When 23 year old NFA supporter and animal welfare activist Shannen Stanley, from Birmingham, UK got in touch with us to ask for advice and help on an anti-fur campaign she was working on by herself, we knew we wanted to support her and help get her message out there.
The horrors of the fur industry are known to everyone in the animal welfare world and beyond. Network for Animals’ founder Brian Davies’ name is synonymous with the fight to end commercial seal hunting in Canada. Fur is one of the many by-products of this despicable activity, and there is sadly a demand for it in the fashion world.
It is also no secret that animals such as mink, racoons and foxes are trapped in cages on farms, usually after being caught in the wild. Their short lives are filled with pain and suffering, and most show signs of going insane before they eventually meet their fates and are skinned alive in order to make “luxury” garments for morally bankrupt people. Thankfully, due to public education, wearing fur is now looked down upon by most decent people. After all, who in their right mind would happily wear an item of clothing that had been made by skinning an animal alive? However, there is still a huge market for fur, and until public perception changes forever, these animals will continue to suffer.
Shannen is focusing on yet another abhorrent way fur is now being used. As well as being farmed to make clothing for those who turn a blind eye to animal suffering, mink farmers are now providing the beauty industry with fur to make false eyelashes. Incredibly, people are actually paying to have the fur of skinned alive mink attached to their own lashes in the name of vanity, and high-end salons are cashing in on this craze. They advertise their mink eyelash extensions and tell potential customers how they will transform their eyes, and make them look beautiful. What they neglect to mention, is how this mink fur was sourced.
NFA approached a number of high-end London salons under the guise of being an interested customer, and they all had the audacity to say their mink lashes are “cruelty free”. There is no way for mink to be farmed in a cruelty free manner. Life on a fur farm is no life at all. The cages the mink are kept in are tiny, with wire bottoms that cut their feet. They are trapped there, unable to move, whereas in the wild they would roam for miles and miles every day. There is also no water provided for mink to bathe in on farms but they are semi-aquatic animals, and naturally seek water.
One salon owner told NFA that she hadn’t seen the mink farms and knew nothing about them but was just taking her supplier’s word that they were cruelty free. In other words, these salon owners are turning a blind eye to the truth, or simply don’t ask any questions, in order to generate profits for themselves without feeling any guilt.
Shannen has had the same experience when approaching salons and suppliers, and she explained to NFA why she has set up a petition and is campaigning on this issue:
I’ve always loved and been around animals. My oldest sister is a vegan, like me and runs her own greyhound rescue (Birmingham Greyhound Protection) so from a young age I’ve seen what humans are capable of doing to animals and I want to be a voice for them and to help them in any way I can.
I consider myself to be quite clued up on animal welfare and the fur industry as I follow a lot of vegan pages, beauty pages and activist pages and I had never seen an article regarding this branch of the fur industry, and I thought if I didn’t know about it then I bet a lot of other people didn’t either.
What made me want to campaign was the fact that its such a selfish, pointless product, there is no need for mink eyelashes. It’s just the greed of the human species taking what they want without thinking of the consequences.
We admire Shannen’s compassion and determination, and as she is one of our supporters, we want to offer her support too. Please add your name to her petition, and share it on social media. And remember that there is no such thing as ethically sourced or cruelty-free mink fur. Any salon suggesting otherwise is ignorant and naive at best.