Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fashion, Pains and the Great Sufferings

Leather, fur and exotic accessories are associated with luxury. They are the most sourced items as we can see they are in high demand around this time of the year. While most of us adore the “luxurious” feel and look of exotic products, have we ever paused and thought about how animals were killed and how their lives were before their skins transformed into a beautiful purse?

I am not gonna lie because I too am one of many ladies who like the look of leather, fur and exotic stuff. But I cannot always afford the real things which I think is good. The only “real” leather product I own up to this point in my life is a lambskin flap. After doing some research on how animals are killed for their skin/fur, I literally gasped in horror and tears filled both of my eyes. This whole thing made me pause and think long and hard about my future purchases – be it clothes, shoes, handbags or other accessories. Of course, animals are human’s food - I don’t detest this fact. It has been that way for centuries and I have yet to fully convert to a vegetarian at this point. Killing animals for consumption may not be wrong but raising and killing animals brutally is UNACCEPTABLE.

All along, I thought animals are killed before being skinned. Little did I know, most of them are skinned ALIVE – yes “ALIVE” and left to die in pain slowly. I can’t imagine how much pains and sufferings animals must have gone through during their short lives. The poor condition they “lived” in every day. The constant fear and distress they must have gone through every second.
I know this sounds awful and heartbreaking, and most people don’t even want to read further but bear with me and continue if you haven’t known already. Who am I to tell people to stop buying leather goods or fur coats?? The least I can do is to share what I have read with someone because I believe most people don't know this just like myself.

I do not work for PETA or any animal organization but I have a VERY weak spot for animals. Reading stories about how people abuse animals never fail to bring tears to my eyes and make me depress. Today, out of the blue I was looking at one stunning croc bag and happened to be curious as how crocodiles are killed for their skin. Then the research began and the rest was a history. The way I viewed luxury goods forever changed.

[Contents via Actionforourplanet]
Exotic Skins
Many animal skins are considered exotic including the skins of snakes, alligators, crocodiles, turtles, eels, ostriches and kangaroos. Millions of reptiles are bred or taken from their jungle homes every year to provide for the growing exotic skins industry.
Snakes are nailed to trees and skinned alive, bludgeoned, decapitated and their live bodies are filled with water to stretch out their skin. Lizards are captured in the wild using snares before being cut open with knives and decapitated. Alligators and crocodiles sometimes have a chisel and hammer smashed into the back of their head to paralyse them. All reptiles have slow metabolisms which means they experience pain even if they have been decapitated. Their skins are then tanned and used to make fashion accessories.
Fifty million animals are cruelly killed every year for their fur pelts. The majority of animals are kept on fur farms where they are kept in tiny cages either isolated or with other animals. These cages are extremely small and animals are unable to fulfil their social, physical and natural living requirements. Therefore, many animals suffer from psychological problems, repetitive habits, self inflicted injuries and limb pain. No anaesthetic or veterinary care is provided to the animals so they are forced to endure ailments their entire lives. Foxes, mink, rabbits, sable, dogs, cats and chinchilla are just some of the animals exploited for their furs.
When the animals coat is ready to be removed, fur farm employees pull the animal from it’s cage and begin the slow and agonising slaughter process. Animals may be hung upside down and strangled or may have a blunt knife inserted inside their body to cut off the skin. The live animal is then dumped in a pile to die in pain. Foxes are often anally electrocuted whilst mink are gassed, poisoned and have their bones broken. Dogs and cats may be hung upside down and drowned, skinned or bludgeoned to death.
Over one billion animals are killed a year for their skins which are tanned and made into leather products. The leather trade makes  around half of all profits generated by slaughterhouses and many animals are bred specifically for their skins. Cattle, sheep, goats and pigs are among some of the animals kept in extreme confinement for leather production. In India, cattle are forced to march hundreds of miles without any food or water. Those that tire have tobacco and chilli power rubbed into their eyes or their tail bones broken. Once they reach their destination they are slaughtered, often being hacked to death or skinned alive. During the slaughter process of most leather bearing animals, they receive no anaesthetic whilst they are being scalded alive, electrocuted, skinned, cut open or bleed to death.
After reading these, will you continue to buy?
Personally, I won't.....


