Saturday, 7 February 2015

Defending My Decision To Wear Fur... |

As the temperature drops to what feel like below freezing, I reach into my closet for my mink fur coat, wrapping myself up, whilst preparing to brave the cold...

I bought this Mink coat from Beyond Retro, a renowned vintage shop in Soho - I did not buy this new therefore it has passed through generations

FUR, the word itself has caused controversial debates for decades. From protests involving red paint being thrown over people adorning fur coats, to abuse being screamed at you in the streets. As a fur wearer, I too have engaged in many debates over the matter. Do I condone the immobilisation of fur-farmed which as PETA plus footage (which I don't dare watch again) shows us...NO! Why should any animal be treated with such cruelty, it's truly inhumane and un-imaginable to try and even understand why animals are so mistreated in our world. On the contrary, I find the way the world pipes up baffling sometimes. As humans have evolved they have undoubtedly become crueler, one could say to the more hopeless, in this case, animals, but is doesn't end with fur...

Beauty products...lets have a think about this one for a second. Who remembers Jaqueline Traide? No..? Well let me remind you; Miss Traide carried out a brutal and extreme re-enactment of the animal testing procedure undergone by global brands to make the every day beauty products that no doubt, sit on our dressing tables today. Whilst the Oxford student didn't ACTUALLY undergo such barbaric tests in real, it was enough to raise enough eyebrows or make you gag. I will refresh your memory..

Images c/o the Daily Mail

This is a classic example of what is called the free rider effect, people will speak up on Facebook now and again or make comments but don't actually protest hard enough to make an actual impact whilst others just sit and wait for someone else to make that impact. This of course doesnt account for everyone, but many. So we gasp, we look on in disgust and we may even tell our friends about it, or better so, an onlooker may take a photo on their smartphone and upload it to Facebook just as I have added these photo's to my post - BUT - do we still use these beauty products now? Because even after seeing that, how many of you, who protest against fur or have posted articles and videos on Facebook can honestly say that all the products you use have NOT been tested on animals? Hmmm.. here are a few products that have undergone various and multiple tests on animals:

- Clearasil (for those dreaded spots that you try and desperately clear...)
- Clinique (one of the leading skincare and make up specialists)
- Max Factor (I myself use max factor make up, do you?)
- Nurofen (now this one surprised me, then again not really... I know that pretty much every single person I know takes Nurofen including me, and I bet you didn't know this was tested on animals.)
- Venus
- Bobbi Brown
- Garnier

To name but a few. So many products are made through undergoing animal testing and even some that claim that they aren't, still ARE...OH but... in China, so apparently it's OK. Brands such as Avon and Covergirl have chosen to sell in markets that require (by law) animal testing on their products before they are allowed to sell in that market.

Where am I going with this? Because, I use some of these products, and yes I do not agree with how animals are treated, but one thing that is forever baffling me, is that the people who often criticise me for wearing fur are usually contradicting their own beliefs. Maybe because they are misinformed, or maybe they have chosen not to inform themselves fully. Many of these people may not wear or buy fur, yes, but do in fact use multiple beauty products that have been tested on animals; in cruel and barbaric environments and against their will, so how can this be justified?

Animals are helpless without a voice, they can cry and cry but won't be heard, because unless you are a lion which can't be tamed they are usually smaller, weaker and unequipped to deal with such a situation. To be honest, even a lion can be captured these days, for example a poacher using a tranquiliser gun can can capture a predator, so high in the food chain in a matter of seconds. Again, another barbaric offence and crime is poaching; the killing off  of the most beautiful creatures on our earth and for what reason? An unjustifiable one.

The world keeps on spinning and the killing doesn't stop. Will it ever really stop? I believe the killing will never stop whether it's for fur, meat, beauty or vain; just as I believe as long as there is religion there will be war. So how can we live in a society where there is moral peace? I do not believe that protesters should stop protesting because without demand there would not be supply, however, someone who wears a fur coat is not a demon or a sinner. They should not have red paint thrown on them nor be called a murderer in the street, they did not slaughter the animal and their story has not been heard.

I own 2 mink furs. One I bartered down in a vintage shop in Soho, probably generations old, now passed onto me, and the other was handed down to me by my best friend's family when her grandmother sadly passed. Does this make me a murderer or a bad person for wearing these furs? No. Protesters should keep on protesting and trust me, I too believe the way the animals are skinned is beyond barbaric and I myself refuse to watch the videos. However as a protester know your boundaries and your rights, the consumer isn't the enemy by which you should penalise and it is utterly ridiculous. Needless to say, I am sure you enjoy wearing leather shoes or that Gucci bag you got last week...well how do you think that was made?

In reality the slaughtering of cattle is equally appalling especially when you look at the statistics penned against the figures for those animals killed for fur. "In 2012 about 9 billion farm animals were slaughtered by the meat industry in the U.S. alone; the number for fur animals is 50 million worldwide. One fur coat can be worn for generations, while a steak is consumed in half an hour. I know these facts don't make fur morally stainless, but I have to wonder why the revulsion is so much more instantaneous when it comes to fur" as Pamela Evans says, I can't beg to differ. Fur can be worn for generations, passed down, restored and loved year on out, yet that steak you had at dinner was consumed within half an hour, no, less. Yet you obviously don't abstain from eating meat, wearing leather or using beauty products tested on animals. I can't speak for you all only for the people I know and have encountered over the years through studying fashion and general conversation.

For centuries fur has been used for warmth and I cannot fault it's practicality. Any wearer of fur knows that if you're going to wear it whether it be rabbit, fox, mink, there will be opinions so be prepared to hear them... I don't believe in any form of animal cruelty, however, I also do know I can't stop it, there are some things I feel I can help stop in this world, but to me I am fighting a losing battle that I cannot justify for; for I eat meat and wear many of the products produced by brands who condone animal testing not forgetting the leather on my sofa and my handbags and more. I am not a horrible person, I have a huge heart which is used to love many animals, in fact all the animals I encounter in life.

Vegetarians and vegans don't feel the need to throw food at carnivores, when far more cattle are killed for meat than for fur. Instead we live in a society of understanding and norm, so I find it hard to justify why I must defend myself every time for wearing fur. Yes eating meat is part of our food chain, but how come vegetarians and vegans claim to live such healthy and sustainable lives? When someone tries to show me clips of animals being skinned in cages, I can't bear it and leave the room as I don't want to see animals suffering, just like some people don't like watching gory or scary movies. So if you have something to say about me or someone else wearing fur, just ask yourself do you eschew meat and leather or use beauty products that have in fact been tested on animals?

Now there's some food for thought...

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