It was music to animal lovers’ ears. “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 is the U.S.’s largest department store chain with 584 stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Guam.
The world is waking up to the cruelty and non-necessity of killing animals for mere fashion. 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.
First Lady Melania Trump “does not wear fur,” said Stephanie Grisham in 2017 who was recently promoted from director of communications to White House press secretary. Ms. Trump has even attended a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) fashion show and a received faux fur gift from actress Pamela Anderson. The celeb couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have 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. 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 or destroy China’s fur industry. As the world is increasingly acknowledging, no animal should endure such suffering and death for a mere fashion item.
Martha Rosenberg is author of the award-cited food exposé “Born With a Junk Food Deficiency,” distributed by Random House. A nationally known muckraker, she has lectured at the university and medical school level and appeared on radio and television.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.