Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Are you fur real? Or, no, I’m not stupid

Today’s Irish Times has a piece on an anti-fur protest that took place in the city centre today. Protestors were doused in red paint (how new! How original!) and held “posters depicting a dog racoon, which campaigners said was skinned alive …

Tue, Oct 12, 2010, 15:07

   

Today’s Irish Times has a piece on an anti-fur protest that took place in the city centre today. Protestors were doused in red paint (how new! How original!) and held “posters depicting a dog racoon, which campaigners said was skinned alive on a fur farm in China”. Whatever problems I have with the story itself (such as: who were these protestors? Where were the responses from furriers, such as Barnardos or even fur retailers, step up Brown Thomas [edit: got a message from BT's PR stating that Brown Thomas no longer stocks fur - my bad]? Do Irish furs find their beginnings in farms in China, from whence could come these dog racoons?), my main problem is with the following statement:

“Most people who wear fur today are people who just don’t know what goes on behind the scenes,” Animal Rights Action Network campaign co-ordinator John Carmody said. “They’re almost always skinned alive because there’s no way of killing them with anaesthetic individually – it would take too much time so it’s literally like a production line.”

Ah, John, you’re not right. I wear fur. Not today, as it’s quite sunny, but in general. I have a wolf fur stole that I received as a gift. I have a mink fur coat (that does me no favours but I still love it). I have a rabbit fur hat. Most of my fur is vintage; some is not. I am fully aware of the conditions under which animals are killed in order to farm their fur – I do, in fact, know “what goes on behind the scenes”. The problem for John and his ilk is that I just don’t really care.

I don’t care how these animals are killed. I accept that some people believe that, having won out on the whole circle of life debacle (and emerged on top), we have a responsibility to respect the animals around us, but I am in no doubt that, had the dog racoons come out on top, they’d be eating us, left, right and centre. If we breed animals in order to use their fur, well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

What do you think? And, if you’re going to take a strong stance against fur, do you eat meat? Do you know how your pigs are raised? How your chickens are bred? Do you know how cows react when they’re taken to the slaughterhouse? And, if you don’t eat meat, do you wear leather?

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