Thursday, October 9, 2008

Selfish Vanity and Absolute Horror

I've never been a fan of fur. I know there are those who will argue with me about this, especially as many shoes are made of leather, an equally horrific industry. But in my opinion there is one big difference.

Wearing fur is pure selfish cruel vanity.

I remember sitting in front of the television as a child and crying my eyes out about the Canadian seal hunt... then asking everyone I knew to sign the petition against it. Thirty years later the seal hunt is going on... but the boycotts against it and the Canadian fishing industry are growing. We may see this ending in our time.

Fur, to me, is the worst form of animal abuse and exploitation. Mostly because it is so avoidable and unnecessary. There is simply no good reason to wear it.

Right now, there is a campaign to get Zappos to stop selling fur products and to have Armani fulfill his promise to stop using fur. If you can support that, and communicate it, that would be great.

If you can stomach it, you should watch the video embedded above. If that doesn't convince you to never wear fur, I don't know what will. And if you think fur is okay, you should be OBLIGATED to watch it.

Then, if you can find an argument FOR wearing fur or fur products and supporting this amazingly cruel industry, I'd love to hear it.


Robin said...

Hi lovely!
I wear a lot of vintage fur. An awful lot of it. There are arguments for wearing fur - it is super, super warm. It lasts for a very long time (as evidenced by my grandmother's heirloom fur coat that is still in great shape after being worn for many winters by her). For some native groups, it is a traditional way of dress and ingrained in the culture.

I haven't bought new fur because I don't know exactly where/what it is coming from and I generally trust that the cows my shoes are made from haven't been skinned alive. If I could guarantee where the fur had come from/skinned roadkill or something myself I would absolutely wear fur.

I am not a fan of admonishing people against all fur. Fur is no more evil than the next thing, and no more unnecessary than leather, etc. It is a long lasting, warmth providing material to make garments from. It is leather with insulation. I totally agree with rebelling against aspects of an industry, but no one is going to have their minds changed by people who won't bend or consider why there are doing something, in this case wearing fur, in the first place.

Princess Poochie said...


I am opening this up for feedback.

I'm sure that it is warm and there are native cultures where fur is still a part of their daily lives.

Here in the US and most industrial countries we have options that eliminate the need for an industry that isn't well regulated and is, without question, extremely cruel.

This video shows some of the less brutal animal killing (or processing). Worse still are the animals (intended targets and more) that are caught in leg-hold traps.

I will absolutely continue to admonish people against fur. Other than sheer vanity, the only argument for fur is warmth which we can easily get through the many many options available out there and that most people have to wear anyways due to cost.

Fur is a luxury that few can afford. Especially the animals, brutally and cruelly killed for it.


jinnan-tonnyx said...

Interesting you posted this today, my coworkers & I had a discussion about this exact topic today! We all pretty much agreed with your point of view, Poochie. I have no problem with people in harsh cold climates wearing fur to keep warm, or people wearing vintage fur. But for most of us there's really no good reason to do so. I also do feel conflicted about buying leather shoes & belts, but on the other hand leather shoes & belts will far outlast vinyl / polyurethane products. And vinyl / PU / PVC is not exactly environmentally friendly. But as far as coats, there are many chic wool coats out there and many warm parkas that don't utilize fur.

How do you feel about fake fur though? Do you think it's ok, or in questionable taste to wear something that looks very like something you are vehemently against?

Princess Poochie said...

j-t -

It is indeed a dilemma, especially as you start to do a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle change as we are doing. It's not like it would make sense to go out and bury all my exisiting leather goods.

There are two things I'm saying in this process:

1. It's not a perfect world.


2. You don't have to do everything, just do something.

That said, vintage is better than new fur. And if you want the fuzzy look, go for the faux fur. I have a coat that has a faux fur collar and cuffs. I would never buy real but the faux stuff is fun, especially in colors.

Since I've always disliked fur, no one who knows me would ever think that it was real.


Bronwyn said...

One very good reason to wear one fur in particular:

The fur is New Zealand Possum.

