When fake fur is real fur

Are you wearing dog?

Let´s be honest - fur can look great. You can look whether sophisticated, cool or sexy in it. But only if it´s fake! Even vegans love it and more and more people deny purchasing real fur. It´s not socially accepted anymore to wear skin and hair of conscious, feeling, suffering beings that were intentionally killed.


I remember when I touched a fur stole for the first time. It felt so wrong to the five years old me. The fur was cold, not like when you are touching a living animal and petting it. Another stole even had a fox head on it. I was disgusted and so was my mom. It was part of the belongings of an old aunt who had passed away and we gave it to a clothing drive to Russia. Back then my mom told me for the first time from what animals fur coats are made of and how many have to die for it.

What I still don´t get about fur lovers is how they can enjoy wearing it, if it already feels weird for me to touch it. Wearing a fur coat means being physically surrounded by dead animals that you have never known when they were still alive. It´s as absurd as wearing the corpse of a knocked down cat. Or even worse.


But how comes that fur was once popular and is now socially condemned?


The 80s were still a fury version of The Walking Dead with dead foxes, minks, beavers, lynxes and badgers running around in the form of hats, stoles and coats. Luckily fur got less popular in the 90s: PETA's famous campaigns with naked celebrities in their birthday suits who claimed to prefer being naked than wearing fur changed a whole society.

The last crowd of fur lovers was cut down to size in the 2000s when animal activists demonstrated in front of fur selling stores and attacked fur wearers with color bombs.

Sadly fur became more popular in high fashion circles in the 2010s again - due to vulgar celebs like the Kardashians who can't get enough of dead animals hanging in their wardrobes.


That makes you question all these reckless fashionistas who just ignore the fact that harmless animals were killed for their fury high fashion pieces. Why do they feel the need to wear real fur if there is fake fur that looks like real fur? Is it just about showing that you are rich and can do whatever money allows you to do?


Fur loving fashionistas are versions of Cruella de Vil - not better than the Disney character who wanted to kill all these cuddly Dalmatian puppies just to have a dotted coat. If you had to survive a Sibirian winter a century ago, I could have understood. But nowadays - NO.


But if big parts of society condemn real fur, how comes that there are still fur clothes and accessories everywhere? You even get a hat with a fur bobble for 5 bucks!

The answer is: unknowingness. Even if people think that they buy fake fur, they often buy real fur. The label doesn't always tell the truth. When clothing companies order fake fur they might be tricked and get real fur instead.


Alright, wait, the big companies are being tricked?? Well, I know how it sounds and I don't accept that answer neither. These big companies have the responsibility to sample their fake fur products for making sure that it actually is fake fur! If they don't, it's actually them who are tricking their customers. Because seriously - if you're big in business it's not a big deal to control your suppliers and manufacturers. It´s you who has the power!


So how comes that suppliers and manufacturers submit real fur products if fake fur is ordered by the fashion companies? The answer has a bloody and barbaric smell: real fur is cheaper.


Wait, what?!!! Yap, it's cheaper to hold rabbits, dogs, cats and other living beings in dirty, poky cages and then club them dead before skinning or skin them alive without anesthetics than to produce plastic fur. There is no compassion or regret on these cheap fur factories that are mostly found in China. But the fur factories for high fashion brands like Gucci or Fendi don't treat their animals much better as activists have proved. No matter if they are located in Asia or Europe.


If now you are afraid that you might accidentally wear dog or cat fur, you should.

But there are ways to find out whether your fur is made of plastic as labeled - or actually real fur. Here are questions you should ask yourself to find out:


How does the fur move when you walk or when wind blows through it?

How does it feel?

If you look at it's roots, what do you see?

How does it smell if you burn one hair?


Real fur is mostly way softer, daintier and lighter than fake fur, so it moves easily and softly. Different to fake fur, you can't find a weaving at the roots of the hairs. And if you burn a hair of real fur it will smell the same as if you burn your hair.


Sometimes it's pretty easy to find out, but sometimes it's way more difficult to differ between real and fake fur. So pay attention and check better twice than once for being sure that you actually purchase fake fur products as labeled. Because even if you did unintended - every time you purchase a real fur product, you participate in cruel animal abuse. And might wear a dog that was abused and killed for that product - made in China.

To find out more about fur, check out PETA´s website where you find a lot of information and videos. To support PETA´s work, you can donate.