Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cat vs Internet

Something cute and funny to start off a new week.. or end the current one :)

A peek of kitty versus internet (credits to 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Real Fur in Urban Outfitters Clothing

It has been recently discovered that Urban Outfitters was selling cardigans with real fur trimming, under the labeling of faux fur. This issue is twofold. First, the use of any real animal fur should be correctly labeled as such- customers deserve to know what exactly they are purchasing. There is actually a new law, the Truth in Fur Labeling Act, which goes into effect in March. Secondly, the use of real animal fur is not only wrong on all grounds, but Urban Outfitters is actually among one of the fur-free retailers and designers in the Human Society of United States website. The company has also made a public agreement to PETA in 2009 to commit to fur-free clothing.

Here is a video by Joshua Katcher, the head of the anti-fur PINNACLE campaign, which shows four different ways to determine that the fur trim of the Urban Outfitters cardigan was indeed real fur. He contacted Urban Outfitters for an explanation, and also started a petition to demand an apology as well as reassurance that they will not sell fur products. You can see's updates on this matter here and here

After people found out about this, Urban Outfitters retracted their statements of denial and admitted that their clothing did contain real fur, although the blame was placed on the companies vendors. Of course, many people can say let bygones be bygones since Urban Outfitters has admitted their mistake. However, larger issues still remain.

What kind of product quality control did Urban Outfitters even have to let fur into their clothing? How will Urban Outfitters ensure that they only use synthetic materials in the future?

Why did UO's vendors end up giving the company real fur to use in place of synthetic fur? To answer this particular question, the sad truth is that live animals are still being killed in fur farms for their fur because real fur by itself is often cheaper than production of synthetic fur. Again, cost and not ethics is at the forefront of many, if not most, company values. Companies have separated the lives attached to the skin and fur of animals, and disregard that animal lives have any meaning or value. Otherwise, animal lives (priceless) plus their fur (insert dollar amount) should be completely out of the question, and synthetic faux fur should be the only option out there.

The last point I want to make is that: because there is a demand for fur clothing due to "fashion" reasons, there will perpetually be animals dying and stripped of their fur alive every single day. Did you know that by following this fur trend, you are promoting the look of clothing with fur and making it okay for people to wear things that resemble dead animal fur? Even if you are a hundred percent sure the "fur" in your apparel is fake, the consequences of wearing real or fake fur are much more far-reaching than you think- this Urban Outfitters incident is but one example of the toll it takes on real animals who value their own lives much more than any clothing company out there. I really don't want to preach, but even from an objective point of view I believe what I am saying is fact.. which is why I choose to not purchase anything resembling fur, real or faux even if they are "in" and popular.

 I have several posts on what you need to know about fur, just click on the Fur vs Fashion link above or here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's The Year of the Rabbit, But Rabbits Are Not Celebrating


Today is Chinese (Lunar) New Year, and this marks the beginning of the year of the rabbit according to Chinese astrology.
Rabbits are supposed to be a lucky entity this year, especially for those born as the rabbit zodiac sign, but rabbits themselves are not so lucky. In Asia, there is high demand for pet rabbits right now, but as with other past "animal trends," many rabbits will very well be abandoned when the year is over or will be mistreated as pets. For example, after the 101 Dalmatians movie, many people bought dalmatian dogs but later dumped them in animal shelters when the hype was over. Furthermore, rabbits need even more care than cats and dogs. Rabbits can not be just stuffed into a cage says Ashley Fruno, Asia representative for PETA. (source:

As with the recent chihuahua trend that originated from Hollywood (California) and led to widespread abuse and neglect of the chihuahua dogs, I believe that people need to rethink before deciding on a pet. People should definitely NOT be picking up a pet because the animal looks cute or brings luck, as I suspect many people are doing this year for rabbits.

