Monday, 20 October 2014
Why it's never okay to sell fur (even for charity)
When I discovered Oxfam's online shop was selling fur from the 80's and I contacted them about it (they subsequently withdrew it from sale saying it shouldn't have been listed, because they had a strictly no fur policy - see Oxfam say no to fur - I was surprised by some people's reactions. And not just of those who are pro-fur either.
"The damage is already done, so what's wrong with a store selling it for charity?" That comment came from a vegetarian who stressed they'd never buy or wear fur, yet just because it was for charity they felt it would ethically be okay for someone else to buy or wear fur.
"What's wrong with wearing second hand fur; it's better than wearing new fur, surely?" was the jist of another person's point of view, after they spent ages telling me how warm wearing a fur coat is. Hey, if I want to know how warm a fur coat is I'll hug my dog. Fur belongs on the animal who was born wearing it not some soulless individual.
Someone else on a vegan messageboard posed the question - "What should we do with old fur, then?" and suggested that because it was charity who was selling it, it was okay. But to me putting fur on sale is never okay for the following reasons -
1. Seeing fur in stores makes it seem acceptable to buy and even wear it. For example, I was shocked when I saw the first fur coat for sale in a British charity shop, but by the fifth or sixth time I was more despairing than shocked.
2. Seeing real fur on sale creates a demand. Not everyone will have enough emotional intelligence to see the cruelty involved in making that coat.
3. Even if the money is going to charity does that justify 1.making fur seem acceptable 2.creating a demand?
To my mind, there's only one acceptable use for old fur - donation to animal shelters to keep baby animals warm. Returning the fur to where it belongs is the only way compassion can come of cruelty.
In the meantime, when you see fur in stores question it - especially when it's in a charity store. You may be surprised at the result.
Animals have no voice; they need us to speak for them. And, that's how veggiegirl2011 sees it.
What do you think?
Have you ever complained about a store selling fur? I'd love to hear what happened.