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As winter approaches, the Cornell Store will be selling outerwear and various products that require unnecessary animal cruelty. The use of fur and down for clothing and accessories is inhumane and highly unregulated.

Fur is often sourced from animals that were trapped or farmed. Fur trapping is extremely painful and stressful for wild animals. Steel traps clamp down on the animals limbs, breaking their flesh and causing extreme pain. Many times, animals will be trapped for days before trappers come to kill them and collect their bodies. Trappers suggest that animals that are caught tend to lie down and succumb to fate but this is far from the truth. Trapped animals always attempt to escape, often chewing through their own limbs to free themselves. In addition, traps render animals unable to defend themselves from predators and are non-selective, which means non-target animals end up in traps frequently. Non-target animals may include endangered species, dogs, and cats.

The sourcing of down feathers is equally as cruel. Most feathers are harvested through a process known as live-plucking, where the feathers of living birds are pulled out after couple of months. This is very painful to the birds and often leaves them with open wounds and pain that is not mediated with anesthesia or painkillers of any kind. The supply chain for down is very mysterious and often lacks transparency. The welfare policies followed by major brands such as Canada Goose are not specific and pretend to condemn the live-plucking of birds while still allowing it under a different name to mislead consumers. 

Synthetic jackets have the same warming capabilities as down jackets but do not involve animal exploitation and suffering. In addition, they are more environmentally friendly, as they do not disrupt ecosystems or use harsh chemicals that are needed to preserve animal skin.

We urge the Cornell community to unite so we can end the selling of these cruel products in our campus. We ended the sale of Nike, and we can stop the sale of fur and down.