Redefining the word “humane”

March 5, 2020

The word ‘humane’ is used to describe actions which are appropriate, ethical. Its original significance defined qualities that are supposedly universal amongst human beings, attributes that demonstrate care and empathy for others. The word humane is derived from the word human, It is however, difficult to understand this link given the many cases of cruel acts that our species has inflicted upon our world. In particular, the treatment of animals used for fur farming. 


Typically seen amongst the upper class, fur is a fashion statement. For much of our history, fur has been a symbol of economic prosperity, luxury and social status. Since the 1990s, the production of fur has doubled. 


Of course, some might suggest that fur is most commonly seen amongst higher class, and is therefore not a highly concerning issue. This couldn’t be further from the truth; each year, over 1 billion rabbits and 50 million other species are killed in fur farms or captured from the wild for their fur. Cheap labor has encouraged fur farming and consequently made it easier for the facilities to be bad quality and enforces worse treatment of animals in the process. Most commonly, it is minks that are farmed for their fur, followed by foxes.  Nearly 100 animals can be used for the making of a single coat! 


PETA conducted an exposé of Russian facilities, where animals were bred to be slaughtered for their fur. 700 cages were found containing 2,000 animals in one shed. Undoubtedly, this is unethical, not only does it cause physical strain for the animals, but they live in constant fear and stress. 


The numbers aren’t even as relevant when we can just take a look around us and visualize this change. Fur is no longer a survival method as it was in the stone age, when an animal was killed for multiple purposes, providing warmth as well as food. Nowadays it can be seen throughout all seasons, whether it be for a keychain accessory, purses, pillows, etc. 


The aspect of this that I find shameful is the fact that there are alternatives to keeping warm, and remaining ‘luxurious’ in appearance. There is little need for animals to undergo such horrible conditions for so little purpose.  It would be simple to insert a couple pictures that demonstrate the horrific suffering these animals endure before their death, but I found myself becoming more passionate on the topic after having looked into it further than the visuals. 


For some, it might be simple to attribute no guilt to this cause, buy a fox scarf, keep warm in your rabbit fur gloves, but it is better to be informed on the problematic aspect of it. Nowadays with new and improved technology, designers are able to almost replicate the soft feeling of animal fur, which I believe is an effective way to eradicate the use of fur. Fur farming is one of many reasons  as to why the word humane should not be used to describe our human race. 


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