For the My Poetic Eyes project it was obvious to me what global situation to go for.
I’ve always been passionate about animal rights, ever since I was a child.
The one main issue that is close to my heart is the fur trade.
In my initial five ideas for this course, I said one of the main things I’d love to do would be to go abroad and film a documentary about the fur trade and expose it to the world. I don’t feel that enough people really understand the horrors that go on for the sake of fashion, and my hope when creating this piece is to open people’s eyes.
When I was about eleven or twelve I watched a documentary about the fur trade by Paul and Heather Mills McCartney; The McCartney’s Vs the Fur Trade, since then the fur trade has been top of my list of issues that I feel strongly about.
The documentary shows footage of dogs, not disimilar to the ones we keep as pets, being beaten, killed in horrible ways or even skinned alive. Animals picked up by their back legs and swung head first into the ground so as not to damage the fur. It makes me sick to the stomach to watch, but I think that’s an important part of making media; you have to be completely passionate about what you’re doing otherwise its meaningless.
To research I’ve been watching videos on Youtube, some show clips used in McCartney’s Vs the Fur Trade, others I’ve just used for research. Here are some videos containing clips I might use for the video, maybe don’t watch them if you’re easily upset!
Although China is renowned for its cruelty, and the use of dogs and cats for fur and food, fur factories exist in the UK and USA too. Mink farms are common in the UK, and the USA has farms for foxes and other animals not considered pets.
This research gave me a lot of ideas for the poem, and I’ve assembled footage that I want to use so I can record the poem over the top. Here it is…
Skulls crack against the floor
Concussion not enough to mask the agony of being skinned alive for fashion
People strut around in fur but at what cost?
What of all the lives that have been lost
Faces full of pain, fear despair
Beaten, kicked, hurt, ripped apart or worse
They’re luck if they’re dead before the knife tears at their flesh
Crammed in cages too small to move
Confused, scared and alone
They hear the cries of pain,
See the writhing bodies of others like them
They know their fate but its too late
Bodies hang from hooks in walls
Why do we let this happen?
Dogs wag their tails, trusting, loving
Their skin then torn from their bodies like their trust in us is stripped away
There is no hope, no happy ever after
Our greed greater than our compassion
Life less important than fashion.