Friday, September 21, 2012

Fur for Thought?

What's your take on wearing fur? 
Do you wear it, or forswear it? 

Are you FOR it, or FAUX it? 



Faux Fur:
Fur-Free Retailers
Some information from PETA
In Defense of Animals

Foe/For Fur: 
Fur Fashion Guide
We Love Fur
What Becomes a Legend Most? The Blackgama Gallery

(Photo credit: Danielle Kafas. Used with permission)

Gifts With Humanity


theequinebovine said...

Oh hell..where do I start. First, we live in wide world full of options, choices and decisions. Life is very colorful and very rarely runs into a a black and white landscape.
I have been an animal lover and advocate for more than half of my life. I don't eat cow, pig, birds or anything with fur. I also choose not to eat dairy because there is not sense of not eating beef and still consuming dairy. They horrendous conditions can even be worse most of the times to dairy cows.

I sometimes eat fish for sushi on my birthday and I eat eggs because my body works well with the protein.
Yet, I will eat dairy if it is from a small , semi local farm that is not mass producing their creatures to be torture machines.

Okay, so get of my high horse right? Well, I wanted to explain that I will eat dairy, and I might eat chicken one day under the right circumstances, and yes I do wear leather and fur.

I loooooooove leather. Oh shit. My wardrobe is consumed by leather. Leather boots, leather jackets, leather fringe, leather pants..Leather!
I also have a lovely collection of fur.

I choose to only purchase used leather and fur products. If I wanna wear it , it has be to be thrifted or bought second hand. I don't want to consume new leather or fur products for the reason I don't want to contribute to the production of the fur industry. Just like I don't want to put my dollars in the dairy industry. Tomato, tomato. Its the same to me.

People will call me a hypocrite or don't get my vegetarianism. Which I am not a vegetarian or vegan. I make choices that help create a healthy balanced life for myself and hopefully for other creatures.

I struggle with 'fur' all the time. Because once I open up a pre-fall fashion magazine it is drowned in beautiful new items by hot designers. I get such a high looking at it, and gazing at the colors, textures and creations. But, it quickly goes away and replaces my cloud 9 to a good cry on my pillow. I feel once you have seen how the fur industry produces their product today, it is quite sickening and scary.

But I do have one question. Why are people so grossed out by the fur industry when the leather industry is just as fucked up?

Ulla-Marie Nilsson said...

I'm totally faux it! I think fur is really beautiful (and warm!) but by wearing furs (including Vintage furs) helps to make fur fashionably increasing demand = animals suffer

Melanie said...

I like to wear living cats around my neck, and puppies too, but only if they want to wear me! But not snakes or cows.

Rosalind said...

I'm faux it for anything I actually purchase (which means only buying second hand faux fur, not real, as I pretty much never buy anything new in any case). However, here's my conundrum - the family inherited bits of fur originating from the 1930s to 50s. I do have some bits and pieces that have come my way from late relatives. So, what's the ethical thing to do? Wear it because it's recycling from the long,distant past? Or compost it, as a final form of recycling (since to throw it away would only create more landfill)?

Forever Young said...

Can I make sense out of this....I will not wear animal products for fashion purposes, but I will wear it for functionality.

I'm a carnivore. I eat grass fed pasture raised meat, eggs and dairy products.

Sara said...

Firstly, that picture is so cute!
Secondly, I do wear real fur. I don't like the feel of the faux fur. It isn't even warm, and does not look as good. Real fur is the best thing to wear here in Finland when it's over -30 or -35 degrees in the winter.

I don't buy fur from fur farmers straightly, I prefer vintage and thrifted, it's cheaper that way and yes I know that those animals in farms are not always kept like they should. But neither are cows and chickens.

I don't see much bad about fur farmers, it's what they do for their _living_. The thing I don't like is that some activists run around to destroy their property and workplace. It's not how to change things, they make things even worse, they should try to tell their opinions differently. Law is what would change things.

