French clothing company Lacoste world renown for their IZOD brand just announced they were ending their use of angora wool. This after a PETA video came out showing in blood curdling detail how the material is removed from rabbits highlighting conditions at a Chinese farm. The images showing rabbits having their fur ripped off or injured while their fur was sheared was enough to tip Lacoste and other clothes manufacturers who use angora over the edge to either end using angora or check to see if facilities that produce angora-oriented clothes for them conduct their practices in a similar manner.
After reading about this and watching the video in question, I looked into this matter further and found one website with a very informative blog essay by a woman named Serena at Loveknitting.com who is knowledgeable about this subject. She gives excellent information including videos as to how the agora fur is supposed to be sheared. While not condoning what took place in it, Serena even goes to far as to critique the content of the PETA video itself.
Serena states [t]he cruelty PETA describes just doesn’t makes sense. Most of the alleged practices could actually lose a farm money. She goes on to point out (quoted in part) the multiple flaws seen in the video:
Any stress or ill-health affects the quality of wool. Even sheep are normally shorn prior to lambing, as the stresses of pregnancy, birth and nursing weaken the fibres of the wool.
Plucking the wool is no faster than shearing. If anything, it’s probably slower! If a practice doesn’t save any money in labour, and doesn’t produce a better product, why would you do it?
Suspending a rabbit by a rope tied around its front legs is extremely stupid. This is why pet rabbit-owners support the rump when picking them up: rabbits can break their backs struggling like the one seen in the video. Allowing your animals to inflict fatal injuries on themselves just doesn’t make sense.
In addition to the horrendous conditions profiled in PETA’s video, she also points out that the wire cages PETA took issue with is the best way to keep the animals clean. Wire cages are able to keep urine and droppings from the animal out of the cage so the animal waste does not get caught in the fur. Serena thoughtfully points out that producers of angora who use the practices in the video should be held responsible. But she does not think it is right to paint all of them with a broad brush which is what PETA’s video and activism on this issue does. I completely agree with her on both points and respect her for willing to take the time ti write about this subject.
Please not only consider purchasing products from her website but I suggest you read her article. Serena’s knowledge of the subject shows in this post and it is a well written, informative piece. As for me I think it safe to assume the video itself is nonsense due to the numerous holes Serena observed in the latter part of her essay. That doesn’t mean the cruel events that happened to the rabbits in the video didn’t happen and they are very unfortunate. However, telling lies are a common practice among environmentalists, including so-called animal rights groups like PETA.
It makes no sense that a factory involved in the production of a product would stoop to such low levels or shearing rabbit wool off since the end result is that the facility would not get any contracts. Companies don’t want to earn bad reputations and do their best to avoid bad labor conditions including bad treatment of animals that they use to produce products. They will at times outsource to other firms including overseas since doing so saves them money. Doing this, in turn, keeps their products available and can mean even more choices for customers to buy while saving the company money. In the meantime, like food makers, clothes producers are the victims of a smear campaign citing a specific product PETA wanted taken off the market. This is yet another instance of human haters forcing their views on others.