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Cruelty-Free Christmas



Make Your Holiday Shopping as Animal-Friendly as Possible! 

 

FOUR PAWS would like to help you make responsible choices regarding animal welfare when shopping this holiday season. The vast majority of consumers are unaware of the impact their purchasing habits have on animals. Animal cruelty can literally be woven into the fabrics that we buy. Animal products, bi-products, animal testing and environmental degradation can be linked to the production of many items from winter coats to chewy candies, cosmetics to food ingredients.

 

However, the informed consumer is an animal’s best friend! Each of us holds the immense potential to take a stand against animal cruelty, simply by voting with our wallets.

 

We have put together a few important points to remember when purchasing your holiday items.

 

  1. Check the labels: Real fur is still commonly used and not always labelled correctly; even some fake furs have been found to contain real fur mixed in them.  
  2. Don’t buy that puppy in the window: Animals do not make good presents and buying animals online or in pet stores - especially over the holidays - means you could be supporting puppy mills or other unethical breeding practices.
  3. Feathers have to come from somewhere. Only buy products, such as winter jackets, duvets, comforters, pillows, and pillow-top mattress, from companies and suppliers that guarantee full supply chain traceability standards for their down to come from cruelty- free sources. Better yet, purchase clothing and and bedding products that use alternative filling materials, to best ensure that geese and ducks are spared of the cruel practices of live feather plucking and force-feeding.

 

The Real Rub on Fur

 

Decade after decade, fur has remained fashionable. Even more sickening, two main sources of fur these days come from European and Chinese deplorable fur farms, or from cruel trapping practices that are carried out across the world – including North America!

 

The good news is that advancements in synthetics have made fake or “faux” fur a real contender in the marketplace. There is nothing wrong with wearing faux fur, as long as you read the label. The problem is that some manufactures make or trade in both real and faux fur. If you do not read the label explicitly enough, you may be misled. Today, faux fur and real fur are often indistinguishable from each other. In the case of fur trimmings particularly, declarations concerning the actual nature of the product are rare. When in doubt, consumers should try to separate real and faux fur for themselves by asking the store, managers, or suppliers where the products come from.

 

Alternatively, we have another solution. Simply shop at a designated “Fur Free Retailer”. The Fur Free Retailer Program is the program designed by the Fur Free Alliance, a global coalition of which FOUR PAWS is a member. The list recognizes fashion chains and brands that have committed, in writing, to stop selling any products that use real animal fur. There are already more than 300 well-known brands as members, such as H&M, Zara, Vero Moda, Brunotti, American Apparel, GEOX, the Otto Group, s.Oliver, C&A and Ernsting’s family.

 

By shopping at these stores and supporting these retailers, you know you are supporting leaders in the fight against the use of real fur.  A list of all the companies participating in the “Fur Free Retailer” program is available at www.furfreeretailer.com.

 

Pets as Presents

 

Whether it’s for a birthday or a holiday, animals are a popular gift. Although these new companions are initially a source of great joy, the enthusiasm often subsides once it becomes clear that having a dog, cat, or other pet require a lot a work, responsibility, and money. We urge buyers to keep in mind that when you give an animal as a gift, you are giving a living being. Many pure-breed, specialty, exotic, or pet store animals’ end up being abandoned at shelters because the “gift” did not turn out as expected. It is easy to buy an animal from a specialized pet store because you feel pity for them. But by purchasing one, you are actually encouraging the pet trade, since the animal you acquire is quickly replaced with another. The “puppy trade” in the United States and around the world is a booming business where profits come first before the animals’ care, comfort or safety. You can help end this cycle by adopting an animal versus purchasing one. If you decide to buy however, choose a reputable breeder versus buying online or from a pet store.

 

If, upon careful consideration, you decide to acquire a companion animal, here is a useful checklist of things to consider beforehand. http://www.four-paws.us/files/USA/Photos/FP_puppy_guide-US.pdf

 

Adoption Is An Option! If you are in the market for a family member, please take a look at animal shelters first. There are many small and large four-legged animals as well as feathered friends in these shelters waiting for a new home. In fact, over two million perfectly healthy cats and dogs are euthanized every year in the United States alone because they are not adopted. You can quite tangibly, save a life!

 

There are a lot of myths about shelter animals being “bad”, “damaged” or always abused. This is not the case! For instance, many animals have been relinquished to shelters simply because the family moved and couldn’t bring them along. Visit your local shelter to learn more about the animals in their care. You may be surprised and find your new best friend there!

 

Looking for a particular breed? We got you covered! There are thousands of rescues across the country that offer adoptions. These rescues usually deal with specific breeds. It may be as simple as an internet search putting in your breed preference, the word “rescue” and your location (example: Labrador retriever rescue in Boston, MA).