  1. Oh no..there goes the dream of an Hermes Birkin =P
    After reading your post, at 1st I was confused then hurt. Confused because I've always thought they're killed for their meat and then the rest to produce everything else. Guess I'm so wrong then..Such a cruel world we are living in don't you think? Let's do faux leather in future =D

  2. I know..i know. I had the same understanding as you do before i found out about this. It literally changed the way i view leather and fur products. No more real leather for more dream Hermes bags. I cant stand buying and looking at a bag that comes from animal's sufferings T_T It reminds me of this article everytime.

  3. This was an enlightening read. I personally don't wear any furs or skins but I do have leather bags and shoes. This makes me second think whether I should though and I will think carefully about reconsidering that. It is important to remember to buy with a conscience sometimes. Thanks for this reminder Nelah!

    Have a wonderful weekeend!

    I think you could also pull off a cute version of R & I's pose :)

    Rowena @ rolala loves

    1. Hi Rowena: i am pretty sure i will convert to a full vegetarian if i read about how animals are killed in the slaughther house too T_T

  4. nope, i'm not into buying leather stuff so i stick with the fake stuff!

    1. Good for you. Only faux stuff for me from now.

  5. this was a great blog post to read! i tottaly agree with you. the poor animals are abused :(

    followed you :D

  6. This post has a very good message and I am a 100% for it, I don't fancy fur, leather or exotic items which I thank God for that but I didn't realize how brutal and painful the process was for the animals. This is animal cruelty and I hope in the future, the production of all these products decrease and soon stop. Thanks for sharing! :)


  7. Oh dear! Thank you so much for sharing this knowledge, Nelah.

    I know of animals being skinned alive for their fur but I DO NOT KNOW until now that ALL skins are obtained from animals before they were dead. I simply cannot see the logic in this. Why would you skin an animal alive and watch them die? Is the skin obtained of a better quality/ fresher/ last longer/ softer/ more durable when the animals are skinned alive? Aren't the animals killed in a humane manner first, no?

    I'm like you. I have a soft spot for animals (I just shared on Facebook a rhino poaching story with description and photos of the Rhino's horn being sawn and the skull and flesh exposed) but I really love to eat meat. I do not think I would become a vegetarian just coz I love animals coz I believe that animals have been killed for food since history. By that, I mean domestic animals like poultry, pig, cow etc. I would not eat the meat of exotic animals as I believe these animals are not meant to be food. I know about how fur is gotten and hence I do not own a single fur product. I only wear faux fur.

    As for animals skin, I seriously do not know about their mistreatment. I think I would really reconsider buying leather products anymore after reading this post.

    Could I share your post on my blog too? I would like to pass on this knowledge to my friends and readers.

  8. RYC:
    I totally agree with you. We would not support trades that mistreat animals. We were initially so adamant about visiting the other elephant park as we read that the elephants are well treated there. We were glad the one we visited takes good care of the elephants too.

    I’m glad you enjoyed revisiting Phuket vicariously through my posts! I do hope you could arrange your schedule to visit your family in 2014. 2013 will whizz by before you even know it.

    I personally feel that Thai advertisements belong to 2 different categories-- the incredibly hilarious and the profoundly poignant. And I love them both. Some American commercials (esp those banned ones in Singapore) are pretty creative and funny. I love them too. But I could shoot your hubby for thinking Thai ads to be silly. Have you tried showing him these? I rewatched together with my hubby and my tears flowed down for the "My Girl" video.

  9. Excellent post Nelah! When I first started blogging, I posted a lot of animal skin Gucci bags etc. Then I read a post where Peta asked Reese Witherspoon to give up a bag she had just recently purchased (snakeskin). Well, they attached a video with it and it showed graphically snakes and lizards being skinned alive. I never got it out of my mind. I do purchase leather ballet shoes, but to purchase exotics & furs and such I shall not. They would have to be faux.


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