Thursday, February 26, 2009

A bit of a rant - don't read if you're 'pro' fur!


Magnificent isn’t he? Some folk would rather have his skin turned into a coat, or a hat, or some fancy boots. Surprise, surprise these magnificent animals have been virtually wiped out in the wild – prized by poachers for (amongst other things) their hide.

This is a bit of a rant, and also a question attached that you might be able to answer for me (and my mum).

(If you are ok with people wearing fur, please don’t read any further, because I don’t want to offend you. Actually. No. I’ll stop being ‘nicey nicey’ Henry for a moment. If you are ok with people wearing fur for vanity then I DO want you to read on, even if what I have to say DOES offend you. Perhaps I could listen to your point of view if you want to give it, and I may be convinced that wearing fur isn’t so bad after all.)

The question: Why is it suddenly acceptable to wear fur again? Mum has noticed over the past couple of years or so that there has been an almost insidious change of attitude to the wearing of fur – or has it been changing for a long time and she’s only just noticed?

Here is a photo of Lily Allen wearing a white fox fur and a few other Celebs who mum thinks should know better:







And here’s the article that went with Lily wearing her fancy hat Lily wears her fur with pride! . Notice how so many of the comments that criticise her for doing so have been rated down by the readers (perhaps Daily Mail readers are particularly ‘pro’ fur).

Mum was in London last Sunday where she had to stop on her way back from Singapore, and where it also happened to be the start of Fashion Week. She said she was appalled at how many skeletons were stalking around with fur hats, fur coats, fur trimmed boots, coats, skirts, jumpers, fur scarves, fur everything. She says she was literally stopped open-mouthed in her tracks by a small group of fashionistas whose bones rattled past liberally draped in enough fur to clad a small pack (or whatever) of ermine.

Fur, feathers and the future at London Fashion Week

Mum remembers a time when folk wouldn’t dream of wearing fur.

What’s happened? Why is it acceptable now? Did the ‘anti fur’ brigade end up pissing people off with their extreme antics? Did it drive folk back into the arms of the fur trade?

There seems to be a new attitude these days that you should be able to do what you want and wear what you want (particularly celebrities), because we’re all tired of extremists trying to dictate to us what to do with our lives. Fine, I’m ok with that. But how far do you go? Perhaps I want to gnaw on people’s legs for the fun of it from time to time. Or wear human eyeballs as earrings. Is it now ok to do that? Freedom of expression and all.

Dogs are being killed in terrible ways for their fur. I won’t go into detail because it gives mum sleepless nights thinking about it. It gives me nightmares. My fur is quite soft and silky. Perhaps Lily Allen would want to rip my hide off my back and wrap it around her thick head too.

I know mum wears leather, but she would argue that it’s a by-product of the meat trade. We aren’t opposed to making use of the whole of the animal if it’s being killed for food. I don’t want to go veggie. I respect folk who do go veggie. But it would be wrong for me to go veggie. I was made to eat meat. That’s how I’ve been designed. We are, however, very opposed to folk who don’t mind animals being slaughtered for the sake of vanity.

We’re both quite sickened by it all. I know I don’t normally do ‘serious’ but this time, I had to.

Here is me looking like a fur rug. Wouldn’t it be tragic if that’s what I became?

47 comments:

LadyFi said...

What can I say? The fur trade is sickening and cruel and there is absolutely NO excuse for killing animals for their fur. I am literally repulsed and will move seats if I find myself anywhere near anyone wearing furs.

Fur coats used to be big in Sweden, but that has dwindled down to next to nothing.. I'm truly saddened by the fact that you have noticed an increase...

Daisy said...

Oh Henry you would never be a rug!! You do look very soft and cuddly though, it has to be said. I totally agree, it's not just you, fur has been making much more of a come back, more and more people thinking it's kind of ok. There are so many old ladies in Paris in their furs, it does make me really sad. Hope you had a good break and you're back safely x D

Braja said...

Oh Henry I couldn't imagine dogs being...oh I can't even say it...

All those people who want to do that, well, they just have to take birth as that animal and suffer the same fate. Karma, baby. Woof.:)

Lee said...

I almost weakened when I saw you as a rug but, no, you'll get no pro-fur argument from me.

Marie and John said...

