Sei sulla pagina 1di 15

Contents:

Objectives_____________________________________2
Chapter 1-Its a Historical World
The history of fur in fashion________________________3
The significance of animal pelt in early societies________5
Relationships between fur and ruling classes___________5
Chapter 2-Its a Furry World
Technological advancements in the processing of animal
pelts_____________________________________________8
Accessibility of fashion fur_________________________8
Designers and fashion furs_________________________9
Chapetr 3-its an Actionable World
Animal rights organizations_______________________11
Conclusion____________________________________12
Vocabulary____________________________________13
Bibliography__________________________________14

Objectives:

To overview of the history of furs and fashion

To show the significance of animal pelts in early


societies

To identify the relationships between fur and ruling


classes

To describe the processing of animal pelts

To describe the animal rights companions

To express my own point of view

Chapter 1 Its a Historical World

The History of Fur in Fashion

Animal pelts, or fur and leather, have been used by humankind as clothing since the
earliest times to protect their bodies from climatic conditions and harm. Furs and leather
have remained popular over the ages because of their warmth, durability, and their status
symbol. In certain early societies animal pelts and their by-products took on mystical or
spiritual powers when worn by hunters or the ruling classes. In European societies luxury
furs became associated with social stratification. In the last two centuries, the growing
middle classes in Western Europe and in North America have developed a love for
fashion furs as a way of expressing their social status, or to give themselves an ultramodern look. Since the 1980s questions have been raised about the ethics of using
animal products as entire species may have been wiped out by fashion. Despite the
efforts of anti-fur activists and their sensitizing campaigns associated with animal
cruelty, the popularity of wrapping oneself in a sensual second skin continues to
persist. Could it be that some people still believe in a hidden form of contagious magic
when attired in fur or leather?

The significance of animal pelts in early societies


In early societies hunters believed in contagious magic, that is,
in the transference of the strength, power, courage, skills, prowess,
and fertility of a particular animal to a human being. For example,
when a hunter tied a lion skin around his waist or flung it over his
shoulder he believed that he
would gain the strength of a lion.
In Pagan traditions some people
express a reverence for a
particular animal. Those with an
affinity for wolves or bears, for
example, collect emblems of the
animal such as their tooth or fur.

Relationships between fur and


ruling classes
Since early times, particular animal skins or furs have
been reserved for the ruling and elite classes. For example,
Egypt during the period 3000-300 BC, leopard skin and
lion skin was worn only by kings as well as high priests
when they performed symbolic ceremonies. Beginning in
11th Century, in Western Europe, luxury furs such as
ermine, mink, sable, and chinchilla, to name a few, were
reserved for the royalty, nobility, high ranking clergy, and
bourgeoisie. Some barons were known to mortgage their
lands to buy ermine for their wives.

in

the

the

By the 13th and 14th Centuries, the growing


mercantile class who was becoming wealthy
and powerful through trade and commerce
began to adopt the manners and fashion of
dress of the aristocracy. They liked to adorn
themselves and their wives in luxury furs
which had been restricted for royalty and
the ruling classes. To maintain social
distinction in dress, in the 1200s the ruling
classes began to pass Ordinances or
Sumptuary Laws. In Germany, a law stated
that sable and ermine were reserved for
noble ladies. In France, a Royal Ordinance
passed in 1294 stated that no man or woman
of the middle classes might wear ermine or
vair (the bluish gray and white fur of a
squirrel prized for ornamental use in
medieval times). In the 1300s-1400s
Sumptuary Laws regulated the types of fur
different social classes could use in the
trimming and lining of garments. A law also
specified that lower class women were only
allowed to wear the fur of foxes, otters, and
small burrowing rodents. In the early 1600s,
with the growing impoverishment of
aristocracy who lived off the land in Western
Europe, wealthy merchants and traders began
to buy themselves knightly manors and
administrative posts. In France, it was
possible for furriers with enough capital to
fill the coffers of royalty to become
ennobled.
The growing demand for luxury and
fashion furs by the nobility, the upper classes
and the new mercantile classes over the
centuries led to the opening of new trade
routes and the establishment of fur trade
monopolies. Beginning in the Twelfth
Century, German traders had the monopoly
6