I don't like when people(mostly teenagers...) tell that "fur is disgusting and MURDER, they kill those little furry creatures for nothing" (I've heard that a lot), and those guys _still_ eat meat and wear leather and see nothing bad about it. Cattle and chickens don't have great environment to live either in most huge farms, why those people then don't go crazy about that?

I am not saying I don't myself eat meat, or wear leather (leather shoes have greater quality). And I would be dead if I wouldn't be eating meat..

Kristina said...

Oh crap...Well, I love animals, but I also eat them and wear leather so I also struggle with fur. I want to not like it, but one stroke of the softness and my principles go out of window. I do have some HImalayan rabbit fur or whatever it is that I bought in India...other than that I try to stick to vintage fur. Yes, I'm a terrible person.

Miss Simmonds Says said...

I'm happy with leather products - I suppose because the rest of the cow is being used and leather subsitutes for it are sometimes poor quality, particularly for footwear. Fake Fur is always fab - I love it. I only have one piece of real fur - it's very small and I felt sorry for it in a dusty corner of a charity shop. I have childhood memories of Fox Furs with dead glass eyes and bared teeth. I prefer the look without the cruelty

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

It's so interesting to read other's views on this issue, some are torn, others are convinced of their views. It's interesting how Kristina says "one stroke of the softness and my principles go out the window" - **lightbulb moment** - that's exactly how I feel about fur. The same way as some people feel about faux fur. Or suede, or leather, or silk. I simply melt at the touch of real fur. Plus, a few years ago I visited Invercargill, NZ, around this time of year and I think I would have died of hyperthermia if I didn't have the 30y.o rabbit-fur coat I bought for the trip. It was the first time I'd worn fur and it was glorious to be warm. Many people who do wear fur justify it by saying "oh I only wear vintage fur" and I'm probably in that category simply because it's true. I don't NEED to wear fur in Queensland so there's absolutely no necessity for me to buy new fur. I also agree with Sara in Scandanavia, as I'm guessing people who do choose to wear fur in such extreme winters would have to buy it new at some point, as vintage fur sheds with age. I love living creatures. And I eat meat and wear leather clothing, shoes and bags. I have no NEED for new fur and I prefer vintage styles anyway. I don't feel like I'm a bad person for wearing old fur. Thank you for this post Bella:). xo

Kitty said...

Love it, wear it, but it doesn't last long in my tropical climate. Farming animals is farming animals no matter what the final product may can be done humanely or otherwise.

thorne garnet said...

Both. Unless you're a hard-core vegan, you shouldn't have an objection to wearing anything. Personaly, I don't eat beef or pork (for health reasons) but I wear leather. And besides, if you wear vintage fur and leather, the animal would be dead by now anyway. Here's a thought: if everybody stop eating and wearing animal skins, would cows and pigs cease to exist?

Sheila said...

I think much like many of the commenters: I wear leather (I love it) and I eat meat so it would be hypocritical of me to object to fur, simply because it comes from cuter animals than cows or pigs or chickens. That said, I own a few pieces of vintage fur, but I don't need them for the weather here, so I rarely wear them.

kaffesoester said...

I think it would be a shame to waist the skin and hairy bits of the animals that we eat. Therefore I will wear fur, if I can afford it! I will never wear any endangered species though!

I'm happy to see that both sides are represented in the comments, and some interesting observations too!

Vix said...

Fur always looks better on the original owner, it creeps me out and I would never consider wearing it even if I was freezing my tits off. Like Roz I inherited a lot of fur which sold it and donated the proceeds to an animal charity.
Buying vintage doesn't make it better, like Ulla-Marie says it simply perpetuates the myth that fur is glamorous and increases the demand for more to be produced.
No, I don't hate fur wearers, how could I when my own mother (much to my chagrin) was a wearer! xxx

Krista said...

