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Skin Trade
Shannon Keith on CNN with Jane Velez-Mitchell

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 Feldman

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

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 the world.

Most recently, Ramy completed a short documentary about the controversy surrounding the LA Jolla seals in southern California. ( Combining his two passions, filmmaking and animal rights, Ramy hopes to create lasting change for the animals.

Shannon Keith

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) -, Shannon has just completed her second documentary on the fur and fashion industries called, "Skin Trade," due for a January 2010 release.

Shannon Keith

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

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

barbi twins

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 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.

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