“Skin Trade” Anti-Fur Film Says Choose Compassion

“Skin Trade,” the independent film that exposes the cruel practices of the fur industry and the role it plays in contemporary fashion held two star-studded California premieres – one in Los Angeles and another in San Francisco.  The documentary that began its nationwide tour earlier this year is still going strong.


“Skin Trade” takes viewers on a journey from the birth of the fur industry to its present day use in fashion. The film combines excerpts from hundreds of hours of interviews by well-known animal advocates and actual footage of the process innocent animals endure in the name of making humans look pretty. 


The documentary is the brainchild of award-winning filmmaker Shannon Keith.  Keith is an animal rights lawyer and founder of a non-profit organization called Animal, Rescue, Media and Education (ARME.)  Her goal was to “understand what makes this savage industry tick and what it will take to change it.”


Shannon Keith had this to say to the Los Angeles Times“I just could not believe that people were still wearing fur.  I knew it was high time to make this film because these animals are being tortured alive- -it’s not a pretty thing.”


“Skin Trade” Reveals the Industry’s Most Blatant Lies about Fur

Although there are very graphic scenes, Skin Trade tries to educate the public about how they have been deceived by the fur and fashion industry.  For example, the fur industry has stated that it switched to humane methods of euthanizing animals when that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  The documentary shows animals being electrocuted or beaten to death and even some that are skinned for their fur while they are alive.


The movie also dispels the latest myth from the Canada Fur Council that calls the industry “green” because animal skins are biodegradable.  Actor Ed Begley Jr. pulls in the reigns on that lie by showing the enormous amount of toxic chemicals used to process an animal skin or pelt.  “It’s anything but green,” said Begley Jr.


“Skin Trade” also tackles the myth of faux-fur, revealing that many of the products are actually made from dogs. And NBA player John Salley addresses the use of fur by hip-hop stars as a status symbol.  “They’re literally putting on an image, and the image is ‘I’ve made it,’ “said Salley.


Many other celebrated anti-fur individuals lent their time and expertise to the film.  Some of these included Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), environmental attorney Jan Schlichtmann, designer Todd Oldham, PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, Overstock.com chief Patrick Byrne and actors Alexandra Paul, James Cromwell and Jorja Fox.


The documentary will soon complete its tour, but private showings can be arranged at the ARME website and individuals can order the DVD online.  Actor and animal activist James Cromwell summed up the future of the fur industry this way.  “We have a choice.  The question is, ‘Will human beings make the choice?’  Just choose.  Choose, and it ends.”



Creative Commons - Just Chaos


annie statton
christine s8 years ago

These people have no soul,no heart ,no conscience and I wish I could arm these animals with a shot-gun .

Kersty E.
Kersty E8 years ago

We really don't need fur now that we have good quality synthetics. I have a very warm winter fake fur and suede coat - very light weight and comfortable. From a short distance you can tell that it's not real fur. But even for those who would like it to look real, e.g. actresses in costume dramas, it can be made to look totally authentic.

Ann Eastman
Ann Eastman8 years ago

I had not previously heard that much faux fur was made from dogs.

Diane B.
Dee B8 years ago

Just goes to show that there are a lot of sick twisted demented people in this world who do this to animals.

Mervi R.
Mervi R8 years ago

It is so good that people are reminded of the horros of fur.
In my opinion, ALL fur should be banned now and the people abusing and killing animals for their skins thrown in jail.

johan l.
paul l8 years ago

It makes one sick to know that the fur trade has a place in society!
I never realized that the poor animals are electrocuted, beaten to death or even skinned while alive.
I will never look at a woman again in the same light as before, if she wears fur!

Lyne F.
Lyne F8 years ago

I'm relieved that activists are still reminding people about this cause which has been somewhat forgotten over the last few years, fur being promoted as the "natural, ecologicaI choice" (yeah, when it has gone through commercial treatment and been died red, blue, or burgundy, how lovely...) I think fur buyers and the industry need a bit of shocking activist behaviour. Thanks for the info, Susan.

valerie g.
valerie g.8 years ago

there is no excuse for anyone other than an eskimo wearing fur. We have polartec now, and enough technology and layers to keep warm. fur is a vanity, a vicious indulgence of the rich and the "wanna-be" rich and it can no longer be tolerated. Animals are not ours to use/abuse/kill/torture/cage/wear. We need to connect the dots and be cognizant of how our clothing is procured. That includes sweat factory slave labor too! Animals have NO rights and they need us to protect them. It is inhumane to wear fur. DUMP IT, and DON'T BUY IT. It is incumbent upon all of us to take action, and to spread awareness and compassion. It is the worldwide lack of heart and compassion that allows bloody and brutal trades like the fur business to exist, and thrive. LOOK BENEATH THE SURFACE, people. We are so addicted to surface, and expedience. Look beneath the surface of how all of us are living and what we are buying. Breathe, go slow and be gentle. It is up to us to change the world.

Alicia N.
Alicia N8 years ago

I didn't have the courage to watch the video, because I get an idea of what's about, very sad for animals. PLEASE STOP abusing them, and please stop wearing fur for good. Thanks.

June Bullied
june bullied8 years ago

i know what goes on in these places and its appalling. why cant people get it through their heads that faux fur is every bit as good as the real thing, cheaper and no animals get slaughtered in the process. get with the program people, learn to put yourselves in their position and start buying faux.