By Emily Kline
Mink eyelashes are advertised in the beauty industry as the most real looking and natural material for fake eyelashes. Velour beauty considers them a “luxury material for easy application, lightweight for all-day comfort.” These faux eyelashes are not your mundane drug store eyelash made out of rubber or other recyclable materials. Instead, they are made out of the fur of minks, a cute furry creature that descends from the same family as ferrets. Companies that use mink fur for their eyelashes claim that they use “cruelty-free” methods to collect the fur. They claim that the fur is taken from a mink’s tail only after the death of the animal. But a recent investigation by PETA has exposed that this is not always the case. This raises certain ethical problems concerning the use of mink fur for human beauty purposes.
According to PETA, an animal rights organization, most of the materials for mink eyelash extensions come from fur farms. For many, this is a huge red flag and should signal that perhaps the “cruelty-free” label put on our precious mink eyelash extensions is not one-hundred percent true. Fur farms have a big reputation for the mistreatment of animals, they are known to keep animals in horrid, cramped conditions with little to no access to a clean environment or clean food and water. On fur farms, animals are almost always denied the ability to behave naturally, they cannot run around or burrow. This almost always results in a stagnant, sad life for animals on these farms. PETA also found that occasionally fur farms claim mink fur is obtained through the act of brushing. This is most likely not true because minks dislike human contact and it would be quite a struggle for fur farms to get mink fur. More trouble than it’s worth, as a result, PETA believes that this claim is not true. Fur farms that claim they obtain mink fur after their deaths, PETA has discovered that often their deaths are violent and bloody. They are either “electrocuted, bludgeoned, or gassed, or their necks are broken, and their skins are torn from their bodies while they’re still conscious.”
This leads me to question whether the full, natural look that mink eyelashes can offer people is worth it in the long run. Since PETA’s article was written on September 9, many people have started to question the value of authentic-looking eyelashes as well. Sadly this is not the first run-in the fashion and beauty world has had with animal cruelty and it certainly won’t be the last. Many industries continue to profit off of animal cruelty and the only way that fur farms will stop their horrible actions is if they stop benefiting economically from it. The only way that will happen is if people stop using animals for their beauty and fashion endeavors, and question the negative effect their zealous desire for beauty has on meek, innocent creatures.
Emily Kline is an editorial intern who is passionate and knowledgeable about fashion, beauty, and women empowerment.