Why Wear Fake Fur?
Macy’s has been accused of selling real fur labeled as "imitation." Here are the facts of the case:
- Macy’s website had a Sean John hooded jacket, for $237, with an "imitation rabbit fur collar." It’s "currently unavailable." Hmmmmm.
- It was made in China (uh-oh).
- When the Humane Society of the United States purchased the jacket (did my donation go to that?), the label said "genuine raccoon fur." Hmmmmmm.
- The HSUS is having the fur tested to see what it is. It could be from a raccoon dog, whose fur resembles a raccoon’s, and whom the Chinese love to breed and slaughter for their fur.
- Burlington Coat Factory has also sold real fur under the guise of fake fur.
- Sean John is that guy previously known as P. Diddy, and he hasn’t met a furry creature he didn’t want to make into a piece of clothing. My money says the fur is from his own dog.
- Amazon has a "Snorkel Jacket" that looks just like the one in question, "with real coyote fur . . . for those who display the ultimate in good taste." I swear. Check it out. By the way, not that anyone cares, but IT’S A GOOSE DOWN-FILLED JACKET!
- Does it matter if the source was raccoon dog or a raccoon raccoon? Didn’t she still suffer for her pelt?
- What about the geese? Why is it okay to pluck a goose, and probably okay to skin a raccoon raccoon, but not okay to skin a raccoon dog or a coyote? Where’s the logic, people!
- This is what I don’t get: Why would anyone want to wear fake fur that looks so much like real fur that people think it’s real?
Two years ago I went shopping for a winter jacket of some sort, as I hadn’t owned one in six years. I was faced with wools, downs, cashmeres, and maybe even alpaca, who knows. I found exactly two jackets that had no animals, and luckily, a snazzy black number that looked sort of like crushed velvet, by Marc Jacobs, for $500, fit like a glove. Or at least like a jacket.
I went to NYC for various meetings, however, and everyone thought the jacket was, like, seal fur or something. It’s lush and shiny, and suddenly I started seeing what they were talking about. I’ve got news for you: Some anti-fur people are really obnoxious. I was so self-conscious and paranoid that someone was going to toss a can of red paint at me, and I kept trying to get a glimpse at my back to make sure no one put a "murderer" sticker on it. What on Earth must it be like to walk the streets of Manhattan wearing a full-length sable or mink? I’d have a nervous breakdown from all the guilt and the pressure! As soon as I returned home, I purchased an anti-fur button, and now I wear it with my gorgeous jacket, and I’m pissed that I have to do that. But better that than more sneers, jeers, and rude comments. If they only knew I’m a vegan.
So where do you fit in all this? You’re a consumer and you vote with your dollars. Say it with me: Supply and demand. Don’t buy products made from animal skin, fur, and feathers. I know that’s easy for me to say, because it’s currently 82 degrees and it’s almost Christmas. But Patagonia, my favorite non-vegan company, has plenty of cold weather gear that is synthetic. The reality is that, in 2006, no one, I repeat, no one, needs to pay anyone to slaughter an animal to keep warm.
I do think it’s funny that these days companies are accused of passing off real for for fake, rather than vice versa. I’m taking that as a sign of progress.