of the highly coveted fur industry as they had access to the finest Russian furs,
particularly ermine (the white winter coat of weasels). They became known as the
masters of the fur trade.
With the colonization of New France and New England between the 17th and 18th
Centuries, Western European furriers, hatters, and leather manufacturers were assured an
almost unlimited supply of pelts. However, luxury furs continued to be accessible only to
the wealthy and powerful classes. Anyone unable to afford the expensive skins (ermine,
sable, weasel, squirrel, bear, beaver, must, lynx, otter, polecat, marten, and fox) had to
satisfy themselves with the cheaper varieties (hare, rabbit, lamb, and wolf). After 1870,
the fur trade between North America and Europe was no longer a major industry. Fur
farms began to fill the void, the 85% of the fur used today comes from farmed animals.

Chapter 2 Its a Furry World


7

Technological advancements in the processing of


animal pelts
Since the 19th Century, new machines have been invented to transform animal pelts
at much lesser costs than in the past centuries. There are now machines that stir hides and
skins as they soak, remove the hair and flesh from the hides, split the hides, soften them
and even emboss patterns on the leather. As a result of new technologies, furs can now be
made which are lighter and more manageable.
There are now machines that can weave texture
and pattern into furs in a variety of colorful,
mod looks. Yelena Yarmak, a Russian
mathematician turned fashion designer, invented
a technology that can make fur look like silk.
She also created mink jackets that look like
leopard skin and chinchilla.

Accessibility of fashion furs


Fur and leather garments have become available to the masses in the last century,
thanks to the advancement in technologies for processing pelts. However, luxury furs
still confer a super wealthy cachet. Since the early 20th Century, the rising classes with
disposable income have been demanding fur coats and garments dressed or trimmed with
fur thus opening the market for less expensive furs such as muskrat, wolf, racoon, hare,
lamb, and others.
In 1951, a mink dyed marmot cape with slits for arms had a sale price of $153.30,
and sable dyed squirrel fur scarves, with tails and paws, 16 long, set of 3 skins, could be
purchased for $17.30. The price for a natural mink garment was much higher. In 1958, it
was possible to order a natural mink stole, with let-out pelts 20 deep, 33 long for
$599.00. Fox was also a popular fur but prices depended on the type of pelt. In 1951, a
red fox jacket, in three shades, was available for $71.40 compared to a genuine natural
silver fox jacket which was listed for $167.00. Women lacking the financial means to
buy a full length fur coat, fur jacket or stole could still obtain a fur trimmed garment at a
reasonable price. In 1956, a dyed mouton-processed lamb collar on a length car coat
was listed for $17.95.

Designers and fashion furs


8

Early French fashion designers such as Jeanne Paquin and Paul Poiret started to use
fur regularly in their collections in the early 1900s. By the 1930s, fur was used in
abundance by designers as trim for coats, collars and cuffs. According to Lee, the biggest
names in fashion have experimented with different types of fur. In 2000, for example, the
following furs were used by designers: Miuccia Prada, tippet and racoon; Albert Ferretti,
hamster; Narciso Rodriguez, fox, Galliano, chinchilla; Marc Jacob, mink, and Gaultier,
sable . Present day designers are still featuring luxury furs and leather in their
collections, notably: Michael Kors, Fall Winter, 2012; Marc Jacobs, Fall 2011; Hugo
Boss Womens, Fall 2011; Jean Paul Gaultier, Spring/Summer, 2011; Vera Wang, Fall
2011.
Fortunes have been made over the centuries from the exploitation of fur-bearing
animals to satisfy human needs and vanities. The technological sophistication and
application of artistic skills in the treatment of pelts have opened the doors to seductive
new designs and styles. It would seem that the controversies surrounding the plight of
animals in the 1980s-1990s may have created havoc on fur farms, but according to Lee
(2003) the bulk of the consumers turned away their heads in indifference. Since that
period of time faux fur has become quite popular as an alternative to using animal skins
for dress. However, some people will argue that faux fur is a plastic product made from
petroleum, which consumes natural resources, and it creates pollution in the
manufacturing state. Modern marketing strategies, rapid communication about new
trends through the mass media, collective tastes, and the social environment suggest that
fashion furs continue to have staying power.

