer mot pelsdyroppdrett

Translation: Now NOAH has begun the anti fur campaign of 2011 by using 100 celebs who are opposed to the fur industry.

You can find a complete list of anti fur celebrities on their website: celebs against fur

We can find both celebs who already spoke out against the fur industry in the past, as new celebrities that decided they couldn't support this industry.

Cartoonist Lise Myhre is but one of many opponents of the fur industry in Norway:

Lise Myhre - source: wikipedia

Pelsnæringen er en næring jeg for mitt bare liv virkelig ikke begriper at vi kan fortsette med.

Translation: I absolutely cannot understand why we should continue the fur industry.

I don't understand it either! Do you?

Friday, January 7, 2011

pressure against fur industry mounting

Liten kvalp i hjørne av bur

Pressure is mounting against the fur industry in Norway. In recent years several scandals rocked the scandinavian fur industry, from Denmark to Norway... Everywhere people are waking up to the cruelty of the international fur industry. Suffering and death in the name of vanity.

The pressure against the fur industry isn't 'just' coming from animal activists. The general public is turning on them too, just as veterinarians are: veterinarians want to ban fur farming

The facebookpage Forby pels nå (outlaw fur now) had 163000 members as of 8 december 2010. The page was founded only a couple of months before (october). This many members in such a short time (for a country with only 5 million people) is amazing. The facebookpage is now the bigges in Norway and is still growing. By now they are up to 170000 members.

Politicians on the other hand are reluctant to take an ethical stance and ban fur (is the fur lobby powerful or what?). But even that is changing.

Norwegian politician Inga Marte Thorkildsen(SV) is one such politician:

Inga-Marte-Thorkildsen

She makes a stand against the fur industry (as does her party SV). Her blog today couldn't be more clear.

Det er ikke mulig å kombinere god dyrevelferd med oppdrett av pelsdyr. bildene vi har sett i mediene før jul viser med all tydelighet hvilke skader pelsdyrene blir utsatt for i et oppdrettsmiljø.

Translation: It isn't possible to breed animals for their fur in an ethical way. Images we have seen in the media before the holidays clearly show what horrors animals are exposed too in the fur industry.

The Norwegian green party is also a fervent opponent of the fur industry: stop animal abuse

Spokesperson for the green party Sondre Båtstrand:

Nå er det på tide å sette foten ned for en næring som baserer seg på dyreplageri, for selv om pelsdyrnæringen skulle følge gjeldende lover og regler, vil de fortsatt utsette dyrene for store lidelser.

Translation: Now is the time to stand up to an industry that is based on animal abuse. Even if the fur industry were to follow all rules and regulations. They would continue to expose animals to extreme suffering.

A growing list of celebs are also shunning away from fur. You can find the list here

Thursday, January 6, 2011

veterinarians want to ban fur farming

Revevalper i ekstremt skittent bur

Often the fur industry prides itself for being an ethical and green industry. An industry that has been unfairly treated by animal activists. Animal rights groups 'distort' the reality of fur farming and make things worse than they are.

The fur industry has done its best at rublic relations, just think of the fur is green campaign in Canada.

This is what they have to say about animal welfare:

Animal welfare is a top priority for the people working in the fur industry because when animals provide us with a wide range of products and services, we have a responsibility to ensure the highest standards of care and prevent unnecessary suffering.

This is what norwegian veterinarians say on fur farming:

norwegian veterinarian association(2009)

Dagens pelsdyrhold er basert på hold av aktive rovdyr i små nettingbur. Driftsformen betyr at dyrene ikke får tilfredsstilt naturlige adferdsbehov.

translation: Todays fur farming practices are based on keeping active predators confined in small wire mesh cages. This means that animals cannot act in a natural way.

They further say that fur farming should be stopped in Norway.

This isn't an animal rights group, these are professionals giving their professional opinion.

The norwegian veterinary association has been critizing the fur industry since 2001

Helt siden 2001 har Veterinærforeningen vært kritisk til pelsdyrnæringen.

Translation: Since 2001 the veterinary association of Norway has been critical of the fur industry.

