“Humanity’s true moral test, its fundamental test…consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals.”― Milan Kundera
Humans have appeared 10 million years ago on the earth. At the beginning of human civilization, humans have to rely on animals for food and clothing. Swiftly hitting to the present year, humans are still exploiting animals for food, clothing, and beauty products but 9in a larger scale. Every year millions of animals are killed for unnecessary needs. Why? Because people are still not conscious about the cruelty against animals in fulfilling the luxury desires. Animals are tortured for different materials like wool, fur, leather, cashmere, and it doesn’t end here there are more to the list. Let’s check out how the fashion industry promotes animal cruelty.
Fashion Industry And Animal Cruelty
Wool is a fabric used worldwide to make warm and comfortable garments that are especially come into use in the winter season. We all are aware that wool is obtained from sheep. And this is often portrayed in the school textbooks that sheep is only for giving us wool. But here the question arises, do sheep produce that wool for us? The answer is no. Sheep only produces the amount of wool, that they need to protect themselves in winters.
But people involve in this multi-dollar wool industry, use that wool for themselves. The process of obtaining wool from sheep is called shearing. Shearing usually needs to be done during spring. But if they wait for this season, they have to face a huge amount of loss. So, to channelize more money the industrialists sheer the sheep during winters. During the process of shearing, animals are treated mercilessly, workers kick and throw the ships. Because shears are paid by volume, not by the hour which encourages the workers to work quickly and carelessly and eventually often leaving the sheep with severe cuts even on their private parts.
Due to shearing in winter, around 1 million sheep die every year due to the exposure to extreme cold in winters. This is because they no longer have their protective wool. The cruelty doesn’t stop here. If the company unable to meet the decided profit, they send these sheep to slaughterhouses to complete their profit targets.
All this cruelty against animals exist so that the fashion and clothing industry can run and gain profits. These animals are innocent and voiceless therefore they can’t protect themselves from the inhumanity.
Cashmere wool, usually simply known as cashmere, is a fabric that comes from cashmere goats, pashmina goats, and some other breeds of goats. It has been used to make yarn, textiles, and clothing for hundreds of years. Cashmere is not just a fabric, its demand is one of the reasons for the cruelty against animals. For just one cashmere sweater, the hair of four goats is required. It is mainly obtained from goats through combing. It is not as harmless as it sounds. The process of obtaining it is unbearable. Their hair are violently torn out with metal combs. Millions of goats are forced to endure this pain and cruelty over and over again just so that consumers can buy cashmere and so firm can earn profit.
Those Cashmere goats who can no longer give profitable cashmere fabric, have to face slow, torturous death. Workers slit their throats and left them to bleed out and die. Later, their meat is sold in the market.
The production of cashmere fabric is unethical. Along with this, its production is harmful to the environment as well. Millions of goats are bred and farmed for cashmere in China and Mongolia, which has done widespread damage to the environment. Researchers estimate that 70 percent of Mongolia’s grasslands are in decline, largely driven by the demand for cashmere. 90% of the country is facing the problem of desertification, due to which some of the worlds is witnessing the worst dust storms on record and air pollution dense enough to reach North America.
Leather is a fabric/material made up of animal skin after the process of tanning. It can be acquired from many different animals like cows, pigs, sheep, goats, the snake as well as exotic animals such as ostriches, kangaroos, and alligators. China is the largest exporter of leather in the world (36% of the global export) followed by Italy. It is estimated that around 1-2 million cats and dogs are burned alive for the leather. There is also a misconception among the people that leather is the waste of the meat industry. And by buying the leather they are reducing the waste. But it’s not the whole story. The leather industry is responsible for the slaughter of over a billion animals worldwide.
The irony lies in the Indian leather industry. In India, the cow is a sacred symbol and people worship the cows. But along with this India has 8% of the global export of leather. India is the second-largest exporter of leather footwear. On one hand people worship their lord in face of animal and on other hand they put them as a bait.
The process of obtaining leather is very cruel. In the slaughterhouses, workers force the animals to fit into a box. Then they are electrically stunned. At this stage, they are still alive and can feel. After stunning, workers slit their throats and hanged them invertedly then, left them to die. After that, they shear the skin from the animal body.
Leather is not only responsible for animal cruelty. It also has hazardous environmental impacts. At this time, when the whole world is facing the water scarcity problem. The leather industry is putting an extra burden on the water resources of the earth. Leather production is very resource extensive as it requires feed, pastureland, water, and fossil fuels in a very huge amount.
This cruelty against animals is not limited to the fashion industry it is also practiced in the beauty industry/cosmetics. Keep reading to know more about it.
Beauty Industry And Animal Cruelty
Humans are finding new ways to exploit animals in any possible way. If you thought animal cruelty does not exist in the beauty industry, then you are wrong. Worldwide nearly half a million rabbits and other animals are blinded, poisoned, and killed each year to test ingredients and new cosmetic products. Most of the beauty products manufacturing companies test their products on animals. These tests include eye and skin irritation tests. Animal hairs are shaved so that humans can test the beauty products on them. They even inject poisons and chemicals into them and then they will wait to see if the animal’s body and eyes reaction to it. Their bodies are also cut open so that humans can see what is happening inside of these animals. We humans haven’t left a single way to exploit animals.
All this mass killing and testing of animals to make new and improved claims and to sell their products in countries that still require animal testing like China. In China, animal testing is necessary before selling beauty products in the market.
What Can You Do To Stop Animal Cruelty?
The simple way to stop animal cruelty is not promoting animal cruelty by stop buying all these products and alternating them with animal cruel free products. There are all alternatives available for each fabric/material.
Do your research before buying anything the product, check whether it is cruelty-free or not. by making an conscious purchase.
Aware yourself about animal rights and start take initiatives in digging more about animal cruelty to know the reality.
Support small animal cruel free business online, there are websites who are dealing in animal cruelty.
As consumers, you have to understand that these cruel practices can be stopped if you don’t buy the products that contain animal products and alternate them with cruel free. For our luxury, animals are exploited and killed daily in the name of fashion. We are protective about our family but what about those who don’t have a voice or unable to protect themselves.
We cannot bear the thought of someone harming our family for their hair and skin but letting these industries do the same. Killing innocent animals so that they can earn profits whereas in the reality they are slaughtering millions of animals in the name of fashion and we are becoming part of these horrible incidents by purchasing those products that do not promote cruelty-free or vegan products.