Naturalisation of the Opression of Animals
Contrary to the propaganda of the fur trade, which tries to attribute "naturalness" to wearing fur and to declare "fur animals" as "natural resources", the clothing with fur is a result of our speciesist culture. By the myths, that "naturalness" would allegedly cling to the fur, the fur industry aims to obscure the SOCIAL construction and with this the changeability of the human-"working animal" relationship. However, animal exploitation is a social disaster and there is nothing "natural" about it. The intention of the fur industry to try to mobilise a "state of nature" and to romanticise a caveman habit in the 21st century seems ridiculous at any rate. As an example, the International Fur Trade Federation, the international lobby association of the fur industry, puts forward as a justification for killing animal for the commodity fur, that "the populations in the wild need to be kept under control." (International Fur Trade Federation: What you should know about fur, 1989, p.4). Notwithstanding the stupidity of this thesis, the lobby organisation omits more than clumsily that the greater part of the fur sold comes from animals which are purpose bred on farms and killed there. Animals are intensively "produced" on "fur farms", which can hold as many as hundreds of thousands of animals. A fur farm complex as a resemblance of "the wild"? Plainly embarassing furthermore, is, the assertion that fur is a "natural product" and environmentally friendly, keeping in mind that the animal fur has passed through many chemical and mechanical operations in the clothing factory, which led to a great use of natural resources and environmental pollution, before it ends up on a coat hanger. But these are just the lame excuses of the fur trade to distract from their lack of legitimacy anyway.
By the 1970s, the public began to see that it was not legitimate to allow animals to be caged and killed for fur products; Sooner than with any other "animal product". This of course was also because fur was labelled a "luxury item", which –unlike meat or milk for example– any people viewed as being something they can easily do without. In the sense of the animal rights concepts and the idea of animal liberation, however, criticising systematic animal exploitation is not a question of renunciation or taste but of enlightment, liberty, solidarity, and of pacification of the human-animal relationship. And this implies to refuse and to resist all forms of animal exploitation and "animal products".
As one of the first animal exploitation industries, as mentioned before, the fur industry was for this reason "already" in the 70s, and increasingly in the 80s under pressure to justify itself in a number of countries.
Later, when the global animal rights and animal liberation movement was no longer demonstrating in front of the odd fur shop or at fur fashion shows, but started liberating "fur animals" from "fur farms", displaying photos and film taken at "fur farms" illustrating the misery of "fur animal" husbandry, thereby making it available to a larger public, and began to display skinned corpses which they had found next to "fur farms", a level of education and urgency was achieved, which put the fur trade into a severe crisis. The means by which the fur industry hoped to fight back against the education and emancipation of the consumer was characterised by further tactics of deceipt.