Either way, mink eyelashes and eyebrows support a terrible industry and the suffering of animals in tiny cages.
Mink lashesare often sold as “100 percent cruelty-free” or “safely collected on a farm” or even “taken only after brushing the mink”. Are mink lashes cruelty-free? If you believe that, I have a waterfront property in Nebraska to sell to you. Read on to discover why mink lashes can never be “ethical”.
Mink is held captive in terrible conditions, so their fur can be glued to false eyelashes for a “fuller and thicker” look. Did you know that your false eyelash extensions are made with the hair of an adorable mammal called mink? And no, they are not by-products nor are they free from animal cruelty. In fact, more than 50 million minks are raised around the world every year, mainly because of their fur. Mink cultivation has also come under criticism in recent times due to its connection to the coronavirus pandemic.
First of all, minks cannot be raised in freedom, since they are strictly territorial animals and can become aggressive when threatened. Not to mention that, despite being bred for generations to obtain fur, zoologists at Oxford University discovered that minks have not yet been domesticated. And what's worse is that, since the federal minimum sacrifice law protects animal welfare on mink fur farms, ruthless methods of slaughter are inevitably used to keep mink skins intact and preserve coat quality. Fur farms are highly unlikely to be “brushing minks” to get their fur and are much more likely to kill them for it.
Industries like this are the reason why many animal species are becoming extinct and, as expected, European minks are classified as “critically endangered” by IUCN and fewer than 30,000 remain in the wild. The labels on these products claim that mink lashes are “100% cruelty-free”, are safely collected on an open field farm, or “taken only after brushing the mink”, but animal rights groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) say that there is no such thing as mink fur cruelty-free. What makes mink lashes — by definition a toiletries item — an even more questionable purchase is the fact that European minks are in serious danger of extinction. Historically, mink fur has been the most popular in the world, but you might be surprised to learn that they're lurking in your false eyelashes.
But the most important thing for the eyelash industry is that mink fur makes eyelashes look more natural, voluminous and durable, while feeling almost nil when worn close to the eyes. They are mink skins that have been shaved off the body of a mink (either just before or immediately after the animal is killed on a fur farm) that are then glued in tufts to a human's eyelashes to achieve a “fuller and thicker look”. Undercover investigations carried out on mink farms, even in countries that the industry is quick to describe as “high welfare”, animals have been found suffering from thirst, hunger, neglect and open wounds that have not received treatment. Mink lashes are likely to originate from fur farms, which is where approximately 85% of the world's fur comes from.
So what exactly is mink fur? Why is it so popular in the leather industry? What else is it commonly used for? And most importantly, how can people help reduce the numbers? Mink are semi-aquatic animals that need access to water to swim, something that, of course, a fur farm environment lacks. .