Bunnies. So cute, gentle and soft. Who would hurt a bunny?
Clothing designers would, and they do, all to get angora. The way they do it is haunting.
Angora rabbits are trapped by tying their four legs together, then stretching them across a board or suspending them in the air, PETA Asia investigators reported after going to ten angora farms (90% of angora comes from some 50 million rabbits in China). Then “workers violently rip the fur from the bodies of screaming rabbits.”
The bunnies go through this every two to three months until they are killed at two to five years of age. Their natural lifespan is around ten years.
After their fur is ripped off, the rabbits are put back in their wire cages, bleeding. Each one is caged alone, with no toys or distractions in their traps. The wire floors of their cages slice open the sensitive pads on their feet. They never get to do the things rabbits are made to do, like digging, jumping and pushing stuffed animals around.
The U.K.’s Daily Mail has pictures, as well as a video so upsetting that the newspaper censored it. Sky News called the footage “shocking”; Stella McCartney’s design house said the torture it depicted is “despicable.”
Unlike most reports of gruesome animal torture by industry, this one has already produced some good news. PVH Corp., the parent company of several high-profile clothing brands (including Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, IZOD, and Speedo), announced after talks with PETA that it would stop using angora in its clothing and would even pull garments that contain angora from shelves. PVH told CBS that it continuously evaluates its “sourcing practices to ensure our products are produced responsibly and ethically. We have recently made the decision to discontinue the use of angora in our products unless and until we can confirm that the angora fibers have been humanely obtained.”
PETA announced that some other companies are also moving towards eliminating angora from their clothes. H&M and Esprit have stopped using angora but have not banned it. Stella McCartney, who is said to be vegan, but whose super-expensive clothes (one little black dress retails for $3,690) and shoes are not, says she will stop using angora.
Some British stores have canceled orders for items made with angora. Marks & Spencer, taking a hands-on approach, says it won’t stock angora until it has visited angora farms.
To keep the momentum going, activists are pressuring other brands to swear off angora. To send the message to Ralph Lauren, sign our member-created petition.
Photo credit: emmajanehw