Morning Henry,

Although I am a Daily Mail reader (sorry....) I'm most definitely anti-fur coats.

When I was a teenage I used to proudly wear two t-shirt which had the slogans 'Yuck your disgusting fur coat' (it was in the style of the Frankie says Relax type t-shirts of the 80's), and 'fur coats are worn by beautiful animals - and ugly people'.

I think the reason why it's becoming popular to wear again is people are now concentrating on 'going green'.

It's fashionable to wear clothing that has been dyed with pee or clothing made from recycled yogurt pots. Instead of fighting the cause against fur, they are fighting the cause of yogurt pots...

xx

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Henry, tell your mum that if she wants someone to come on a march with her, or to pour paint on a fur-clad skeleton in the street, just give me a call!

I think the reason is that people are far more selfish than they were once, (so less conscientious students to protest as I did at one time) and those that have money are finding more and more ways to be very ostentatious about their wealth while many of us are struggling...

I also think that the fur lobby is huge (particularly with the business growth out of Russia and Eastern Europe, where fur is big industry) and they pay celebs to wear it and designers to use it, so the fashion flock will follow like sheep...

I also have nothing against the wearing of leather, but there is no excuse - none, unless you are a native Inuit - to wear fur... You would make a very lovely, living collar I'll bet, playful 'though, Henry! x

Henry the Dog said...

Lady Fi - the fur trade truly sickens me too and yes, mum has seen an increase - in the shops particularly. The general clothes shops seem to have more stuff trimmed with it, as if 'trimming' is ok. It's NOT. Fur is never ok.Period. My mum was horrified when she was given some fur trimmed gloves for Christmas in 2007. "But it's only rabbit" was the response when mum asked what her friend was thinking when she bought them (knowing how anti mum is). What can one say???

Daisy - the old ladies in Paris would die for the right to wear their fur, but hopefully they will be dead and buried too, soon. My main concern is that there are many more young folk wearing it. Yes, I agree, I would make the finest rug, but I'm much nicer alived:)xxx

Braja - it's rumoured that some of the stuff with fur trim is actually dog fur in some instances. And yes, it goes on all the time. Mum won't talk about it out loud and rarely thinks about it. I agree with you. Karma will get them in the end:):)xx

Lee - how COULD you? But yes, as I said to Daisy, I would be a rather wonderful rug n'est-ce pas? :):)

Marie & John - I think mum must have been a teenager around the same time as you. She had those T-shirts too. And, I think you're probably right. It's cool to protest about green issues these days. Bugger the animals!

A woman of NI - I think you've made a very valid point - people do seem much more selfish these days. And that coupled with the point that Marie & John have made (about going green being more fashionable) makes the fur issue more foregettable (spelling??). And you're right - there's so much money to be made with fur. Folk like you and me aren't going to make much difference are we? Hitting our heads against the proverbial brick wall I suppose. By the way, I don't comment often on your blog (because comments from a dog wouldn't suit what you're writing a lot of the time) but I always read it. It's getting really popular - well done! xx

French Fancy said...

Don't get me started on this. Okay, you have...

I hate people wearing fur. My mother used to have a mink coat before people were so enlightened and she seldom wore it. After she died I threw it away (I did, honestly).

When I was in New York a few years back it was a very cold snowy winter and the amount of women wearing fur was astonishing. I didn't realise it had become so common in the UK.

It is unforgivable to take a beautiful creature and skin it, unless - as you say - it's coat is a by-product of the meat trade. I'm sure various people could pull this particular argument apart but basically ...stuff 'em.

French Fancy said...

its coat

I'm losing the ability to use English

Henry the Dog said...

French Fancy - lots of folk wore them in the old days if they could afford them, the thing is we ARE enlightened now aren't we? And yes, there was so much fur flying around London mum said she couldn't stop gawking. Don't worry about your ability to use English, I'm losing the plot today too. I think I initially wrote a 'herd' of ermine, knowing that they are weasily type critters - I guess a pack is better but still not sure what a group of ermine is. I will find out:)

Marie & John - forgot to say that mum reads the Mail online too, and The Times, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Sun (from time to time though she hates to admit it) and, occasionally, The News of the World so please don't apologise:):)

Self-Proclaimed Editor said...

We are with you 100% of the way. In prehistoric times, it was acceptable because the whole animal was used for survival, from food to clothing. But now? Those skeleton bones need something other than fur to survive -- they need a guardian that will feed them.