And this isn't all. A government organisation, responsible for animal welfare inspections also recently critized the fur industry: Mattilsynet

Mediene har de siste dagene vist bilder fra norske pelsdyranlegg, bildene viser blant annet dyr med stygge sår. - Slike tilstander er helt uakseptabelt. Jeg er skuffet over at vi igjen ser slike bilder fra denne næringen, sier assisterende tilsynsdirektør Ole Fjetland i Mattilsynet.

Summary: The last couple of days images of norwegian fur farms have been circulating in the media (images of wounded animals, ...)
This is totally unacceptable. I am shocked that we again see such images from this industry.

You can find the images of norwegian fur farms here

It doesn't seem so ethical now doesn't it? I thought animal welfare was that important to the fur industry?

Another interesting fact. The fur is green campaign has put up a link to a video of a danish fur farm

The reality of danish fur farms is very different from what they show you. Two out of three break animal welfare regulations: danish fur farming

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The discerning brute

The ethical fashion blog the discerning brute just picked up my blogpost on the terrible conditions in danish fur farms. You can find his excellent post here: media and government slam fur industry

The more the word gets out about what happens in the scandinavian countries the better. Denmark is the heart of the fur lobby.

Welfare of the animals is so bad that fur farming of foxes was outlawed in 2009 (danish): Anima:fox farming ban Let us hope that other countries follow suit and drop fur (come on USA)!

For those of you who understand danish...you can find the entire documentary online:

Norwegian fur farms

Images say more than words. Recent investigations of animal activists in Norway has shown Norway and the rest of the world how cruel this industry really is:

fox:


Mink:


All the images on flickr: fur farms

Just take a look and don't forget: these images are just one example of the 'high ethical standards' of the international fur industry. No wonder that the norwegian veterinarians want to outlaw fur farming on animal welfare grounds.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Another blow to danish fur industry

In 2009 the danish animal rights group Anima shocked Denmark with horrible footage from danish fur farms. Denmark is the heart of the fur industry and the fur lobby. These images moved the public, helped increase public awareness about the cruelties of fur and were partly responsible for legislation outlawing fox farming.

A documentary aired by TV2, using the images made by Anima. If you understand some danish, you can watch it here: Operation X

Of course the fur industry - both foreign and abroad - claimed they were isolated cases, lies, forgeries,... In short: the typical ad hominem attacks were made. But the animal right groups were right and everybody in Denmark knows it. Thanks to the government.

On the 15th of January 2010 the danish newspaper Politiken published this article (danish): Mink live under bad conditions in two out of three farms

Yes, that's right. The government agrees after carefully inspecting the farms.

Mange minkfarmere forbryder sig mod dyrevelfærdsreglerne. Og det er uacceptabelt, siger fødevareminister Eva Kjer Hansen.

Translation: Mink breeders break animal welfare rules. And that is unacceptable says minister Eva Kjer Hansen.

Of course danish fur breeders used this rapport to 'prove' that the welfare of these animals couldn't be better. Who needs facts anyway right? Just flip it around...

They'll keep on disputing everything to the bitter end of course. Even when they have to attack the press itself to keep their unethical business going. Which is exactly what they tried...and failed at.

According to the fashion forum the complaints of the fur industry have been rejected.

The danish TV station TV2 recently did a follow up on Operation X and this wasn't to the liking of the danish fur industry, so they filed a complaint with the danish media board (Pressenævnet).

According to politiken.dk the fur industry claimed that the images in the documentary were used in a misleading way to make matters worse then they are. They didn't get very far with their complaint and the media board rejected it.

How could they do anything else when everything that the animal rights group Anima showed was supported by the government? Amazing that this news never made it to the international media. It should!

Here is a clip showing some of the images. Even if you don't understand danish, it is worth watching it (terrible):

How fur becomes fashion: the fur lobby

We are now living in the 21 century. You would think people would have become more aware of what was going on around us. What we are doing to the animals, the planet and each other. Well, we thought wrong. People tend to be quite selfish and even more prone to being manipulated by marketing, lobbying and product placement.

