My most recent purchase includes this outstanding Watson x Watson fur jacket, which will be arriving in the mail any day now. However, after I had purchased the jacket I got to thinking...how do I actually feel about wearing fur? Is it unethical? Is it murder?
Every celebrity from Kate Moss to Kim Kardashian to Victoria Beckham sport the latest fur trend...but does it make it ok?
I then did a big search on the internet in an effort to know as much as I could about the fur 'stigma' that exists in our society. I also wanted to know where my fur was sourced from and if this made any difference to my opinion on the issue.
So here goes...
My particular fur was sourced from Finland where raccoons and rabbits are considered national pests and killed, therefore making the fur a by-product. Therefore the animal was not killed in the name of fashion.
Similarly, in Victoria feral and wild populations of rabbits are declared an established pest animal under the Catchment and Land Protection Act of 1994, meaning that land owners are responsible for managing these pest animals, along with plant weeds. The act states that the land owner must take all reasonable steps to prevent the spread of the pest animal. Controversially, a Wimmera landowner was recently fined over $3000 by the Ararat Magistrate's Court for failing to control rabbits on his property. Interesting hey?
Controversy arise when the animal rights group PETA featured Oprah Winfrey in one of their ad campaigns hailing the talk-show host for being 'fur-free and fabulous'. The unauthorised use of Oprah's image made headlines but the real controversy surrounded the fact that Oprah was wearing a leather skirt in the photo they featured. PETA, a little confused?
Leather, for those of you who aren't aware, is derived from animal skin, much like that of fur. But why is there such a stigma surrounding the use of fur when 95% of the worlds population wear leather while pretending to be 'ethical'?
Another interesting point that I came across while doing some research on this very issue was the the use of faux fur instead of real fur. Is this a better use of materials? But what about the fact that fake fur and leather are often harmful to the environment as opposed to real animal products that are renewable and biodegradable?
Don't get me wrong, I am all for animal rights! The thought of animals, most specifically endangered animals, being killed for their fur disgusts me. But I am not about to pretend to be all high-and-mighty about the use of fur that is used as a by-product (the same as leather) in order to please the masses.
I welcome any comment or criticism you have? This topic really intrigues me and I am interested to see what you all think too :)