 

By taking these steps, you are helping cut out the unnecessary breeding of dogs, and the cruelty, neglect and abuse that often are synonymous with the puppy trade.

 

Down With It: The Truth About Down in Winter Jackets and Bedding

 

During cold weather, everyone wants to wear the most appropriate clothing. Very often, the warm lining of down jackets and other outerwear are produced in the cruellest conditions. Geese and ducks often fall victim to live-plucking and force-feeding, practices which cause great suffering to the animals. The down and feathers of these animals then end up in coats, sleeping bags, blankets and pillows.

 

FOUR PAWS launched the “Cruelty Free Down Challenge” in order to showcase outdoor brands that have started to track the source of their down. The aim of this initiative is to ensure that the collection of down is not linked to practices that cause animal suffering. As a result, brands can participate in ensuring that live plucking and force-feeding are avoided.

 

FOUR PAWS has also been working with companies and suppliers to develop full supply chain traceability standards to ensure – to the highest extent possible – that supply chains use down feathers from geese and ducks that are not subjected to live-plucking or force-feeding. Full traceability is possible, which is why consumers should demand that companies use full supply chain traceability standards (such as the Responsible Down Standard and/or Global Traceable Down Standard for certified down) for all the down feathers used in the products they make. We also encourage consumers to forgo down completely by purchasing jackets and bedding products made with alternative filling materials.

 

Please visit down.four-paws.org for more information about the status of your favorite outdoor brands.

 

However, caution is advised not only in the case of down. The fur trim on the hood of a trendy coat, or the fur bobble on a chic hat can be just as problematic.

 

It is important to review the label on all the products you buy. Cosmetics and household products you buy, to ensure that the products and ingredients used were not tested on animals. The Leaping Bunny Logo is the only internationally recognized symbol guaranteeing consumers that no new animal tests were used in the development of any product displaying it.

 

Gift ideas for animal lovers: Donating to us means supporting our sanctuary animals and helping rescue more

 

If you are looking for a meaningful, lasting gift for an animal lover why not consider supporting the FOUR PAWS animals in our many sanctuaries, or donating so that we may be able to rescue more. With a monthly contribution, you can help provide care for our sanctuary animals; stray dogs and cats, bears, big cats, and orangutans in our care all need help. All the animals that end up at a FOUR PAWS sanctuary are guaranteed a caring, safe home for the rest of their lives. And that doesn’t come cheap, so you’re help truly makes a difference!

 

 

 

 

Make Your Holiday Shopping Cruelty-Free

 

FOUR PAWS would like to help you make responsible choices regarding animal welfare when shopping this holiday season. The vast majority of consumers are unaware of the impact their purchasing habits have on animals. Animal cruelty can literally be woven into the fabrics that we buy. Animal products, bi-products, animal testing and environmental degradation can be linked to the production of many items from winter coats to chewy candies, cosmetics to food ingredients.

 

However, the informed consumer is an animal’s best friend! Each of us holds the immense potential to take a stand against animal cruelty, simply by voting with our wallets.

 

We have put together a few important points to remember when purchasing your holiday items.

 

1.)    Check the labels: Real fur is still commonly used and not always labelled correctly; even some fake furs have been found to contain real fur mixed in them.  

 

2.)    Don’t buy that puppy in the window: Animals do not make good presents and buying animals online or in pet stores - especially over the holidays - means you could be supporting puppy mills or other unethical breeding practices.

 

3.)    Feathers and down have to come from somewhere. Only buy products, such as winter jackets, duvets, comforters, pillows, and pillow-top mattress, from companies and suppliers that guarantee full supply chain traceability standards for their down to come from cruelty- free sources. Better yet, purchase clothing and and bedding products that use alternative filling materials, to best ensure that geese and ducks are spared of the cruel practices of live feather plucking and force-feeding.

 

The Real Rub on Fur

 

Decade after decade, fur has remained fashionable. Even more sickening, two main sources of fur these days come from European and Chinese deplorable fur farms, or from cruel trapping practices that are carried out across the world – including North America!

 

The good news is that advancements in synthetics have made fake or “faux” fur a real contender in the marketplace. There is nothing wrong with wearing faux fur, as long as you read the label. The problem is that some manufactures make or trade in both real and faux fur. If you do not read the label explicitly enough, you may be misled. Today, faux fur and real fur are often indistinguishable from each other. In the case of fur trimmings particularly, declarations concerning the actual nature of the product are rare. When in doubt, consumers should try to separate real and faux fur for themselves by asking the store, managers, or suppliers where the products come from.

 

Alternatively, we have another solution. Simply shop at a designated “Fur Free Retailer”. The Fur Free Retailer Program is the program designed by the Fur Free Alliance, a global coalition of which FOUR PAWS is a member. The list recognizes fashion chains and brands that have committed, in writing, to stop selling any products that use real animal fur. There are already more than 300 well-known brands as members, such as H&M, Zara, Vero Moda, Brunotti, American Apparel, GEOX, the Otto Group, s.Oliver, C&A and Ernsting’s family.

