Abstract

It is currently estimated that more than 1 billion animals are killed for the fur industry every year. This industry is estimated to be valued in the region of $40 billion. This indicates both that there is a moral imperative and an economic opportunity to explore alternatives to conventional fur. While faux fur is currently available on the market, its production is associated with environmentally destructive practices. The development of stem cell technologies provides an exciting new avenue to explore. Specifically, the use of induced pluripotent stem cells may provide a means of growing fur in a laboratory setting. Here we outline the proposed technology and methods. We consider and respond to a number of potential moral objections against pursuing this innovative possibility, arguing that the benefits such technology could bring to animals in the fur industry are too great to be ignored.

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