I know a delightful young woman who brought to light today the cruelty of overseas angora farms connected with Gap, Inc. I won’t share the link, because it’s from PETA, and I believe that PETA is a terrible organization that misleads its donors and fails to even attempt to fulfill its mission of preventing animal cruelty, instead using the donations to fundraise and to pay executive salaries. As a result, I won’t give them further exposure nor encourage anyone to donate to them, but I believe very strongly that animal cruelty is both wrong and preventable.
The farms from which Gap, Inc has been sourcing its angora fur engage in the kind of cruelty seen in all factory farms, and then some. The rabbits, naturally social and timid, are kept locked in small, filthy cages, and around every three months, the fur is pulled out without any kind of pain control. The rabbits scream, and are left raw and bleeding.
There is no reason that we can’t harvest fur from these animals ethically… angora rabbits, without regular grooming, become matted and sick and can overheat. This is due to the selective breeding that created the angora, but ethical producers of angora will remove the fur with clippers or small shears; there is no screaming, and the rabbits have even been known to sit quietly for the shearing without needing to be restrained. I would encourage everyone who reads this to buy only ethically produced angora items… and if you’re not sure that it’s ethical, just don’t buy it. No sweater or scarf is worth this kind of suffering.
If you’re interested in making your voice heard, below is a letter that I will be sending tomorrow, and that you can feel free to copy and paste and alter to fit your needs and send on yourself. Correspondence can be mailed to:
Glenn K. Murphy, CEO
2 Folsom St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
Dear Mr. Murphy.
I am writing as a concerned former consumer of GAP products. I say former because after I have seen the conditions at one of the overseas farms from which you procure angora used in your clothing, I can no longer conscience paying money for any of your products.
There is absolutely no reason that a modern society needs to torture animals in order to procure any goods, from angora sweaters to the meat and eggs and dairy that we eat. While it may be cheaper to source this fiber from farms that treat the animals poorly, I think that you will find that as consumers find out about the horror involved (and let’s face it, they will in this age of information), that producing such garments will quickly become less profitable.
What is most upsetting, I think, is that the cruelty seen here is utterly unnecessary. It is possible to farm angora rabbits ethically and to harvest their fur without causing the animal such pain and misery. While sourcing ethically produced angora may seem more expensive at first, it would be a significant boon to the brand… “ethical” and “local” are all the rage these days, after all.
Please take steps to end the role that your company plays in this cruelty and horror. Until you do, I can no longer purchase the products sold by your company, and I will do what is in my power to discourage anyone I speak to from doing so as well.
You can feel free to share this with your friends; remember, the more people who send in a letter, the more likely it is that the company will respond to social pressure and revise their current practices. If you’re unable or unwilling to contact that company, I would urge you to stop purchasing any GAP products; not just their angora, but any products. I know that I, for one, would not want to give money to a company that engages in such cruel practices.