The Ugly History of Beautiful Things: Angora

In 2013, PETA released a video that changed the fashion industry. The footage, which is still available on YouTube, showed a man sitting on a bench, straddling a white rabbit that had been stretched out lengthwise and strapped down. It’s an angora, a rabbit breed prized for its long, thick, hollow-haired coat. The man begins to grab fistfuls of the rabbit’s soft fur and pulls it quickly, jerkily, tearing it from the rabbit’s flesh. As the video continues, you see more clips of rabbits being stripped naked to their pink skin. They look flayed and raw, and they cry out in pain. When I watched the video, the animal bleats disturbed my two dogs, who began running in circles, sniffing the air and wondering. I’m not sure if they were inspired to hunt, or if they could just smell my distress.

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