A veterinarian has described how the sight of rabbits suffering on angora farms still haunts her to this day.
Dr. Heather Rally, the supervising veterinarian of Captive Animal Law Enforcement for the PETA Foundation, speaks about the experience on video.
The video is one of a 10-part series about the times a life-changing experience or personal revelation awakened people's sense of social justice and triggered their evolution into vegan activists.
Horror of angora
According to Dr. Rally, she was in China on behalf of a major international retailer who wanted to see if the farms it bought angora rabbit fur from, which were billed as 'ethical', were treating the animals humanely.
"What she witnessed horrified her and the international company, which immediately halted its angora sales and gave away its inventory to refugees," said PETA.
"On these farms, [she] saw sick, dying rabbits held in row upon row of barren cages in dank and dirty warehouses and rabbits in pain who'd just been plucked raw."
Dr. Rally speaks about how her experience shaped her advocacy
Despite begging the fur farmers to let her euthanize the animals who were suffering the most, they refused.
"The answer was always no," she said. "Walking away and leaving those rabbits was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, so I made it my mission to stop that industry in its tracks, and we’ve done just that all over the world now."
The experience led Dr. Rally to a realization that while she wasn't able to give veterinary care to the rabbits, she was able to persuade the retailer to ban angora.
More than 300 brands now refuse to sell angora, including Gucci, H&M, and Miss Selfridge.
You can watch the full video here