What would you do if you found out the "faux" fur trim on your neck was really
made of dog fur? How far will the fur industry go to get you to buy real fur?
Skin Trade takes you on a journey from the birth of the fur industry as fashion
through the current trends, misconceptions, and lies perpetrated upon unknowing
consumers. Voices from the underground, celebrities, historians, native
americans, activists, designers, fashion icons and experts weigh in on the
current use of of fur as fashion, which inevitably begs the question, "Why are
animals still being killed for fashion?"
JOHN FELDMANN is an American musician and producer who is the
lead singer / guitarist of the band Goldfinger and a vocal activist for
animal rights. He openly criticizes celebrities like Jennifer Lopez (who
runs a clothing line that makes use of furs) and avid hunter Ted Nugent
(who drove Feldmann to write the song "FTN").
On October 3, 2003, Feldmann's house was raided by the FBI in
connection with a campaign against Jerry Greenwalt, the manager of the
Los Angeles Department of Animal Services. Greenwald had been targeted
by animal rights activists and his car and house had been vandalized.
Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for the crime. Upon the
raid of Feldmann's house by 30 agents, items were taken that were
believed to have been related to the campaign, but the charges were
later dropped due to lack of evidence. Feldmann sued over the incident
and won. The incident led to the writing of the song Iron Fist, which
can be found on Goldfinger's 2005 release.
RAMY HASSAN grew up in a small town in southeastern
Michigan, where the idea of animals having rights simply was not a
priority. As he learned more about the plight of animals, he became
increasingly incensed. He realized that this anger needed to be
channeled into something positive.
Trained as a scientist, Ramy embraced his love of filmmaking as an
adult. He believes that the power of film can bring about real change in
Most recently, Ramy completed a short documentary about the
controversy surrounding the LA Jolla seals in southern California. (savesandiegoseals.com)
Combining his two passions, filmmaking and animal rights, Ramy hopes to
create lasting change for the animals.
SHANNON KEITH is
an animal rights attorney in Los Angeles, California, who decided to
take up documentary filmmaking to get the animal liberation message out
to mainstream media. Her first documentary, "Behind the Mask," garnered
several awards, including Best Documentary Feature at festivals
nationwide, and has been translated into 12 different languages. While
balancing fighting for animals in the courtroom and running her own
non-profit organization, ARME (Animal Rescue, Media & Education) -
www.arme.tv, Shannon has just completed her second documentary on the
fur and fashion industries called, "Skin Trade," due for a January 2010
GENE BLALOCK, as
the lead singer and songwriter for the Los Angeles-based rock band,
The Faded, is an
outspoken animal rights activist, and an accomplished film editor.
Raised in rural Virginia, Gene grew up in an environment that accepted
hunting as a way of life. When he asked a friend about deer hunting, his
friend asked why it made a difference whether it was a deer or a cow.
From that day forward, Gene has lived by the philosophy that all lives
matter, and encouraged others to do the same.
Gene brings a vast knowledge of audio and video production having
produced dozens of albums and edited movies and videos, from
documentaries to commercials and music videos, for a wide range of
clients, including Last Chance for Animals, the advertising agency, Leo
Burnett, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and the U.S. Army. Currently,
Gene is assisting Shannon Keith with the editing of "Skin Trade," a
documentary on the fur production industry.
THE FADED combine catchy melodies, serious lyrics,
rich instrumentation, and captivating stage shows. Their music blends
glam, techno-punk, early alternative, and the energy of today�s pop
songs to create a powerful new sound - one that gets people singing,
gaining new fans at each show. The Faded has received the Los Angeles
Music Award, Alternative Band of the Year, two years running, and plays
locally at The Whiskey-a-go-go, and other famous venues regularly.
Fronted by animal activist / multi-instrumentalist musician, Gene
Blalock, The Faded lends their driving rock sounds to Skin Trade in
collaboration with Shannon Keith. For more information, visit
Skin Trade: Playboy�s Barbi Twins
Take On The Fur Industry With New Film
Celebrity is a funny thing. Quirky looks and a lack of discernible talent
notwithstanding, there are still certain people in the public eye who manage
to become household names. Of course, it certainly helps if you�re of the
female persuasion and you happen to be one half of a set of twins with
blonde hair, blue eyes and a ginormous set of� animal rights goals.
Identical twin Playboy centerfolds Shane and
Sia Barbi � who are known as much for their two
record-breaking covers as they are for their cheesecake calendars and
Sunset Boulevard billboards � are interested in taking advantage of
their mainstream popularity in a decidedly more constructive way. Amid
Superbowl commercials, chats with Howard Stern and an
endless stream of modeling gigs, they have managed to prioritize their time
within the last few years by becoming quite outspoken on behalf of those who
can�t speak for themselves.
After losing their cat several years ago when it ingested
melamine-tainted pet food, the sisters founded the
KittyLiberationFront.org website which directs all monetary donations to
animal charities � they also made a point of holding a vigil for all of the
other pet deaths that occurred around that time as a result of the same pet
food poisoning tragedy. Additionally, they have rehabilitated/ walked shelter
dogs, lobbied animal bills, participated in many anti-vivisection and animal
rights protests and used 100% of the profits from their Eco Anti-Diet
book and their Pinup Pets calendar to help aid animal charities and
animal rescue efforts in regions struck by natural disasters.
The Barbis, who recently told Extra that they
are trying to use their �18th minute of fame to do something good� may not
be terribly adept at quoting Andy Warhol�s 1968 statement,
but sometimes matters of the heart outweigh the importance of citing
accurate pop culture references any old day. Interested in speaking out for
animals who lack the ability to stick up for themselves, the buxom ladies
are now making a splash in Shannon Keith�s eye-opening
documentary Skin Trade, which explores how the fur industry keeps
the dirty secret of how fur is actually made under wraps.
Premiering on February 25th, the film is
already causing major buzz thanks to
its accompanying promotional poster which features Shane and Sia sporting a
bloodstained, rather gruesome look. Skin Trade�s promo image offers
a stark contrast to the fashion industry�s euphemization of their business
practices. It may be a difficult film to watch, but Skin Trade will
undoubtedly help consumers to become far more educated regarding what
wearing fur really entails.