December 30, 2002
Furry bits

Here’s me with my favorite Christmas present—a psychedelic fur collar.

Fur’s really popular in Japan right now. Every women’s clothing shop carries fur trimmed scarves, gloves, shoes, and even fur handbags. I saw fur-covered high-heeled boots on a woman on the train the other day, and a mink vest in a shop window. Coats mainly have fur trim (rather than being fully fur), but sheepskin coats (suede on the outside, fur in the inside) are very popular.

Although the trendy excess is a bit ridiculous, I’m happy that fur has lost its moral taint. It’s warm and cozy to wear. There’s nothing like petting your clothes to make you feel calm. Would I like to have a fur coat? Yep, absolutely! Persian lamb, maybe…

I think its strange that many people feel guilty when they wear fur but they don’t feel guilty about eating meat and wearing leather. Although I can understand not wanting to wear endangered species, I don’t think that’s so much of a problem in the fur trade any more. Most animals are ranched for fur, the same way they are for meat. So I wonder why people who eat meat feel bad about wearing fur?

Posted by kuri at December 30, 2002 10:15 AM


Cool!! I would love the fur covered high-heeled boots.

Posted by: Heidi on December 30, 2002 12:17 PM

Well, I’m pretty anti fur but a heavy meat eater and I’ll tell you how I see the differences.

I don’t eat anything usually slaughtered young such as veal. I don’t eat endangered species such as sea turtles. I generally also try to seek out free-range eggs and chicken and other items that mean the animals have been treated with at least some respect. Items such as beef cattle have almost every part of the animal used (and in some cases with disastrous results such as mad cow disease).

Try doing some research into how animals are raised just for fur. I freely admit that there are some animals for meat productions that are just as bad, but generally the animal is just slaughtered for it’s fur and generally kept in bad conditions. The methods of death in order to protect the fur are quite horrible and I won’t go into them here. And unless it is a big cat, usually the carcasses aren’t used for anything else and just thrown away.

I find the death of animals for fashion, for a whimsey that may only be worn a few times and then shucked because the trends have changed to be deplorable. At least consumption is a need. I don’t mind leather coats nor sheepskin articles. But wearing fur encourages not just death of the fur-farmed animals, but those endangered ones as well. Since fashion is always a bit about one upmanship, the woman who has the spotted leopard skin (endangered) will be a bit above the woman with just the common fox or mink. Why isn’t faux fur enough?

I look at fur wearing people in the same way that I view the people killing the rhinos for their supposedly aphrodesiactic horns - locked into a anacronistic cultural view without respect towards the impact on the environment and the animals. To kill them for vanity alone just offends me as a horrible waste.

The worst I ever saw was at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. At the big cat exhibit a woman was wearing a full length fur made of some cat skin. The exhibit went to great lengths to show the declining cat populations and that fur harvesting was one of the reasons. She just didn’t get it.

Wearing fur encourages the destruction of natural populations of endangered animals. The guy who can smuggle that spotted leopard fur out of China has just fed his family for a year or more. As much as I deplore the poachers, I understand why they do it. Fur wearing people only encourage this.

And that’s what I have to say on that matter. ;)

Posted by: Seth on December 31, 2002 04:56 AM

Well, I have to congratulate you on roaming from the wearing of fur to war to coffee to taking a stance against those who would rob you of basic housing needs.

So it seems that your argument is that there’s just too much bad in the world that we should simply apathetically accept all of it. Since choosing to take a stand on one issue would be invalidated by another action in an unrelated arena don’t make a stand at all. Frozen into consumerism and rationalization by the ability to relate any transgression to another? ;)

This comes from a woman who’s sig decried those who would so easily let go of some basic personal rights in lieu of security?

You are right. The injustices in the world can be overpowering. I don’t know about the workers somewhere who made my pencil or the woods that were deforested to make it. Who knows what impact mining the rare metals in my TV or computer had on the environment or the people who mined it. But I do know that I can choose small issues to make a difference. I try to save water. I turn off lights when I’m not using them. I don’t eat veal. I recycle. Are most of these actions probably negated somewhere sometime by my own hypocrical actions? Yeah, probably, but at least I tried and maybe created a balance rather than an imbalance.

Fake fur is available. It’s just fashion. So many wild animals were killed for clothing that the whimsical Shibuya girls will wear a few times this year and then discard for next season’s or winter’s style. Not buying real fur is such a small sacrifice to shut down an industry that uses leg traps, drowning traps and raises animals in suffering isn’t it?

Choosing small battles in the big war can make a difference.

For a reasonably rational presentation of the issue you can check out:

For a rabid (pun intended) look at the anti-fur movement go to the zealots at PETA:

Posted by: Seth on January 1, 2003 01:04 AM

whats the diff between leather and fur leather is made out of shark and thats an animal

Posted by: on February 18, 2003 04:12 PM

I’ve been wrestling with the idea of buying a new shearling coat. I’m trying to soulsearch and see where my personal line is.
Yes, I eat meat. Chicken and fish (non endangered) but pause when it comes to “exotic” proteins.
Yes, I wear leather - shoes, purses, and clothing.
Yes, I feel guilty about wearing animal fur.
So what happened? I’m buying pre-owned shearling and telling myself at least I’m not adding to the burden.
Yes, it does make reselling of furs profitable and proliferates an industry. But at least sheep are being totally used - its not like killing an animal we don’t use in its entirety e.g. mink, fox, big cats.
But I’m still wrestling with myself, and wearing it. Just like I think about, but haven’t given up meat.
So what’s the answer? I think the world is progressing every day, and each of us, in our own way, needs to contribute a small something to make that happen.
What’s my contribution? I try to aid endangered species, contribute to the World Wildlife Fund and rescue cats (the domestic kind).
How about you ?

Posted by: cat_lover on March 4, 2003 07:23 AM

congratulations! i love your fox fur collar and think you should have EVERY right to choose to wear and enjoy fur. if people were less hypocrites and would just mind their own business maybe they could be a lot happier. it is interesting where these anti-fur people draw the line. oh i eat fish, but i don’t drink milk. i eat chicken but i don’t eat lamb or wear leather. i eat eggs but i would never harm a fly, but i might have an abortion if having a baby would infringe on my freedoms. keep it to yourself, and quite telling others how to live.

Posted by: furcoatman on August 27, 2003 04:49 PM

Fur is worn by only vain, ignorant and selfish people. I don’t eat meat and I am against wearing fur. Wearing fur is obviously cruel. If you want to look fashionable, fur isn’t the right thing for that image. You are going in the wrong direction for fashion. What fur being worn by humans shows, is that the people who wear fur are only vain and cruel. We are animals, and I believe that no one is higher than anyone/anything. Fur isn’t right. If people continue to wear fur, every animal on this planet (that includes us) will become endangered, or even extinct. Everything on this planet is interconnected. Pay attention to the environment in which we live. If you wear fur, you are putting everything in danger. Think about other living creatures who have as many rights as us. Fur isn’t smart or cool it is cruel. Stop showing and displaying your selfishness and ignorance by wearing fur!!!!!!!

Posted by: Anisa Joy Kuren on June 11, 2004 01:40 AM
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