by Michael dEstries
Categories: People.

rocowear.jpgWhoops. In the latest fur-flying episode of celebrities and their fashion faux pas, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter joins Sean “Diddy” Combs as the most recent hip-hop/fashion mogul to screw up a coat label.

Acting on a hunch that other fashion celebs might not be paying too close attention to their outfit origins, the Humane Society of the US purchased a “faux-fur” coat from Jay-Z’s Rocawear website, and had the lining tested. The test showed that the fur was taken from raccoon dogs—a type of dog raised for fur in China.

Customers had no way of knowing if the faux-fur claims were real since a federal loophole exists that allows coats with fur valued at $150 or less to have no label. Jay-Z’s coat is a disturbing trend in which assumed fake accessories are actually the fur of animals potentially skinned alive. The HSUS is working hard to investigate other similar claims. From the article,

“The HSUS has found problems on jackets by retailers and designers at all price levels. Mass spectrometry testing of fur-trimmed jackets from a variety of designers and retailers revealed that nine out of 10 were found to contain raccoon dog fur.”

So the question remains: Jay-Z, what are you going to do about this?

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • Naomi Winchester

    I’ve seen many coats and jackets with fur trim that is sold in shops in the UK. These coats are labelled as being made with faux fur, but somehow I find that hard to believe, as alot of it remarkably resembles raccoon dog fur.

    I’ve seen what goes on behind the scenes in the fur trade, and I know that many animals, especially raccoon dog, are bred on fur farms in countries such as China. I’ve seen videos of raccoon dogs, among other animals, being skinned alive for their fur, and it’s extremely upsetting to know that this is going on.

  • Mike Johnson

    You know, really I could care less, I mean once we have the PEOPLE of the world taken care of where there are no homeless or starving children then I will care about some cute little puppy. Really people, How can you care so much about a damn dog, and walk past a homeless guy in the street? Lets spend donation and tax dollars in a better place other than getting all worried about a LEGAL practice of another country. Screw the dogs, There DOGS, lets help people first.

    • Pira McKenzie

      Mike Johnson you are a horrible awful person.
      Exactly how many times have you helped that homeless man in the street? The homeless man who was most likely an alcoholic/drug addict and had ample capacity as the most powerful species on the planet to NOT fuck up his life. Animals don’t have that power, we are obligated to protect them like children.
      You’re a hypocrite

  • L.P.

    Hey Mike….How would YOU like to be skinned alive?? Your a real jerk, and one who more than likely abuses animals, AND enjoys it.
    The *Homeless* people on the streets have nothing better to do with their time, (instead of trying to better their lives)but beg for money so they can support their drug/alcohol habit.
    In regard to starving children…well they’re everywhere in every city, country and state. This is where our greedy politicians come into play.
    ALL animals are living creatures who FEEL pain just like we do. Your lack of compassion is incomprehensible.

  • PETA

    Man i want that jacket!!

  • Mike Jones

    Hey L.P. I have to agree with Mike on this one. I am an animal lover myself I have two dogs that I love to death, but in the end of the day they are not human beings. You talk about Mike’s lack of compassion but you just said that the homeless people are there because they are too lazy to get a job and that the starving children are something that the politicians should care about. THESE ARE HUMAN BEINGS!!! I mean seriously wtf is wrong with this world when a human being a defenseless starving child doesn’t get the sympathy of a damn dog. Not to get off topic but I am a Virginia Tech grad and to see my man Michael Vick go to jail over some dogs is also crazy. I mean what he did was repulsive don’t get me wrong. If they want to kick him out of the N.F.L fine, if they want to take back all of his money thats even fine but to take a mans freedom away over a DOG!?!?!?! What is the world coming to.

  • AV

    Homeless – should have watched their credit, been a little more responsible. Starving children – parent’s dumbass fault for being too selfish not to use a condom and bring more life into this world than they can handle.
    Dogs that get skinned alive, WRONG! And how can you even been human and it not make a difference? Maybe in the afterlife you’ll be an animal on one of these farms.
    And he’s a fucking football player, they’re making them in my college right now that will certainly take his place, with some money, steriods, temper, nice ass car, and plenty of ho’s. I’m sure he’ll be fine without them.
    Rich rapper, same deal some extra nice ass shit….I’m sure he’ll get over paying the court a pretty fine.