The reason: Possums (not the giant rat sort you get in America, these are big fluffy things with very fluffy tails) were introduced to New Zealand from Australia. They LOVE it here. There are no predators. They eat the forests and the kiwis' eggs, and they spread tuberculosis amongst cows and deer. They are one of the biggest danger to the New Zealand environment. If there is a market for the fur, people will go and shoot them; if there is no market for fur the government has to lay poison. Otherwise we would end up with no native birds, and very little forest.

So boycott farmed fur as much as you like, but if you are an environmentalist, wear possum.

lady coveted said...

i have to admit, i do wear vintage fur. since i rarely buy 'new' clothes anyway, even furless clothes.

when i was a vegan, i didn't wear any fur or leather at all, but the problem remains that with faux fur, it's made of synthetic fibers that are not biodegradable and are loaded with chemicals.

i'm not sure if supporting the production of synthetic/non biodegradable products is more humane than the killing of rabbits, after all they have longer lasting effects on our ecosytem... and what effect remains to be seen. though synthetic fabrics are beginning to create serious problems both to the environment and our health.

that said, i still wear synthetics... i wear recycled clothes, and it's better not to throw them out. i try, i really do to be conscious of what i buy/wear.

Princess Poochie said...

Lady Coveted

As in all things, natural fibers are best and over all, it isn't a perfect world so we do the best we can. I agree "recycling" clothes by buying vintage is a great way to be environmentally friendly. I adore vintage, especially shoes.


I can see your point. Of course, how were they introduced there? Were they imported by people? I'm not familiar. It would be sad to think that man brought them over and impacted the ecosystem through their ignorance (as so often happened) and now who has to pay the price? The generations of animals from those first imports.

I feel the same way about hunting. There are areas where there are lots of deer and the population grows so much that we feel justified in killing them. The arguments are they don't have enough food, they get sick, etc. But this balance would not be off if we didn't go in and kill off predators, such as wolves, clear cut their habitat and, again ruin the ecosystem.

We have had great arrogance and not much foresight. And we've been quite willing to let the environment and animals pay the price.

Princess Poochie said...

I also wanted to say Thank You to everyone reading and commenting.

I think it's great that you are interested in participating in this discussion.

It's only through debating differnt points of view that we can find solutions and come to ideas about better and alternate ways of doing things.


Ashe Mischief said...

It's a difficult place for many people, it seems. In my mind, there is an idea for fur (and leather), which would be with knowing that the animals lived a humane life and died a humane death, and that after death, their whole body was used (much like in native cultures). I believe that in utilizing an animal for all of its has offered, at least it's death is NOT solely vanity.

I personally don't wear fur (I just CAN'T), but I have saved a vintage fur coat from being thrown away, because I couldn't bear to see the animals' lives being disgarded as such; it went home to a friend who repurposed it for historical reenactment purposes. I can't guarantee that the leather I wear comes from a cow who was entirely utilized, but I have a feeling it's much more likely than the rabbits, foxes, chinchillas and more that are regularly killed.

My faux beau's best friend's wife's family (WHOA!) is a fur family. Her father has a wolf fur coat, his wife a snow leopard fur coat, their daughter's with fur coats as well. At Christmas Faux Beau was APPALLED ( as would I) to be sitting next to such purposeless and vain efforts to display wealth. In this instance, I find it beyond absolutely disgusting and abhorrable. It's complete vanity in this case, and maybe there is a cultural difference (they're Cuban) though I sincerely think it's an economic difference.

(p.s. I DID sign the stop-Zappos petition on PETA's site, as well)

TheShoeGirl said...

One of my favorite scenes in any movie is the one in Ace Ventura 2 where Ace knocks out the old man (who's date is wearing a dead fox around her neck and defending fur-wearing) and puts him over his neck and wears him around the party.
(check it out)

I have a pet chinchilla so I can't watch that video, but I can imagine that it's pretty terrible.

I've never understood why people insist on wearing fur- especially the fur of rare or even endangered animals. I think it's sick and selfish.

DogAteMyFinances said...

I don't understand why fur is so much more unethical than leather. The animals are cuter? I'm serious, what is the principled difference?

Princess Poochie said...

Dogatemyfinances -

As I say right off, both are bad. But I think fur is worse because it is completely frivolous. And wasteful and the methods are extremely cruel as shown in that video. And many unintended animals get caught in leg-hold traps.

Fur is a great and easy first step to eliminate unnecessary animal cruelty.