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Fashion Designers Should Eschew Fur Usage

By Pulin Modi, Crimson Staff Writer

To the editors:

Re: “Fun Fur the Whole Family,” arts, Sept. 28.

Perhaps arts columnist Rebecca M. Harrington ’08 was on her way back to Cambridge when PETA members crashed the catwalk at the Burberry and Just Cavalli shows during Milan Fashion Week, to protest these designers’ use of fur.

As long as some designers continue to include fur in their collections, caring people will speak out. Animals raised for their fur spend their entire lives confined to tiny, filthy cages, surrounded by their own waste, before being poisoned, gassed, strangled, or electrocuted. Investigations into the fur trade in China—the world’s largest supplier of fur—found fur farmers beating animals with metal rods, skinning them alive and even slaughtering dogs, and cats for their pelts. Furthermore, animals are treated exactly the same miserable way whether their skins are eventually used “sparingly” or for full length coats. Every bit of fur contributes to egregious cruelty.

Designers who want to appeal to today’s young, fashion-forward consumers—instead of just “the elderly and J. Lo”—need to stop promoting this relic from the unenlightened past. Companies including Ralph Lauren, J Crew, and Forever 21 have committed to fur-free policies due to concerns over cruelty to animals, and students clearly know better than to wear the product of suffering for the sake of vanity.


Norfolk, Va.

October 3, 2006

The writer is the college campaign coordinator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

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