Faux all the way baby! It creeps me out just the thought of it on my skin. I do wear leather though does that make me a hypocrite? To each his or her own but I do think it's totally gross and extremely UNCOOL!

Jean at said...

I can see so many sides and end up not really taking a stand, mainly because I have no need for fur. I own one vintage piece that my grandmother wore in the 1950's and I've never worn it. Like many of those who commented, I do eat some meat and I do love leather, so I'm hesitant to stand in judgement.

Une Femme said...

I've struggled with this, but ultimately can't bring myself to wear fur anymore, even vintage fur, as it feels like I'm still promoting an industry which often treats animals horrendously. That said, I eat meat, wear leather. So yeah, even though fur is the tip of the iceberg in some ways, it's a very visible tip.

Catie Beatty said...

I wear only vintage. I figure, it's been dead longer than I've been alive, so why disrespect the animal further by sending it to the landfill? I eat meat and other animal products and I wear leather, too, so I don't see why fur is considered so much worse.

jesse.anne.o said...

Holy crap. Hell to the NO. (I also don't wear leather or wool. (I wrote a giant post about that a while ago based on questions people asked me about it, here:

There are donation programs like Coats for Cubs where animals being rehabbed can use fur people donate so it doesn't have to go in a landfill.

I agree with Une Femme as to fur being a "very visual tip" - so much of meat eating and leather wearing is compulsory but fur-wearing is often a really conscious decision for most Americans. It's recognizable as an animal.

jesse.anne.o said...

Eek. Sorry for the double-parentheses!

Beryl said...

So interesting. There is so much difference between older or cheaper fakes and the amazing new Faux Fur. There is no fashion benefit to wearing actual fur, with these new Faux Furs, indistinguishable to the observer. It was not unheard of to have a woman in one of the new Faux's hassled by an anti-fur agitator in the unsophisticated city where I used to live. Very funny when going to the Opera having the wearer shouting back that it was a Dennis Basso fake fur. Or a Saylor.

Shybiker said...

There's no reason for us to wear fur. Faux is good enough. And unlike for leather, animals get killed for fur. (Leather is a by-product of animals already marked for slaughter.)

Jenmarie said...

I love faux fur and have been wanting to get a vest since last Fall. I just haven't found the right one yet.

pastcaring said...

I'm in the faux camp. I eat beef so I am happy to wear leather, but I don't eat fox or mink or ocelot, and I don't think animals should be farmed and killed for their skins alone.
What about crocodile or snakeskin shoes/ bags, where do they fit into the debate? I wouldn't, would you? xx


I pretty much echo what Sara wrote above. I wear real fur. Would I kill an animal for its fur, or even for food? NO! I couldn't. The day I'd have to do that is the day I go pescetarian.

I'm not personally ordering pieces in stores, nor am I a designer demanding fur for my clothing line. Whether I choose to wear fur or not will not make a difference in the industry. After all these years and PETA, and red-paint attacks, fur garments are still being produced. Since that animal's pelt is already hanging there, better for someone to make use of it and love it, so it's not all in vain. That a half-assed justification, but I eat meat and wear a LOT of leather, so if I say wearing fur is wrong, that makes me a hypocrite. Plus, honestly, fur is warmer than anything else in winter, it lasts longer, and leather shoes trump sweaty pleather any day.

I now eat only organic and buy from farmers who are compassionate in raising animals for food. I know animals are being killed for me to eat. So I'm trying to be sure to support the grocery stores and companies that believe the animal's life should be one of quality, with a humane ending. God did in fact give us permission to eat and use animals. Torturing them along the way is where we go wrong.

Heather Fonseca said...

I eat meat and wear leather. I would be s hypocrite to tell others not to wear fur and the only reason the real thing isn't in my closet is because there's no reason to have such a warm garment in Los Angeles. Plus I can't afford it! Honestly, unless it was vintage I'd feel kinda guilty too.

Helga! said...