People now seem to be so indoctrinated, that the fur lobby almost gets to gloat over their 'successes' over the years. Yes, that's right: lobby. I found an interesting article in a swedish paper I just had to share with the rest of you.

fur popular again thanks to succesful lobbying

The title doesn't mince words now doesn't it? Lets have a peep at what the industry has to say for itself.

The article start by stating that fur is making a comeback thanks to 'well planned' lobbying from Denmark, even while animal activists in Sweden managed to get mink farming on the political agenda. On the agenda? Sort of an understatement if you look at the images of these 'ethical fur farms', check it out here: mink farming Sweden

Some of the images:

§ 4 - Sveket mot minkarna from Djurrättsalliansen on Vimeo.


We are also kindly reminded that the main sponsor of the Copenhagen Fashion Week is the fur industry, anyone surprised as to why Copenhagen didn't agree with the fur ban in Oslo? Oslo fashion week bans fur Just remember the words of Eva Kruse:

Eva Kruse, the CEO of Copenhagen Fashion Week, remarked, "We believe that fur is a central part of fashion and we have no plans to ban fur from Copenhagen Fashion Week

Even better. This is why so many designers are using fur 'again':

Den designer som ville visa upp sig i den var tvungen att ha päls i sin kollektion.

They flat out admit that if a designer wants to participate at the Copenhague Fashion Week, they HAVE to use fur. And of course Copenhague is important to the fashion industry, ergo: this is why many designers use fur (or make an exception just to be able to participate).

Another very interesting tidbit of information:

Nästan alla i lokalen är kineser. Där finns den absolut största delen av marknaden. En tredjedel av Danmarks export till Kina är minkskinn. En del kommer tillbaka till Europa efter att ha förvandlats till kappor och mössor.

Most of the fur is exported to China, part of it gets processed over there and then gets shipped back. Big surprise! Fur isn't so ecological and regionally made as some fur fans would have us believe.

Designer från hela världen kommer till Kopenhagen studio och får uppehälle och material betalt

Designer from all over the world come to Copenhagen studio (of course expenses payed for by the fur industry). What is Copenhagen Studio? Well, at Copenhagen Studio...they learn to work with fur of course!

The evidence is all around us that they are pushing the fashion industry with all their might and money to use fur. The more the marrier (except for the animals, reason or human values of course).

They further go to state that they try and reach as many fashion students as possible. Big surprise? don't think so, animal activists have been saying this for years. Now you hear it from them.

Just like with everything in life, they save the best stuff for last:

Även i Denmark har djurrättsaktivister publicerat bilder på vanvårdade minkar. 140 farmar granskades av danska myndigheter. Enligt tidningen Politiken bröt två tredjedelar av dem mot djurskyddsreglerna.

Translation:In Denmark animal activists released footage of the fur industry. 140 fur farms were investigated by the danish authorities. Two thirds of them broke animal welfare regulations.

Yes! 2/3 This isn't an isolated incident. And still they get to gloat. They manage to sell a product that cannot be defended, that shouldn't exist in the first place and break their own laws while they are at it. And they get away with it.

Belgian fur breeders

Belgian fur breeders are jumping up and down with joy, and the media - naturally - must and shall repeat whatever they say. Lets have a critical look at todays fur news from Belgium.

Dutch newsarticle:Mink breeders


"Onze sector verbieden, is de productie verleggen naar China en Rusland, waar ze onder dierenwelzijn iets helemaal anders verstaan dan wij", repliceert Marnix Van Laecke die zijn 18 collega’s in Vlaanderen vertegenwoordigt.

in plain english: according to Marnix Van Laecke (chairman of the belgian fur breeder association) it would be wrong to illegalize their industry. This would only move the production of fur to countries such as China and Russia, where they think very differently about such things as 'animal welfare'.

Fact: Most fur is already being produced in other countries. There are only 19 minkbreeders left in Belgium! Most of the fur you see on the streets (fur collars,cuffs) is cheap fur from just those countries he mentioned (like China).

The increase in popularity of fur has to do with cheaper (and even more cruel) fur products hitting the market and some clever lobbying of the fur industry (thanks to scandinavian countries).