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  • carol

    Jay z is supporting the 2million dogs and cats that are killed in china every year. It is not regulated at all they kill them cats and dogs anyway they want. They are first of all kept in tiny cages with minimal care alone isolated. when they are older they are thrown to the ground as hard as possible (or clubed over the head) unfortunatly they dont die they lay there and in agony. oh but its not over then they are skinned and it doesnt matter if there dead or alive. To top it off they can live through the skinning! they are in horrific uninmaginable writhing pain. Jay z is stylish in his dog fur.(that should be a new song!) way to go jay z ! I mean he wears dog on his collar( another song!) what a freak!

  • linda

    i have to agree with both mike’s on this.. those saying a dog gets more help then a starving child have no clue. those saying its the politicians problem is straight insane. 1. the children in third war countries do not have that kind of choice you so long rant about. 1. give me an african baby or child that chooses to be homeless and have nothing to eat.. better yet give me a kambodian child with the same deal up for grabs to them.. 3. not all homeless in these streets we call home have a choice on why there out there livin in them. have you ever sat down by one and spoke to them and found out there story. i bet you havent. i did last year, and then i helped him find his only daughter and helped him fix his life. so until you help them dont sit there and judge them like that because you seem immature for thinking you know them all when you dont know squat… yes i feel sorry for the animals.. i dont see any of you on the news talking about save the animals spreading your name across the world.. i dont see or hear yall on the save the whales websites. so stop pussy footing around and if you believe in this topic so much start a damn petition or something via email. but there not more important then everything but they are important yes…..


    Hey I beleive that animals are animals. People on the street can go get themselves a freaking job or get into a homeless shelter. Animals may not be human but they are still alive. They won’t be here soon with all of the abuse going on here. Oh, and while people on the street can go get a job, get a hut home and live in a shelter, get food from the soup kitchen, and so on…. ANIMALS CANT DO THAT! They have to get abused by people like you. You people make me sick. And while I am only a early teenager I still beleive in this stuff. Get a life for animals people!!!!
    Poor abused animals…. YOU PEOPLE WHO ABUSE MAKE ME SICK. OH, AND PEOPLE ON THE STREET: GET A JOB! Poor animals….

  • Shem Ariwi

    Dear Purchasing Dept.,
    We are located in Shanghai China and we manufacture faux fur material as well as finished garments.
    We would like to provide faux fur material or finished garments according to your designs.
    Charly Calder’s reputation preeceds you.
    Please get in contact should be interested in our services.

    Best regards,

    Shem Ariwi
    Ricowell Limited – Shanghai, China.

  • Lauren Sheldon

    ok number one, i hope jay-z dies in a hole. Isnt he rich enough ? If you need to sell dog fur to get money then i think your desparate. JAY-Z I HATE YOU and i hope you company goes out of business killing dogs is not a way to make money. anyone who disagress is a loser.

