Green Right Now Reports

PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, often bears the brunt of jokes over its public exposure stunts. The group is known for tossing red paint at people wearing furs and for mock “roastings” of humans to demonstrate why they (PETA members) have disavowed eating meat.

Angora Rabbit, PETA

An Angora rabbit, stripped of its fur. This rabbit will likely be returned to its cage to recover and regrow fur. It will be stripped again in about three months; several times during its lifetime.

But PETA needs no special stunt to explain the obviously cruel practices employed against many animals on behalf of humans. Take, for example, the pate issue.  Pate is produced by forcibly overfeeding ducks or geese to inflame their livers, creating a soft meat that can be spread on crackers at parties. Yeech!

The latest travesty being reported by PETA reminds us of the pate matter because it intrinsically requires suffering on the part of the enlisted animals. It’s easy to understand and needs no special PR campaign. In fact, it’s so cruel and needless, that we couldn’t bear to watch the video, which I won’t even post here, but you can see on YouTube — if you need convincing and can stomach watching rabbits, which normally don’t make a sound, scream loudly and painfully. (Seriously, we recommend not watching this video. Just show it to any friends who deny this is an issue).

The problem here involves the angora in that cuddly sweater you got for Christmas last year, or unwittingly purchased this year as a gift. Angora fur, adds a light, fluffy element to textiles used to make sweaters. But at what cost?

According to PETA, the angora rabbits that supply this prized fur are painfully plucked, down to their skin, every few months. They are returned to their cages where they may suffer shock. They recover, grow more fur, and the plucking process is repeated, again and again, every few months, throughout their lives. Is a sweater worth it?

This is happening mainly in factories in China, where most angora fur is sourced. It’s not publicized, obviously, and it’s certainly a valuable bit of commerce for China.

But sweaters, as you know, can be made of cotton and other fabrics that don’t require stripping a live animal of its natural, God-given, if you will, protection.

Many companies have sworn off angora (Calvin Klein and more, see below), according to PETA.

But GAP Inc. — owner of The Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta — continues to use the ill-gotten material, which has resulted in a PETA campaign to try to stop GAP from hurting any more rabbits.

  • Yesterday PETA announced that some clothiers have said they’ll stop buying angora and have pulled it from their shelves after seeing the animals rights organization’s video of how the rabbits are treated.  “After discussions with PETA, PVH Corp.—the parent company of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, IZOD, ARROW, Van Heusen, and other brands—has confirmed that it’s pulling from its shelves and banning any products made with angora. The announcement follows the release of video footage—shot by a PETA Asia investigator in China, the source of 90 percent of the world’s angora fur—that shows workers violently ripping the fur from the bodies of screaming rabbits who have been tied by all four legs and stretched across a board or even suspended in the air,”PETA reported.
  • Other companies — H&M, Topshop, and Esprit — have said they’ll stop producing angora products, but will still sell current stocks and have not decided on whether to ban angora.