Hij benadrukt dat de afstammelingen van de Amerikaanse nerts die in Vlaanderen worden gekweekt, gedomesticeerde dieren zijn die in het wild niet meer kunnen overleven.

English: the american mink that are being bred here are supposed to be domesticated animals who can't survive in the wild.

Fact: yes, most of them can't survive in the wild, Not because they are domesticated but because they never learned to survive in the wild. Often it is claimed that these animals are domesticated. But that is disputed.

The welfare of fur bearing animals is often called into question.

Just recently the norwegian vet association called for a ban on fur breeding on animal welfare grounds. blogged about it here

Animal rights and welfare groups in Norway tried to draw attention to welfare concers, but apparently many are impervious to facts. I'll give it a shot:

“Dagens pelsdyrhold er basert på hold av aktive rovdyr i små nettingbur. Driftsformen betyr at dyrene ikke får tilfredsstilt naturlige adferdsbehov. DNV har tidligere uttrykt skepsis til pelsdyrholdet. På tross av gode intensjoner i næringa, viser det seg at det fortsatt er store dyrevelferdsmessige problemer i pelsdyrholdet. DNV mener derfor at tiden nå er moden for å vurdere avvikling av pelsdyrholdet i Norge. ”
Den Norske Veterinærforening, 2009 (Norsk Veterinær Tidsskrift, nr. 7/09)

According to the vet association of Norway, todays fur breeding is based on keeping active predators in small wire mesh cages. This means that the animals cannot satisfy their natural urges and behavior...
They go on to state that it should be banned. But let's just ignore these knitty gritty facts and keep promoting fur as if nothing is wrong.

Here are some more interesting facts for you to ignore(norwegian) pels ut

De sector lijkt in België niet snel te zullen verdwijen, en maar goed ook, menen de pelsdierhouders, want door de hernieuwde populariteit van bont bij modeontwerpers en consumenten, krijgen ze steeds meer geld voor hun pelzen en groeit ook de interesse om nieuwe nertskwekerijen te starten in ons land.

In short: they say that the fur industry isn't going to go away and that people are showing interest in starting up new fur farms in my country.

Fact: Oh joy. Let us see. The chairman of the belgian fur breeders association represents himself and 18 colleagues. So this means 19 fur farms in Belgium. I remember the days when we had over 30 fur breeders. In 2006 we had 23 mink breeders, now only 19 are left. That is a reduction of 4 breeders in about four years time (one for every year). Don't believe me? Fine, read this: fur

België telt een 23-tal pelsdierenhouders.

Translation: Belgium has 23 mink breeders (2006).

Monday, January 3, 2011

Oslo fashion week fur free

The Oslo fashion week has gone fur free. yes, you heard that right. Oslo! As in: that big city in Norway, very cold during winter and a traditional fur country. That Oslo has forbidden fur during their fashion week.

Those of you who follow scandinavian media have known about this for quite some time, but now this great news has made it to the international media. From the blog of fashion enthousiast and animal lover the discerning brute to the Cut or Perez Hilton. All have been blogging about this major blow to the international fur industry.

Perez Hilton: Norway bans fur from fashion week

Hilton’s blogpost was very interesting. It features a poll on fur. Over 8000 people have voted and 65% of those agree that fur should be banned from the runway. Excellent news. This means that the global perception of fur is turing against this cruel and unnecessary industry. And it should. All of this we owe to animal rights group NOAH and Mote mot Pels (fashion against fur). Mote mot pels is a group of fashion designers, stylists,models,… who refuse to work with fur.Here is their website (in norwegian) Mote mot pels

It is only natural that fur is a big no-no during the fashion week in Norway. Just consider that the norwegian vet association wants the fur industry to be banned. Here is the link (in norwegian) Outlaw fur farms

Generalsekretær i den norske veterinærforening Hans Petter Bugge (innfelt) tar til orde for å legge ned pelsdyrnæringen.

Translation: the general secretary of the norwegian vet association Hans Petter Bugge wants fur production to be stopped.