The idea of wearing fur is so hard for many of us to accept that it is hard to get past the intellectual argument of why wearing fur is not necessarily evil. While one business group promotes fur as "green," another respected animal rights organization insists that fur is environmentally wrong. Both sides, however, have much work to do in making their cases.
At Christmastime, a Canadian member of Parliament ruffled feathers when he sent out a holiday card with his family decked in fur lined coats. What anyone chooses to wear in his Christmas card is no one’s business but his or own business, but animal rights groups attacked Justin Trudeau and his family quicker than they could wolf down veggie burgers.
Advocating for fur amongst the sustainability mafia is about as wise as preaching universal health care at a tea party rally. Fur coats smack of excess and ostentatious wealth, and in most climates are just not practical. I admit I felt nauseous as a student in Washington DC during Bill Clinton’s 1993 Inauguration: the official uniform of the Democratic Party--at least for women visiting that cold January--appeared to be fur coats that looked out of place from the National Museum of Natural History to the DC Metro. Nevertheless, in Russia and other countries that have obnoxiously cold winters, nothing warms the body better than a fur coat, and nothing prevents heat escaping from your head more effectively than a fur cap. In the end, what someone wants to wear is one’s own business: let divas be divas, or at least pretend to be divas. The animal rights debate will always rage, so let us ask another question: is the wearing of fur green?
According to the Fur Council of Canada (FCC) the answer is a resounding yes. Not wanting to miss out on the fun that comes from a declaration that an organization is “sustainable,” “socially responsible,” or “green,” the Montreal-based group launched FurIsGreen.com. The group brings up some fur for thought:
If FurIsGreen.com lacks persuasiveness, arguments against fur cause the eyes to roll up northward as well. The US Humane Society (USHS) posits many of the leading arguments against the fur industry, but most of their points make it transparent that its advocates just do not like fur.
FurIsGreen.com’s attempt to “educate” does little to mollify the anti-fur crowd, and co-opting trendy buzzwords like “eco-friendly” does not make their messages true or convincing. Any “green” message, unfortunately for the FCC, rings hallow. Meanwhile, many of us who love animals and are horrified at the thought of sables for sale have to remember that if we drive, use disposable plastic products, fly, eat meat, and yes, nosh on cash crops like wheat or soy, we all have a direct impact on our furry friends one way or another. Fur may be gauche, but there are causes far more worthy of a fight.
Leon Kaye owns two leather jackets and a fur lined parka, eats grass fed beef and veggie burgers, bikes across LA, gardens yet insists the best raspberries are from Serbia, and flies abroad whenever he has the chance; charges of hypocrisy do not bother him one bit. He is Editor of GreenGoPost.com; you can follow him on Twitter.
Leon Kaye, Executive Editor, has written for Triple Pundit since 2010. He is also the Director of Social Media and Engagement for 3BL Media, and the Editor in Chief of CR Magazine. His previous work can be found at The Guardian, Sustainable Brands and CleanTechnica. Kaye is based in Fresno, CA, from where he happily explores California’s stellar Central Coast and the national parks in the Sierra Nevadas.