The dark ages in terms of animal awareness is not very far back in history. Fur fashion was completely acceptable in the baby boomer era and fashion designers who produced label furs were de rigueur. The money-grubbing exploitation of animals for skins and cosmetics, ornaments, and even furnishings was an acceptable and lucrative business model in the 1970’s.

Tireless efforts change perceptions

Change takes time and patience, courage and defiance, and the tireless efforts of animal activists has made a remarkable change in perceptions across the western world.


There are still problems and there are still horrifying accounts of animal cruelty for the fashion and cosmetic trade, so the fight is not yet fully won. Born free, PETA, Fur Free Alliance, and the myriad activist groups have a long fight ahead of them to achieve worldwide consumer resistance to animal exploitation for profit.

Fashion labels dictated by consumer demand

Nevertheless, consider recent moves by fashion houses such as Armani, McCartney, and Hugo Boss to remove fur from all their designer label clothing products.

Snow leopard. Courtesy Pixabay commons
Snow leopard. Courtesy Pixabay commons

Millions of people wear designer label clothing and it is the pressure from the consumer who has been educated through the activist fight that has made animal fur products an outdated business model.

The gross and tacky 1970’s

Compare this scenario to a time not very far back in the 1970’s, when it was great fun to visit grandma and play with the soft fox fur that she draped over her best dress to visit the theatre. What we would consider tacky and downright gross was perfectly fine.


Little button eyes, black nose and curly tail peeping over the shoulder of a winter coat was considered the height of sophistication. If anyone gave such tasteless fashion a thought, it was of envy and a desire to acquire one for oneself, rather than thoughts that a sentient animal once lived within that skin.

The right to life

Modern society has seen a huge shift in attitude towards the right to life of the animals that share our planet. Thousands of years of hunter gathering, coupled with the Christian belief that animals have no souls saw countless millions of cruel deaths and unspeakable acts of tortuous pain on the innocent.

It is only in recent years that cosmetics tested on live apes and rabbits became a problem for those who buy the products. We reached the second millennium before it became an embarrassment to be seen wearing animal fur.

A patient enlightenment

It is no miracle or sudden enlightenment brought on by the benefits of vitamin supplements that wrought the change. It is due to the unceasing and patient work of the grassroots organizations that have made the difference.


For example, sixteen years ago, nobody questioned trophy hunting very much. It was an acceptable form of utilizing wild animals for sport and profit. Today millions of people are fighting to bring an end to the killing of animals for conservation and photo safaris are competing on the market with hunting safaris. In time, with devotion, daring, and soaring support, the activists will win through.

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