Sadly, being adopted or purchased as pets for the wrong reasons are the least of the rabbits worries. Rabbits have become one of the most endangered animals on earth, and thousands face slaughter every single day for their meat or fur. Because meat is a much more multi-sided topic, I will only say that there is no justifiable reason for rabbits to be killed for their fur, which again happens every single day in fur farms.
  • In France only, 70 million rabbits are slaughtered for their fur on fur farms. 
  • Rabbits are stunned with an electrical device before being hung upside to have their throats slit. 
  • Being stunned does not make rabbits unconscious, but instead as you can see in the video, they are aware of their pain and continue to struggle.
  • Fur farms in China are just as cruel.
  • In a Shang Dong region in China, as many as 2,000 rabbits are killed each day. 
  • They are hung by their foot upside down on a wire and have their throats slit by a knife while kicking and screaming.
  • It takes 30 to 40 rabbits to make just one coat
  • source:
Instead of loving and respecting rabbits this year, many are instead killing, eating, or testing on millions of these gentle creatures all over the world. Please keep a conscious mind about this matter this year and for years to come, because simply boycotting fur-brands or avoiding eating rabbit meat (when you're not facing life-death situations) can reduce demand and prevent more rabbits from being killed.

A last note: I do NOT believe in categorizing whole groups/ethnicities of people (Chinese, French) and attacking them simply because a small % of their people engage in animal cruelty. In this particular case for fur farming, I believe (1) you and I as consumers are responsible for generating demand and giving clothing companies incentive to outsource and pay people to kill animals, and (2) designers and clothing corporations who continue to use real fur are greedy, inhumane beings who needs to be pressured to change or go out of business. I only say such a harsh statement because many of them still refuse to drop real fur from their clothing even when they are aware of animal cruelty. 

Two examples:
Donna Karan is one designer that knows about the suffering of rabbit in fur farms, yet she refuses to stop butchering them for their fur- find out more here: Sign a petition against DK here

Giorgio Armani continues using real fur in his new deigns, such as fur coats for babies and children. Sign a petition here.

Did You Know Sled Dogs are Routinely Killed?

Recently, news has been circulating about the killing of 100 huskies in Whistler, British Columbia (Canada). The mass slaughter of these 100 healthy sled dogs occurred in April 2010 and has been investigated by SPCA of British Columbia as well as RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police).

The incident actually became revealed when the employee who did the killing for Outdoor Adventures Whistler, a dog sled tour company, filed for Worker's Compensation due to PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). PETA has reported the reason for the killings is that business for dog sled operations have slowed down since the Vancouver Olympics. 

The man (employee) clearly chose to take the killing orders and also chose to kill the dogs inhumanely by both shooting and cutting their throats and then dumping them into a mass grave, yet he has claimed to be a victim and wants compensation for his acts of murder. Furthermore, this man has described to authorities how the dogs faces had to be shot multiple times and have their faces blown off. Furthermore, the dogs were killed in front of all the other dogs at the Outdoor Adventures site.  

Here is an excerpt from an article by NowPublic.

"The first significant incident occurred when he noticed a female, Nora, who he had shot approximately 20 minutes before, was crawling around in the mass grave he had dug for the animals. He had to climb down into the grave amidst the 10 or so bodies already there and put her out of her misery....He also had to perform what he describes as execution style killings where he wrestled the dogs to the ground and stood on them with one foot to shoot them."

However, according to PETA, sled dogs are routinely shot, abandoned, bludgeoned, or drowned by mushers of dog-sled operations when the dogs fall ill, run too slow, or are unneeded anymore. For example in 2005, a dog-sled tour company in Aspen, Colorado (U.S.) was exposed for killing as many as 35 dogs every year because it was "part of the circle of life" for the dogs. 
My thoughts: People everywhere use animals for various purposes, but all too often the animals become exploited and subjected to inhumane conditions. I would never support dog sled tour operations, and I encourage you to do the same if you believe sled dogs deserve to be treated with gratitude, respect, and love, rather than objects to be used and disposed. Also, sled dogs are only one among many examples of how innocent animals are harmed everyday without justice. 

Dogs Killed When Dogsled Business Slows (PETA):
note: There is a facebook page that you can join for Boycotting Outdoor Adventures in BC, Whistler.