On Wearable “Roadkill”
Angus sent me a link to "Animal Parts: High Style of Just Plain Beastly" wherein Zosia Bielski reports that "hipsters are going whole hog, donning road kill as accessories and cow hooves on their feet."
Several designers, one of whom is a vegetarian, are using parts of dead animals they found on the side of the road to make everything from shoes to hats to cufflinks, which evidently are difficult to produce because "[f]inding two animals who have little heads roughly the same size is just a nightmare.”
The underlying philosophy is that the dead animals "should be used in their entirety." (Used in their entirety by humans, thereby ignoring the reality that the carcasses play in the lives of other creatures, such as scavengers.) The garments and accessories are considered ethically sourced because no one was intentionally killed for them (although sources include "critters fallen victim to pest control," which sounds pretty intentional to me). However the designers also use discarded parts of animals killed by butchers, to "give new life to something that would normally be thrown away." A significant amount of mental acrobatics is involved in convincing yourself that you are not in some way an accomplice to the killing of sentient beings and then profiting from them when you take their parts after they've been slaughtered and you use and profit from them.
There's a lot of talk of whether or not this is morbid, yet no acknowledgment that every animal part we wear comes from an animal who died. This isn't about what's morbid or what's not, and what's art and what's not. This is about using animals and presenting yet another variation on the theme of humans believing they have a right to make food, clothing or art from the bodies of other animals.
The final paragraph of the article is perhaps the most cringe-worthy. Sarah Jay, the fashion director of Fashion Takes Action, an organization that promotes green methods and materials, says:
“To wear the life of another animal is a very special thing and it's a very sacred thing.
It's giving the animal purpose after life. We should all be so lucky.”
Meanwhile, it's death they're wearing–not life. And making it into some kind of spiritual experience is offensive. Nonhuman animals are not here to be purposeful to humans.