  • Miss Puppylove

    Mike Johnson and Mike Jones: A life is a life is a life! A crime is a crime is a crime! And a victim is a victim is a victim! Animals are LIVING BREATHING SOULS who feel pain and suffering. If you think “they’re just f—— dogs” and that such disgusting, inexcuseable torture is ok… YOU ARE BOTH A F—— DISGRACE TO THE HUMAN RACE! An EMBARRASSMENT to society which has the tools and knowledge to handle things better today! And don’t get me wrong either; I know homelessness and children living in poverty is a serious problem. The SAME F——people who don’t give a DAMN about animals are the same ones who don’t give a DAMN about life in general, INCLUDING PEOPLE! I seriously doubt both of you who CLAIM to care SO MUCH MORE about people have actually volunteered for a homeless shelter, fostered children who come from broken homes and abusive parents, donated to charities, etc. There truly are good people out there who have ended up homeless due to unfortunate circumstanes. Most of them are mentally impaired. But some, like someone mentioned, REALLY DON’T CARE ABOUT GETTING A JOB AND BECOMING A PRODUCTIVE LAW-ABIDING CITIZEN. They really would rather spend $ on drugs and alcohol! And keep having sex like animals (who don’t know any better) resulting in child after child after child. Or they ROB and STEAL for $.I know this because I was a police officer for almost 10 years! Some of those homeless people you feel sorrry for have victimized and even MURDERED to get what they want. I now currently work for Animal Control, and let me tell you, through BOTH lines of work I have seen through my OWN EXPERIENCE and KNOWLEDGE that people who abuse and torture animals ARE A THREAT TO SOCIETY! The same ones who are given a slap on the wrist because “it’s just a f—— dog” turn around and beat their own spouses and children. Likewise, those same individuals who are charged with the most horrific crimes of torture and murder have animal cruelty in their background. So get your facts straight, do some research, and realize that compassion for every living thing INCLUDES AND STARTS WITH ANIMALS. You both say the gov’t shouldn’t waste their time on animals when there are people suffering. Actually, the gov’t can only do so much. You can’t expect the gov’t to “waste time” on anything or to “fix” anything. It starts with each individual person and each indivudual person’s ATTITUDE!!! Pain and suffering in the world (of both animals and people alike) will always be prevalent until there is a balance of compassion for every living thing. In fact, I have also seen through my own experience (police work, animal control, volunteering at many places) that CARING, LOVING, SHOWING COMPASSION FOR ANIMALS HAS CHANGED MANY PEOPLE. Even some of the most violent criminals (who have known nothing but abuse and negativity in their lives) who choose to let an animal touch their heart (instead of torturing it) finally learn what love is. No, this doesn’t mean I think it’s ok for a murderer to go free because he loves animals. I am simply only trying to show the heart of the matter. Many convicts, with close supervision, are training animals to be used for therapy, seeing-eye-dogs, etc. This is both the person and the animal giving back to society because THEY ARE JOINED TOGETHER FOR THE PURPOSE OF GOOD AND UNDERSTANDING. I have also seen terminally ill people (such as my mother) pain level and emotional upset level go down by simply being around animals who have a natural ability to love, if treated in the same respect. And no, this also does not mean if you love a tiger, he will love you back. Tigers who kill are acting on their own instinct and way of life. It is NOT our instinct and way of life to torture lifeforms weaker than us. WE KNOW BETTER AND CAN DO BETTER. There is no excuse for us to act without mercy. The ten commandments indicates “thou shall not kill” It doesn’t say, “thou shall not kill people” or “thou is entitled to kill animals and to torture them” So, yes, YOU TRY being skinned alive! And Mike Jones who says he “loves his dogs to death” …well then I guess you mean it wouldn’t bother you one bit if your precious pups were skinned alive? Really, just think about it for a second. If you think such an act on your dogs would enrage you and cause you emotional pain, think about those other animals. And children are just as helpless as animals. If you think skinning a helpless animal is ok,you might as well say skinning a helpless child is ok too. They both feel pain. It sickens me to know you associate an animal as a lesser life form, with no right to live and be free from torture. Vlad the Impaler skinned children alive. Jeffrey Dahmer beheaded dogs, stuck them on poles, then went around later on in life committing horrendous murders on people. Teach your children to be compassionate for all forms of life. Don’t teach them that it’s ok to torture and murder animals “because they’re just f—— dogs.” No, I’m not saying your child will turn into a Jeffrey Dahmer. But he’ll turn into another you…a DISGRACE TO THE HUMAN RACE THAT WILL NEVER MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THIS CRUEL WORLD. Unless you change your attitude. If you have pets you think the world of, love dearly, and think it’s NOT ok to skin them alive, then the same goes that it’s not ok to skin ANY animal alive, or to torture one in any other way. When you get hungry and have run out of groceries in your house, do you say, oh, I’ll just skin my pups and have them for dinner” For those people who claim to love their pets, but that they’re different from people…Have you worked at a place that does this? Korea and China have plenty of dog meat markets (that people like me are trying to put an end to) Not that I am encouraging you, it’s not my moral, but I GUARANTEE you probably won’t have the guts or desire to do it. You will see dogs who look just like your own loving pets. Eyes as innocent as a child. Pathetic cries of misery. And if you do actually skin one of these dogs alive, I GUARANTEE, you will be bothered, you will be sickened,you will feel guilt, regret, misery, and emotional pain. And you WILL be followed with bad karma. You’ll be one of those dogs in your next life.




    OH, AND PPL ON THE STREET CAN GET A JOB! AND STARVING PPL? SOUP KITCHENS!!!!? UH DDDDDDDUUUUUUUUHHHHHHH! get a life everyone who doesnt beleive in this i mean damn

  • Courtnery

    What the hell why would anyone do something that like that is so wrong it is not even funny how would u like to be hung and then skinned u know that animal have feelings to and that u should care im give them a break that not kool

  • angie from Richmond, Virginia

    I want to add my output by stating that I think it is a shame that everytime there is an animal abuse issue it is always redirected at other issues instead of the issue at hand.people, there are millions of people on this planet,enough to take care of every issue we face.Stop debating on which issue is most important.Yes ofcourse starving children are important,homeless ness is sad and a huge issue,especially here in America but so are animal rights or the lack of therefore.If you feel strongly about a cause than focus your energy into doing something about it.Work in a soup kitchen,adopt a homeless family for christmas,many ways to get involved.You can just volunteer and do activites with the children.For starving children/people,send money to a well known organization,do a fundraiser,yardsale,find out just how you can help.join habitat,so many ways to help but do not judge others just because you feel there cause isn’t great as the ones you care about because to them it is equally as important.animal activist do care so much because of the lack of empathy and the greatness of apathy bestowed on animals.Such causes as hungry children and the homeless is not as great a cause to us for the simple fact we know people care about these issues and are striving world wide to help.Animals on the other hand ,not so prioratized.The government will help people atleast to a point while on the other hand the government is the animals greatest enemy and animals have very little right.Remember that none of us had a say in which body our soul was placed in,just as easily anyone of us could have been an animal.If for no other reason animals deserve to be treated humane because just like us,they do feel pain.

