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What the Fashion Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

Leather Shoes

While researching Olsenhaus, a brand I was going to write about today, I came across one of the links on their website entitled ‘What the Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know.’ Being incredibly disgusted and mortified by the brutality of animal abuse within the fashion industry, I thought I would post word for word what Olsenhaus taught me and why in fact they are a vegan line of shoes. (My post on those shoes to come. This is by all means far more important than a frilly post about hot eco-shoes.)

Warning…if you wish to be oblivious to the horrible ethics of the fashion industry, don’t read. If you care to be enlightened and morph into a better human being, by all means, read on and prepare yourself for some brutal images.

Pig CrueltyMany pigs are still fully conscious while they are scalded with boiling water for hair removal.

Anal ElectrocutionFur farmers kill animals using cruel methods of slaughter that cause extreme suffering like anal and vaginal electrocution and skinning alive.  (UPDATE:  Fur farm electrocution is now illegal in New York.)

Dog CrueltyDogs and cats in China are being beaten, hanged, and strangled with wire nooses so that their fur can be used for garments and accessories.

Water and Land Contamination Producing wool, fur and leather heavily contributes to global warming, land devastation, environmental pollution and water supply contamination.

'Persian Lamb'To produce “Persian Lamb” the mother sheep is killed just before giving birth and the fetus is extracted for it’s pelt.

mulesingWool production involves Mulesing, a barbaric technique where farmers force and restrain live sheep on their back and slice chunks of flesh from their tail area without painkillers.

Dehorned and Branded CowCows endure castration, crowding, branding and tail docking without pain relief.

For sources of information and in depth reading check out Olsenhaus’s “truth” page.

“The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.” -John Kenneth Galbraith

“The greatness of a nation and it’s moral progress can be judged by the way it’s animals are treated.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Enough said.

Written by Emily Konkler

Born in a small town in southern Minnesota, which didn’t quite fit her fancy, Emily headed for New York City soon after high school. While living in New York City, Emily's keen fashion sense was harnessed, transforming from a hobby to a quintessential passion. Emily has been involved with the fashion industry in numerous aspects including modeling, styling and managing runway shows.

Emily lives with her boyfriend Matthew and her overweight cat, Sisu, in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She enjoys painting without talent, reading into the wee hours of the morning, rubbing Sisu behind her ears, sewing on her new machine, eating curry and naan whenever possible, wearing boots all year round, spending good ol’ quality time with her friends, drowning in organic cotton and giggling with her boyfriend.

Currently, Emily is a fashion design student and works at The Nature of Beauty-an organic beauty oasis, where her love for everything organic has flourished and taken her heart by storm. Follow her on Twitter @thekonks.


  1. not all cattle are dehorned without analgesia – it is more common than not, particularly in my practice area, that lidocaine is administered as well as post-procedure NSAID’s. anything over 3 months age additionally is sedated fully for the procedure.

    on this particular topic and species, it isn’t as clear cut as depicted.

    and what medication would be proposed to provide analgesia for ‘crowding’. similar to what is given to people on the subway?


  2. The reason for cutting back a merino lamb's backside is to prevent them being slowly eaten from the inside by fly lava (fly-strike). I've seen hundreds of lambs mulesed and If it's done properly the short amount of pain they endure is far less than anything they would experience if devastated by fly-strike. I've also seen when it hasn't been done properly and it isn't pretty. If it's done properly there is only a small amount removed and a topical antiseptic/analgesic is applied afterward. The lambs are back running around and eating within minutes of the procedure.

  3. The problem is that people are so lazy, even if they know these things they will still buy them. It breaks my heart as a compassionate, intelligent human being that some could read this, see the photos, know about the suffering and then go ahead and buy the wool and fur anyway.

    Also, mulesing is not the only alternative to fly strike, and many countries dont use this practice… we dont need the products from the animal to survive, so there is no excuse to terrorise and hurt them to get it. Even if they do get up and run around later, what strange justification!

  4. Absolutely barbaric. Totally unacceptable. Nothing under the heavens could justify these practices… There’s nothing that is NECESSARY to human survival in our civilized world that we cannot replace with alternatives! We are not bushmen or Inuits… We can thrive on a plant based diet! Stop the insane cruelty already!

  5. STOP and THINK

    Buying plastic shoes is not the answer to saving animals from abusive handling.

    People are not going to stop eating meat. The hides need to go somewhere & making shoes from them is not a horrible concept.

    The government is responsible for overseeing what goods are coming into our country and to set the standard for humane animal handling regulations. We should be outraged that they are not doing a decent job and should hold them accountable.

    If the services of abusive handlers are not able to be tapped by our fashion/trade industry then no product will be able to be crafted for purchasing.

    • This is a topic I’ve thought about quite a bit as an animal lover and as a vegan.

      I’m not sure I agree. While plastic is definitely not always the most eco-friendly choice, I do think that voting with our wallets can help show companies that we don’t want to support animal abuse.

      Veganism may not be for everyone, but I think it’s as presumptuous to assume that folks will always eat factory farmed meat as it is to assume that everyone ought to go vegan.

  6. this is unthinkable horrible sicking how do they stand there and do that to those poor animals some one has to doo somethinf about this now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. As an animal lover and a person who EATS meat I believe that all you guys are doing is finding the negative things that people do!! You are probably those who live in the city and do all of your research online and know nothing about what actually happens on farms, in feedlots, and everywhere else! How do you know what happens in China or that these things are actually happening and are being done on purpose, maybe the dog was caught accidently.. Where you there to witness this?
    What should we do stop slaughtering all animals just like we have done with horses? Now horses are over populated and are not being taken care of, being turned loose on public land? People that raised horses for a living no longer have a “Job” because horses only bring $50 and you can no longer afford to care for them any longer so they will starve.. Is this what you all want to do to all the other animals? SHould we turn them loose and let them take care of themselves, so they can become over populated, get diseases and kill themselves off?? People have been eating meat for hundreds of years and i believe we will keep eating meat for many many more!!!
    I just enjoyed some nice beef!! 🙂

  8. Also, maybe everyone should be more concerned about children and people that are being abused then animals that are supposidly being abused and or mistreated.. WHat are cattle and other livestock suppose to be our pets? I do not understand why all you people believe animals are sooo mistreated.. Maybe you should spend sometime around a farm or ranch and learn that not everything is abused the way you think it is. Just because one person mistreats an animal does not mean you can say everyone does. People eat meat thats just the way it works.. maybe you should watch the LION KING this may teach you a little something about the circle of life… Should we hate animals such as coyotes, bears, ect that eat other animals? Why are we so different from them? They kill to stay alive just as we do..

  9. There is always two sides to the story folks and as a vet I am here to tell you that as a whole humans that raise these animals (with the exception of fur farms) take far better care of the animals than alot of people take care of their own damn pets. So please do your research and keep open minds. Spend time with both parties and maybe the “truth” won’t upset you all so much.

    • As a pet owner, I find this comment worrisome. My pets are part of my family, and the pet owners that I know all treat their animals extremely well. I do understand that as a vet you probably run across cases of mistreatment more than someone like me, but it sounds like you’re saying it’s OK to mistreat animals on a commercial scale because some pet owners mistreat their pets. That doesn’t seem like sound logic to me. Is that what you’re saying?

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