Personally, I make a great pillow for my landlord when she's watching tv, but I wouldn't want it any other way. I like being part of the whole scene, not just an accessory.

:) KC

Blu said...

Henry, I did a bit on my blog a few months back and so you know I HATE this. You hit the nail on the head, Today it is two fingers to everyone. Today it is I dont give a F@@K. Today it is about how much money I can spend.

Now we havnt fallen into this trap, but many of the Bling bling have....SCALP THE LOT OF THEM...

Irish Gumbo said...

This is to be expected when the prevailing social/cultural attitudes seem to treat every thing, every person and every animal as a commodity.

Celebrities would do well to keep that in mind. The commodities market doesn't really care about what animates you, it only cares what wealth can be extracted from you. And once the wealth has been extracted from you, by their estimation, you become useless.

"...animals being slaughtered for the sake of vanity." Vanity at its worst, indeed, to think that the earth and every creature in it is simply there for us to exploit so we can look pretty.

Helene (the Artist Formerly Known as Kate) said...

lol your dog is too cute.
As for the fur thing, I do think that anti-fur went out of style. Its interesting to think that way... but I think its true! Most people in my circle of friends wouldnt buy a fur jacket, but I do know several who have fur trim on things, now that I think of it.

I wouldnt ever buy a real fur coat, but I do have vintage furs from my Grandma and Great Aunts that I will wear now and again. (I went to an Oscar party and put it on for the fun of it...) I dont see the harm if its vintage... the dirty deed has been done so why waste it...

I do wonder though, and dont get offended, if you wear leather items.

Is it only the beautiful animals that shouldnt be killed for their fur? My teenage daughter became a vegetarian about 2 years ago because she didnt like the idea of killing animals for food... she was still going to eat fish though. I made a similar comment to her as I did here... 'why, you mind killing cows and pigs but not fish?' Much to my shagrin (sp?) though, she agreed and opted to not eat fish either!grrr its a nightmare to get enough protein in her daily! lol

I am a meat eater, leather wearer and believe in ethical treatment of animals. I understand why people wouldnt eat meat and wear fur/leather etc... but, much as I understand the concept of choosing life, over choice, I dont agree with it.

Wow all that controversy in my first visit... I think I may be banned after this! lmao

Sorry and I really do hope I didnt offend!

Henry the Dog said...

KC - I agree - I too like to be part of the whole scene. I wouldn't want to be merely a rug:)

Blu - I think that's where mum got the info about the fur trim from, or perhaps it was after seeing your post she did some googling. Either way, it upset her for ages afterwards.

Irish - eloquently put - as usual. I can't add to that xx

Helene - look, I'm just a dog;) how can you offend me? I'm not one of those sort who's only happy when others are agreeing with me. And neither is my mum. It's good to hear some alternative viewpoints. Mum's heard the vintage fur thing before. Her friend had one and that was his argument, but she doesn't 'buy' into that. In her view just because it's old doesn't make it right. Yes, the dirty deed has been done, but it was still a dirty deed. When there are such wonderful faux furs around these days why would you want to kill something for the real thing? Mum's not yet found any quorn that tastes anywhere near as good as a real turkey thigh. Sorry Mr Turkey but it's true. When she does, she'll go veggie. Mum eats meat as long as it's not the product of a factory farm. Mum's preferred meat is, surprisingly, game like wild duck, pigeon, pheasant, partridge etc. Some may criticise her for that but her reason for preferring shot game is that (in her view) it has spent it's life living freely in the wild and not all of it is shot. Some of them get away (we have lots of fat pheasants around us). They at least have a chance. Non of the pigs, chickens, sheep etc have a chance to escape the slaughterhouse. Mum no longer eats beef, but that's another story. This whole issue is a very subjective thing isn't it? I guess I wanted a rant because it's my blog and I can:) But what is right? What is wrong? And yes, there is some hypocrisy in all this because I certainly wouldn't turn veggie, and mum wouldn't either even though she too went veggie when she was a teenager, it's an age when you do stuff like that isn't it? Goodness, I'm hogging the comment board again. Anyway, thanks for dropping by. My blog is normally very light and good fun:) xx
PS: My mum often starts to read something and ends up looking at the last couple of chapters too - usually to decide whether or not she should persevere:)

Frankie Furter said...