  • angie from Richmond, Virginia

    I would also like to add for those whom minumized the suffering these dogs went through having their body seperated from their skin,I doubt you have ever even witnessed an animal being skinned alive.So I challenge you to go to and see if you still feel no remorse after watching this video.If so then I am just sorry,you possibly have no conscience.

  • Sarah

    I love my seal skin coat. :-)

  • Graphictree

    It is just remarkable. Humans think they can do anything they want.

    I have nothing against hunting, I have nothing against skinning of animals (((if they have been killed in a humane way and if their life was more then being caged in a 2’x 2′ basement for their whole life)))

    Look at your dog or cat. Think of holding down the head and ripping off its skin.

    OH YEA – -and your lovely dog or cat is alive while this is happening.

    This world is overpopulated. People who skin animals alive should be shot dead.

  • nate

    Knowing J, he will nip this in the bud fairly quickly and do what’s right. we also have to be aware of how far removed an owner is from the actual production of the clothing as well as how often they are lied to by people who’d do anything to make a profit from the product. how often do you hear about the person or persons who are responsible for the day to day operation of such companies?

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  • Ricki

    Dude that is soo wrong …

  • Graphictree

    I don’t hold “J” or anyone responsible. My girlfriend bought a pair or boots, fur lined last year.

    I had her watch the videos of what occurs to not only the dogs and cats. Needless to say, she won’t buy fur again.

    Not that many people know or understand what is happening.

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  • ka yun

    selfish people. what does caring about a dog have to do with children starving? I really hope alot of those humans do die, they deserve it for treating animals and earth in such curel ways. why should I care human over animal? because I’m human? thats bullshit, I care about what I want, of cource I care about children, but animals just the same. eating a burger king and wearing fur coat is NOT helping anyone, so why is this issue made to look like people dont care about children? what does anger over fur coat have to do with homeless people? I can say like that too:
    “why should you care about homeless and underprivledged people when other people are being tortured and painfuly killed in war?” do you see the stupidness of that?
    “People who skin animals alive should be shot dead” – so true!
    angie and misspuppylove, I am happy for your argueement, it is verry good one.
    and angie, I’m from richmond also! I’m happy to hear I’m not the only one living here who cares about animals!

    -my english is not as good as many people (I’m from south korea), sorry for that.

  • ka yun

    “Remember that none of us had a say in which body our soul was placed in,just as easily anyone of us could have been an animal.If for no other reason animals deserve to be treated humane because just like us,they do feel pain.”

    this is so true, but of cource people will find something to say, like “no, animals are nothing, my christian god made humans better than everything else, so oh well…” people are selfish.

  • Graphictree

    We can all care about humans, the environment, animals, and we can all care about them at the same time.

    Now would I donate money to a human cause, yes, but I only have after major storms/hurricanes… have destroyed peoples lives.

    Am I more about protecting animals? Well, yea. Humans have destroyed this earth. Humans “in general” are selfish.

    They believe in different gods that make in justifable for them take, kill and do what ever they please.

    Some think that skinning dogs and cats alive is perfectly fine, and I will fight that perception.

    The “””specific”””” Chinese people and others who skin these animals alive are barbarians. They should be skinned alive as well.

  • Stephanie

    I completely agree with Miss Puppylove. Compassion should not be limited to one’s own species. I’m fed up of people who believe that humans are superior to all else. They are not, they are selfish and cruel. Think about it. They world is full of human rights problems, which are all the fault of HUMANS themselves, NOT animals. It shows that people suck. That doesn’t mean that everyone is like that. There are a few good people of course, and they alone are deserving of any help. And why is animal suffering not as important? It’s not like they’re not as capable of feeling pain as people are anyway.

  • Pat

    first of all… homeless people have an option on whether they want to be homeless or not. he could easily get ANY job and pick himself up where as animals are helpless. It not our fault people CHOOSE to be homeless because they’re alcoholics, lazy and are addicted to drugs. Mike youre an idiot.