Fashion is one of the most effective methods to create a visual impact for worthy causes. In the 2018 Golden Globe awards, women wore black to show support against sexual harassment and assault. Wearing pink pussy hats in the 2017 Women’s March was a form of protest. Pantsuits were used in political rallies to represent feminist empowerment.
Similarly, noble causes like cancer research, global warming, and community support hire artists to create beautiful designs and catchy taglines on T-shirts, even on an animal hat. The goal is to create awareness and raise funds to support these causes.
One of the most critical and current issues that have taken the world by storm is protecting animals and their environment. Through the years, physical abuse and threats to animals and their habitat have endangered them relentlessly.
However, with a simple act of putting on an animal hat, people can do so much for these animals and show their support for animal preservation.
Saving our animals: Protecting marine animals
Under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), there are approximately 2,270 species that are classified as endangered. From the same list, around 150 are marine species.
Here are some examples:
- Hawksbill Turtle has declined in numbers by 80% over the last century. The turtles are killed for their meat and colorful shells, commercially sold as “tortoiseshell.” Moreover, the degradation of coral reefs, which these turtles feed on, have also contributed to their decline.
- Vaquita is an endangered whale species due to fishing methods like gillnetting.
- Blue whales, the largest living mammal, have almost reached the brink of extinction because of commercial hunting.
- Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles have been declining due to marine pollution, being entangled in fishing nets, and loss of habitat.
- Hunters kill sea lions for their meat, oil, and hides. Similarly, hunters get the fins of the hammerhead shark.
- Fin whale, the second largest mammal after the blue whale, are being hunted for its fur and meat.
- Hector’s dolphins, the smallest dolphins in the world, are dying because of fishing nets.
- The Hawaiian monk seal is going extinct because of commercial hunting for its meat, oil, and skin. They also die from entanglement in fishing nets.
- The green sea turtle and its eggs are famous delicacies.
Consumers can promote causes that save sea animals by wearing marine protection hats. Manufacturers of this animal hat contribute a portion of their profits to Oceana, a non-profit group organized to protect the oceans and their marine life.
Saving our animals: Protecting land animals
Aside from marine animals, land animals are also facing extinction. According to the 2018 Living Planet Report, there has been a 60% decline in the animal population in the past 40 years. The main reason for this decline is the loss and deterioration of wildlife habitat, while overhunting is another contributing factor. Climate change caused by carbon emissions is also eroding the environment.
Some of these land animals facing extinction are:
- Amur leopards are being hunted and killed for their fur, while social housing and agriculture replace their natural habitat.
- Cross River gorillas and mountain gorillas have been listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 1996 as critically endangered. This is due to poaching, destruction of their habitat, and inbreeding, which results in a genetic loss.
- The Sumatran Orangutan is similarly classified by IUCN as endangered as a result of mass deforestation.
- Sumatran elephants have been losing their habitat to deforestation for palm oil plantations, agriculture, and social housing.
- The South China Tiger and Sumatran Tiger are an endangered species since humans have been hunting for their unique patterned fur.
It is the mission of the WWF to protect wildlife and nature by partnering with fashion brands that promote their advocacy.
Protecting domestic animals
It is tragic to know that even animals, commonly kept as pets, also need protection.
According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the most common causes of animal abuse and neglect involve dogs, cats, horses, and livestock.
These animals suffer for the following reasons:
- Bloodsports like dogfighting and cockfighting
- Domestic violence
- Laboratory experiments on animals for drugs, food, and cosmetic testing
- Puppy mills wherein female dogs have very little or no recovery time between breeding
- Slaughter for sacrificial rituals
- Dogs killed for lack of racing potential
- Genetic manipulation of broiler chickens affecting their feet
- Animal hoarding
People can raise awareness about animal abuse by working with groups like HSUS and by wearing products like T-shirts or an animal hat with pet designs.
There are many ways to sustain animal life. Although there are natural occurrences beyond our control, we can start saving our animals by deforestation, recycling and educating ourselves about the care of the environment.
One simple yet effective way of spreading the word is by wearing garments that support animal preservation!