When it comes to animal processing, a lot of the answers are different depending on the animal.
A dog can be slaughtered for meat or bones.
A sheep can be killed and turned into a bone.
But when it comes down to it, a fur trapper does not slaughter animals.
Instead, they take them to a processing plant and cut them up into chunks and sell the scraps for a profit.
“It’s an economic process, it’s a business, and I think that’s what we should be doing,” said Taryn Gorman, executive director of the Humane Society of Greater Vancouver.
“I think that fur is the natural resource for our planet.”
Gorman is one of many animal advocates who have been working to educate the public about fur and the trade in fur products.
“There’s a misconception out there that fur can’t be used for any purpose, it can’t feed the planet,” she said.
“When you go into a fur processing plant, there’s a lot more of a human interaction, there are a lot less cages.”
While the process involves slaughtering animals and transporting them to slaughterhouses, the processing process is still an essential part of the fur industry.
“Fur is a product of nature,” said Gorman.
“The animal is the one that creates that fur.
It’s a product we need to be protecting and preserving.”
The process is not for everyone, however.
“Some fur farmers will sell their fur, or maybe a portion of it, to other businesses, or they will donate it to other fur farms,” said John Condon, a lawyer who represents some of the largest fur processors in Canada.
“You know, some of them are quite conservative.”
According to Condon’s firm, Fur Products International, a handful of fur producers are operating in areas that prohibit fur sales.
“For us, we’ve been really active in protecting and conserving this resource,” he said.
However, many people still believe that fur farming is unethical and that it should not be allowed.
While the trade of fur products is legal in some parts of the world, it is still illegal in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“In the United Kingdom, it remains illegal for fur to be sold as fur or for fur producers to be registered,” said Condon.
“But it’s not illegal to make the choice to grow your own fur.”
The fur industry in Canada has also had some challenges.
While there are no federal laws against the trade, some provinces have regulations.
For example, in Alberta, it isn’t illegal to grow fur in the wild and harvest it for fur, but it is illegal to sell fur products to people.
But even there, there aren’t many laws that protect fur producers from unfair practices.
For some fur buyers, the fur trade has become more acceptable.
“As far as fur goes, I think it’s better than ever, because there are more people who are getting into it now,” said Mimi Wills, a Toronto-based fur buyer.
“Nowadays, people who grow fur are not as afraid of people who don’t grow fur.”
In recent years, however, the trade has seen some challenges as well.
“One of the things that I really appreciate about fur processing is that it’s environmentally friendly,” said Wills.
“They use less water and they use less pesticides.
I think they’re a little bit safer now.”
The legal and ethical challenges are no doubt something that many people would welcome.
But for others, the idea of going into the fur business is too much.
“If you don’t want to be a part of it now, you should leave it alone,” said David Miller, who runs a fur farm in British Columbia and is one the most vocal critics of the industry.
Miller said he has been buying fur for the past 25 years.
“Every year I buy a bit more,” he told CBC News.
“This year I got a big purchase from someone who has never done anything like this before, and he bought it for me.”
Miller said the sale of fur is a tradition that has allowed him to keep his family and his business alive.
“People want to come and take care of their pets,” he added.
“We’ve got to keep it that way.
And if we don’t, we’ll be gone.”