Chapter3 Its an Actionable World


9

According to a paper published in 2000 by Harold Herzog and Lorna Dorr, previous
academic surveys of attitudes towards animal rights have tended to suffer from small
sample sizes and non-representative groups. However, a number of factors appear to
correlate with the attitude of individuals regarding the treatment of animals and animal
rights. These include gender, age, occupation, religion, and level of education. There has
also been evidence to suggest that prior experience with companion animals may be a
factor in people's attitudes.
Gender has repeatedly been shown to be a factor in how people view animals, with
women more likely to support animal rights than men. A 1996 study of adolescents by
Linda Pifer suggested that factors that may partially explain this discrepancy include
attitudes towards feminism and science, scientific literacy, and the presence of a greater
emphasis on "nurturance or compassion" amongst women.
A 2007 survey to examine whether or not people who believed in evolution were
more likely to support animal rights than creationists and believers in intelligent design
found that this was largely the case according to the researchers, the respondents who
were strong Christian fundamentalists and believers in creationism were less likely to
advocate for animal rights than those who were less fundamentalist in their beliefs. The
findings extended previous research, such as a 1992 study which found that 48% of
animal rights activists were atheists or agnostic.
Two surveys found that attitudes towards animal rights tactics, such as direct action,
are very diverse within the animal rights communities. Near half (50% and 39% in two
surveys) of activists do not support direct action. One survey concluded "it would be a
mistake to portray animal rights activists as homogeneous."

Animal rights organizations


10

PETA
People for the Ethical Treatment of
Animals is an American animal rights
organization based in Norfolk, Virginia,
and led by Ingrid Newkirk, its
international president. A non-profit
corporation with 300 employees, it says
it has three million members and
supporters and is the largest animal rights group in the world. Its slogan is
"animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment or abuse in
any way."

Conclusion:
11

The fur industry is one of the cruelest around. A majority of fur in


the United States comes from fur farms in China, where there are no
laws set in place to protect the animals. Since there are no
regulations for these farms, the suppliers can feel free to do
whatever they want to the poor helpless animals. The animals arrive
starving and dehydrated to the farms in tiny wire cages where they
have no room to move about. They are shipped in stacks and the
cages are tossed off the trucks carelessly to the ground, as if the
animals inside are garbage to be thrown away. Some of them arrive
dead or injured. Sadly, that is probably not the worst of what is yet to
come.
The animals are then ripped from their cages and thrown to
the ground where they are beaten. In a PETA investigation into the
Chinese fur farms, they discovered that some of the animals were
still barely alive as they were skinned. The workers would stomp on
the animals that fought for their lives. Once the animal is skinned,
their furless bloody bodies are tossed into piles with the rest of their
unfortunate friends. Some of the animals in these mounds were still
breathing for up to ten minutes. I cannot imagine a more terrifyingly
painful way to die. While one might think that the life of an animal is
meaningless, they shouldnt have to suffer. Animals experience fear
and pain just like humans do.
In conclusion, I would like to say that it is a brutal industry where
the lives of many innocent animals die in the name of fashion. There
is no point to making them suffer because fur is not an essential part
of life. They dont have a voice, but we can speak for them by
refusing to wear fur or refusing to buy from companies that sell fur.

12

Vocabulary

Pelt piele
Entire intreg
Wiped sters
Wrapping ambalaj
Hidden ascuns
Attired imbracat
Prowess dibacie
Reverence respect
Affinity afinitate
Ermine hermina
Mink nurca
Otter - vidra
Clergy cler (preotime)
To adorn a impodobi
Demand cerere
Cachet stampila
Disposable disponibil
To trim a tunde
Plight conditie

13

Bibliography:

http://www.studymode.com/essays/Using-Animal-Fur-Is-aFashion-181937.html
http://www.directessays.com/viewpaper/95251.html
https://smoney313.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/argumentativeessay-you-have-your-own-skin-don%E2%80%99t-steal-theirs/
http://kpopfreemp.890m.com/b5fe9d1/international-anti-furcoalition-.html
http://www.infurmation.com/
http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/fur_fashion/tips/furfree_shopping.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_rights
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_for_the_Ethical_Treatment_
of_Animals
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animal_rights_groups
http://www.animalliberationfront.com/ALFront/ActionsRussianALF/Anti-Fur.htm
http://www.teenink.com/opinion/environment/article/50058/PETA
-doesnt-treat-animals-ethically/
http://www.antifurcoalition.org/
http://www.elle.com/fashion/personal-style/a2498/essay-on-furand-animal-rights/

14

15