 

By shopping at these stores and supporting these retailers, you know you are supporting leaders in the fight against the use of real fur.  A list of all the companies participating in the “Fur Free Retailer” program is available at www.furfreeretailer.com.

 

Pets as Presents

 

Whether it’s for a birthday or a holiday, animals are a popular gift. Although these new companions are initially a source of great joy, the enthusiasm often subsides once it becomes clear that having a dog, cat, or other pet require a lot a work, responsibility, and money. We urge buyers to keep in mind that when you give an animal as a gift, you are giving a living being. Many pure-breed, specialty, exotic, or pet store animals’ end up being abandoned at shelters because the “gift” did not turn out as expected. It is easy to buy an animal from a specialized pet store because you feel pity for them. But by purchasing one, you are actually encouraging the pet trade, since the animal you acquire is quickly replaced with another. The “puppy trade” in the United States and around the world is a booming business where profits come first before the animals’ care, comfort or safety. You can help end this cycle by adopting an animal versus purchasing one. If you decide to buy however, choose a reputable breeder versus buying online or from a pet store.

 

If, upon careful consideration, you decide to acquire a companion animal, here is a useful checklist of things to consider beforehand. http://www.four-paws.us/files/USA/Photos/FP_puppy_guide-US.pdf

 

Adoption Is An Option! If you are in the market for a family member, please take a look at animal shelters first. There are many small and large four-legged animals as well as feathered friends in these shelters waiting for a new home. In fact, over two million perfectly healthy cats and dogs are euthanized every year in the United States alone because they are not adopted. You can quite tangibly, save a life!

 

There are a lot of myths about shelter animals being “bad”, “damaged” or always abused. This is not the case! For instance, many animals have been relinquished to shelters simply because the family moved and couldn’t bring them along. Visit your local shelter to learn more about the animals in their care. You may be surprised and find your new best friend there!

 

Looking for a particular breed? We got you covered! There are thousands of rescues across the country that offer adoptions. These rescues usually deal with specific breeds. It may be as simple as an internet search putting in your breed preference, the word “rescue” and your location (example: Labrador retriever rescue in Boston, MA).

 

By taking these steps, you are helping cut out the unnecessary breeding of dogs, and the cruelty, neglect and abuse that often are synonymous with the puppy trade.

 

 

Down With It: The Truth About Down in Winter Jackets and Bedding

 

During cold weather, everyone wants to wear the most appropriate clothing. Very often, the warm lining of down jackets and other outerwear are produced in the cruellest conditions. Geese and ducks often fall victim to live-plucking and force-feeding, practices which cause great suffering to the animals. The down and feathers of these animals then end up in coats, sleeping bags, blankets and pillows.

 

FOUR PAWS launched the “Cruelty Free Down Challenge” in order to showcase outdoor brands that have started to track the source of their down. The aim of this initiative is to ensure that the collection of down is not linked to practices that cause animal suffering. As a result, brands can participate in ensuring that live plucking and force-feeding are avoided.

FOUR PAWS has also been working with companies and suppliers to develop full supply chain traceability standards to ensure – to the highest extent possible – that supply chains use down feathers from geese and ducks that are not subjected to live-plucking or force-feeding. Full traceability is possible, which is why consumers should demand that companies use full supply chain traceability standards (such as the Responsible Down Standard and/or Global Traceable Down Standard for certified down) for all the down feathers used in the products they make. We also encourage consumers to forgo down completely by purchasing jackets and bedding products made with alternative filling materials.

 

Please visit down.four-paws.org for more information about the status of your favorite outdoor brands.

 

However, caution is advised not only in the case of down. The fur trim on the hood of a trendy coat, or the fur bobble on a chic hat can be just as problematic.

 

It is important to review the label on all the products you buy. Cosmetics and household products you buy, to ensure that the products and ingredients used were not tested on animals. The Leaping Bunny Logo is the only internationally recognized symbol guaranteeing consumers that no new animal tests were used in the development of any product displaying it.

 

 

Gift ideas for animal lovers: Donating to us means supporting our sanctuary animals and helping rescue more

 

If you are looking for a meaningful, lasting gift for an animal lover why not consider supporting the FOUR PAWS animals in our many sanctuaries, or donating so that we may be able to rescue more. With a monthly contribution, you can help provide care for our sanctuary animals; stray dogs and cats, bears, big cats, and orangutans in our care all need help. All the animals that end up at a FOUR PAWS sanctuary are guaranteed a caring, safe home for the rest of their lives. And that doesn’t come cheap, so you’re help truly makes a difference!

 

 

 


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