“Don’t close your eyes. Don’t look away.”
I believe the above quote has never been more true than when talking about rabbit fur. Especially Angora fur, which until a few years ago (and possibly still today) were routinely having their fur ripped from them while they were still alive.
There have been some truly shocking videos released by PETA over the years, but the following is definitely not one to watch if you’re faint hearted. It shows a rabbit screaming in pain as its fur is ripped from its skin, leaving huge bald patches and almost immeasurable pain.
All this, just so people can have a nice soft coat without spending too much? It really is shocking. At the time of the video being released, plenty of retailers including Boden, Primark and Topshop stopped ordering from the company – but THEY were directly responsible in the first place. If they weren’t so focused on squeezing every penny out of their clothing ranges, they never would have bought the fur from China in the first place.
It’s an interesting question. There are certainly ways to keep the rabbits better. Just giving them more space and treating them like the living, breathing, pain-feeling animals they are would be a good start!
But a better question is “should rabbits be farmed for fur at all?”
The Guardian points out that Angora rabbits need to have fur removed to avoid getting too hot. This is true – and on a small scale, it could be possible to produce fur commercially without causing pain or suffering.
I’m talking about responsible owners who remove fur out of necessity and sell it though. These people brush the wool free from the rabbit, so it comes out naturally without pain. Scissors or clippers are other options, although I don’t know how much rabbits would like the sound of a shaver.
But is this really practical? In my opinion: no.
There is no way Primark is going to spend the money to buy ethically farmed fur from pet owners. It’s simply not possible to get the quantity they need at a reasonable amount.
And as the rabbits get older they produce less fur – and we all know what happens to most animals on farms when they are no longer useful.