Save the animals – buy fur.

I must admit, the thought of buying fur makes me feel slightly queasy. I have no explanation for this other than an emotional response triggered by many years of exposure to the anti-fur movement’s advertising. On the face of it, farmed fur really is a pretty horrible thought. Animals raised in captivity in terrible conditions just so that folk can be dressed from head to toe like someone from Dr Zhivago. Now that synthetic materials are avalailable which perhaps offer better protection against the elements than mother nature, it really does seem rather a cruel and distasteful fashion accessory.

I was amazed therefore to read of fur as being marketed by various organisations as an ‘eco-friendly’ product. According to Canada’s Fur Council. Their website in the optimistically titled ‘Fur is Green’ section argue that fur is a renewable resource and is fully biodegradable (as opposed to fake fur which is make from petroleum byproducts). Indeed they seem to imply that they are somehow in tune with (and I quote) ‘the circle of life’, calling it ‘the ultimate eco-clothing’. I can see hundreds of hippies wandering round in bear-skin Birkenstocks right now…

A slightly more serious claim to environmental responsibility in relation to fur is New Zealand’s possum fur industry. Though quite cute, possums are considered eco-system destroying pests across New Zealand since their numbers have grown beyond all expectations. The trapping and poisoning of possums is in fact encouraged by the government in an attempt to preserve natural habitats from dessimation by these marsupials which were artificially introduced around 150 years ago. Amazingly, conservation organisations such as the WWF have endorsed the possum fur industry as essential for maintaining biodiversity.


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