Yes, furs are beautiful, and can keep people warm in winter, but at what cost? Is it really worth donning a fur, fur trimmed coat or hat, when the animal you're sporting could very well have been skinned alive? China supplies the bulk of the world's fur trade, and because the cost is cheaper, the fur industry eats it up. Even though your coat might say made in France, the fur more than likely originated in China. A country that has no regulations regarding the fur trade, and certainly not regarding animal cruelty.
A Swiss animal protection group (SAP) revealed that they had more than 6 hours worth of video footage, and over 500 photos of animals being knocked unconscious (to save the pelt) and being skinned alive, oftentimes the heart still beating. And it's not just foxes and minks, it's cats and dogs, as well. I understand that there are cultural differences with respect to how we all perceive animals, but cruelty is unforgivable under any circumstances. We are the caretakers of our world, and that includes caring for our animals, as well. Smashing a raccoon dog's head on the ground, to knock it unconscious before skinning it alive, is unconscionable.
But we, the consumer, are as much at fault with our demand for furs and fur accessories. Without the demand there would be no need.
You might reconsider buying those fur trimmed gloves, the next time you are out shopping, knowing that animal might have died in agony.
The following is a video of Heather Mills, produced by PETA (whose methods I often find questionable), that has some very disturbing images. You might want to close your eyes, if you choose to play it.