Excellent discussion topic!
I ahve a small collection of vintage furs which I bought only because I figured the least I could do was to give the poor things some love and keep them out of the hands of idiots.I do wear them sometimes.

Lynne DeVenny said...

Nothing but real live kitty collars for me. To the point that I get a bit pissy when Sasha Jane jumps on my head because she wants canned food :P

I think it might be a little hypocritical to say that I won't buy real fur when I guess I do buy the occasional real leather shoe (in my budget range most of my shoes are faux whatevah :P) but I guess I just don't like the idea of wearing any living creature's dead hide on my back.

I do remember loving my rabbit fur coat that my grandma gave me when I was a kid, because everyone had one and it was so soft, but I don't think I'd enjoy wearing it now. I would be over the moon for a faux fur coat tho' and look at them all the time.

Style Higher™ said...

LOVE LEATHER! I love animals too but I can't help but keep discovering old vintage pieces with MINK on the collar... so I go with it. I probably wouldn't buy a new fur though. Unless I lived in Alaska, then maybe because it would be functional.

Forest City Fashionista said...

So many interesting points of view! There are so many other options out there than unless you are living in a place where the winter temperatures are constantly minus 40, no one needs to wear fur. That said, I do own a couple of vintage furs, and much of the appeal is the feel, as I'm a sucker for tactile fabrics like fur, leather and velvet. Almost all my leather is secondhand as well.

The Style Crone said...

So many opinions and all very well stated. This is a complex topic because there are so many factors. I don't eat meat or dairy but I honor the choices of all. Most everything that I wear is recycled and that includes the leather that I wear. I do own some vintage furs that I've had for years, but at this point feel uncomfortable wearing them. Let's say that for me, because I don't need to wear them, I haven't for a long time. But I haven't let them go either.

Thanks for making us think, Bella.

Punk Glam Queen said...

I've talked about this issue for over 30 years when I first started collecting vintage. I wear leather -- even when I was a vegetarian I knew the rest of the world wouldn't follow, so why waste? I buy much less leather as it lasts unlike pleather. All my fur is vintage, my views have always been that the animal gave its life at some point, its not only wasteful but disrespectful to not utilize it. Another factor is the harmful chemicals that are used to create pleather and faux fur. And unlike leather and fur which will compost, pleather and faux will not. I don't recall the statistics, but it was an incredibly long time (like 1000's of years?) before a faux fur will degrade. One more thing to think of is that faux fur and leather are petroleum based products (and again made with toxic chemicals.) We've all cut down on our consumption of plastic bags (14 plastic bags would run the average car one mile... think of how many you could accumulate in a week) but it seems faux gets left out of that conversation. I do own two faux furs from the 60s that have already gotten shared with my daughter, but I would never buy new faux or real fur. There has been far too much consumerism to allow secondhand to go unutilised. XXX PS as a plus during the zombie apocalypse, I'll not only be harder to eat in leather, but toasty warm if theres no heat! (;

Fashion Tales said...

Great discussion. The only real fur that I own is what I inherited from my grands I have 40s and 50s vintage furs that I just love, however I've not acquired any fur for myself. I'd rather keep what I have or if I do buy it would likely from a vintage shop. When I was young in very cold climates I remember being dressed in a little coat with fur, certainly for function than fashion, but that was probably the best thing for me to wear to keep warm. Like leather there's nothing like the hand of the real thing.

PinkCheetahVintage said...

I eat meat, poultry, & dairy. Try to eat mostly grass fed, cage free & all that... Wear leather, but fur is not my personal favorite. I feel vintage all the way is the best (whenever possible) for so many reasons-- I believe in a reuse & recycle society. Nice fashion consciousness post :)

shahn said...

Faux = plastic, so no thanks.

Has anyone yet mapped out the carbon footprint for synthetic fabric? I can imagine it wiping out multiple ecosystems and doing far more damage to the earth than the farming of fur-bearing and leather-producing animals.


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