People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals operates on several fronts – anti-hunting, anti-farming, anti-meat eating, anti-fishing and even anti-pet ownership.
PETA is opposed to pretty much any activity requiring interaction between humans and animals— other than looking at them in the wild.
One of PETA’s longest-running battles has been against the fur industry. Perhaps its most famous ad campaigns featured billboards with well-known celebrities in the nude with the caption: “I’d rather go naked than wear fur.”
Never letting facts get in the way of their story, PETA has often been found to stretch the truth – such as the claim that pregnant women who eat chicken will have baby boys with smaller penises.
So, it is no surprise that a recent decade-long investigation by the International Fur Federation (IFF) resulted in the IFF claiming a 2009 viral video (promoted by PETA) depicting the live skinning of animals was a “staged snuff film” that “misleads the public with deceptive claims of fur industry practices,” according to a Women’s Wear Daily report.
As the animal rights movement heats up, the fur industry generally responds to attacks by pointing out the sustainability of the natural resource and its use as a “freedom of choice” for designers and consumers alike. They point out that the brands that have banned the use of fur used very little of it to begin with. The self-imposed bans are described as media stunts.
The video in question was filmed in 2005 and reportedly went viral in 2009 after being posted by PETA. It shows an Asiatic racoon being beaten and then skinned while still alive.
According to a statement by the two Chinese fur skinners who appeared in the video, two unidentified anti-fur investigators approached the men and offered them lunch (or money to buy lunch) if they skinned an animal alive. The skinners complied, but later regretted the horrific act, reported Women’s Wear Daily.
In an evasive statement, a spokeswoman for PETA said: “the footage is as authentic as the vivid pain that animals endure in the fur trade. Those who profit from torturing and killing fur-bearing animals will stop at nothing to hide how fur farmers confine animals to filthy wire cages and kill them in gruesome ways, including suffocation, electrocution, and skinning them alive. Instead of wasting resources on blatant lies, the fur industry would be better off producing vegan materials that today’s kind consumers will actually want to wear.”
The video has been used to launch fur ban campaigns in California and has been presented to legislators as proof of the nature of the fur industry.
Nancy Daigneault, vice president of the Americas for the International Fur Federation, said the fur trade uses third-party approved methods for euthanizing animals.
“All methods are reviewed and approved by veterinary groups,” Daigneault told Women’s Wear Daily of the euthanizing methods. “One only has to apply logic to understand the risk it would pose of bites and scratches, not to mention disease to the person performing the act. And the fur, ripped and cut from the movement of the animal, would be worthless. This is not the practice within the fur industry and animal rights activists are aware of this. This is why they have had to stoop to encouraging the horrific treatment of animals and pay-offs to try to damage our industry. Now we have proof of the deceptive tactics of these groups that have misled legislators and designers.”