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Ethical fashion and the exploitation of nonhuman animals

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Fashion theorists have largely ignored ethical concerns about the industry's exploitation of nonhuman animals. While critical theory and political economy approaches stress the centrality of animal exploitation to global capitalism, an animal rights perspective critiques the fashion industry's use of nonhuman animals as a 'theatre of cruelty' which turns them from living beings to mere products, or raw materials. Adopting these perspectives, the article provides a brief survey of some key issues, and examines the resurgence of fur sales and fur industry rhetorics. The evidence and the arguments presented illustrate why a critical approach to ethical issues in fashion and beauty cannot exclude nonhuman animals.
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Keywords: animal exploitation; animal rights; animals in fashion industry; ethical fashion; fur industry

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Brock University

Publication date: 2011-12-22

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