After more than 20 years of pleading from animal lovers Macy's, the U.S.'s largest department store chain, has banned fur. "Over the past two years, we have been closely following consumer and brand trends, listening to our customers and researching alternatives to fur," said Jeff Gennette, Macy CEO in announcing the chain's decision to stop selling fur by February 2021. The ban includes Macyʼs and Bloomingdaleʼs and items sold by its partners. Macy's has 584 stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Guam.
In 1975 an ad ran headlined "Five women who could easily afford any fur coat in the world tell why they're proudly wearing fakes" and "Fur coats shouldn't be made of fur." The women were the actresses Doris Day, Mary Tyler Moore, Angie Dickinson, Amanda Blake and Jayne Meadows. By the 1980's legions of animal activists were decrying the cruel practice.
Fur farming is now illegal in Austria, Croatia, England and Wales, fox and chinchilla farming is illegal in the Netherlands and Japan closed its last mink farm in 2016. Last year India joined 35 other nations in banning seal fur. Over 45 stores sell no real fur, only fake fur, and many designers have announced they will no longer work in fur. The celeb couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West has also heard the anti-fur drum beat and vowed in 2016 to only wear fur from "roadkill".
In Chicago where Macy's replaced the beloved local chain century-and-a-half-old Marshall Field's department store, wearing or selling fur has been a faux pas (pun intended) for almost two decades.
Evans, once the world's largest furrier, folded over ten years ago as did D'ion Furs on Chicago's Michigan avenue "Mag Mile" and Mysels Furs , ensconced in the upscale Palmer House Hilton. Andriana Furs, one of the last fur sellers still standing, was driven off the Mag Mile and found to be laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal drug money through the fur chain.
But that does not mean the fur industry is as dead as its products. Elsewhere fur is still shamelessly worn and produced (just as ivory "trinkets" from poached elephants still have a market).
China is still the world's largest fur exporter and supplies more than half of the U.S.'s finished fur products. Here is what investigators from Swiss Animal Protection/EAST International saw in China.
Foxes, minks, rabbits, dogs, cats, and other animals pace and shiver in outdoor wire cages, with no shelter from driving rain, freezing nights, or the scorching sun. Mother animals, who are driven crazy from rough handling and intense confinement and have nowhere to hide while giving birth, often kill their babies after delivering litters. Disease and injuries are widespread, and animals suffering from anxiety-induced psychosis chew on their own limbs and throw themselves repeatedly against the cage bars. Before they are skinned, animals are yanked from their cages, thrown to the ground, and bludgeoned.
Gory videos show that fur-bearing animals can still be alive when they are mercilessly skinned.
Hopefully the Macy's fur ban, world opinion and economics will dampen and help destroy the bloody fur industry. No animal should endure such suffering and death for a mere fashion item.
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