Good day Henry, You certainly opened a can of worms today. I love meat, but would not want to be eaten. I wear a nylon collar, but mom and dad wear leather paw covers. My dad hunts deer and turkey. We all eat what he brings home to us. But I certainly don't want to be shot. Tough issues. I guess it all boils down to common sense. Perhaps the economy will make this a moot point. Thank goodness fur is very expensive.

Henry the Dog said...

Frankie - as I said to Helene my mum doesn't mind game. My mum was brought up with game being brought home by her older brother who was into fishing and shooting. She often skinned rabbits, plucked pheasants, and gutted fish before eating it for dinner. Some folk are very 'anti' hunting. Mum is very 'anti' the fur trade and factory farming. Perhaps I shouldn't have opened this can of worms but I was feeling a bit vexed!

Henry the Dog said...

PS: forgot to add, mum doesn't support hunting, but she's not against it. She does, however, detest irresponsible hunters who don't respect wildlife and kill things they shouldn't kill like birds of prey and other protected species etc. ANOTHER can of worms it's probably best not opening. I think I might put another post up really soon!!!!

French Fancy said...

This thing about the deed being done so why not wear the thing - when I was going through my mum's things after she died and I found the mink coat - right at the back - it didn't cross my mind for a minute to keep it - even though the lining was fabulous with her initials woven into it. I just threw it into a rubbish bag and chucked it in the bin.

I told my cousin about it later and she was shocked, so shocked - 'you should have given it to me' she wailed - but that would have been supporting the fur market.

LadyFi said...

Hunting ... don't get me started! Watching a pack of dogs tear open a fox... for fun.. now that is cruel!

As for old pizza - my favourite! And new fresh pizza.. in fact, anything that means I don't have to cook!

Henry the Dog said...

FFancy - I agree with you. Why wear it at all?

Lady Fi - oh no! I've started something here haven't I? No, fox hunting is detested severely in this household. You can't eat a fox, and definitely not after hounds have had it. By the way, was the Pizza already cooked? Or did you have to actually put it in the oven? Mum's going to get herself a slow cooker after reading CSquared's blog today. Mum says she used one all the time when she was a student. No effort at all. She just used to chop stuff up with some stock, herbs and things, switch it on and a few hours later there was a meal. Mind you, it would mean you actually chopping stuff and doing things with food.....:)

Henry the Dog said...

Actually mum wasn't a student. She calls her young days when she was 18 her 'student years' but she wasn't studying, all her friends around her were and she shared her house with students. Just thought I'd clarify that one.

Indrayani aka, Indi! said...

Dont blame me Henry,when I say this.. but you opened a floodgate here with my emotions pouring out, so I am just gonna say it....

Killing helpless animals for wateer reason is cruel. Period.

People who think of Fur and the animals killed for it, should also think of the chickens, the cows ...such docile helpless animals all of them!!

Why stop at fur?
Go being "not cruel" all the way....

Thats my theory...!

Henry the Dog said...

Indi - I think you're right. The more I ponder it, the more I think we meateaters are being hypocritical in criticising the fur trade. It's a huge subject isn't it? And very emotive. Not easy to debate.

Juliet Colors said...

My this is a complicated subject. Well, somewhat. It seems clear to me that killing animals just for their fur (i.e., vanity) is immoral. And unethical treatment of animals is immoral. But is eating animals immoral? I think not necessarily.

I rarely eat meat (although I do eat fish) because I think it's healthier and cheaper. But even if it wasn't both those things, I think I might still not eat much meat because of the ethical concerns about the way many animals are treated when raised as food. But it all depends. I don't worry so much about wild-caught fish, or free-range organic poultry.

Nice work, Henry, bringing this difficult subject up for debate!

J. L. Krueger said...

I'm a carnivore too Henry, but I don't like to see animals killed just for vanity. The only predator I've ever hunted was black bear, but then I ate him too. I never put animal parts on the walls either. Why have something I killed staring at me all the time? A bit macabre if you ask me. There was a time in human history when that was the only way for humans to stay warm, but those days are long gone.

lady jicky said...

Those skinny girls need the fur to keep warm for all that dieting makes their bodies not work well in the old heating department. That said - eat a bloody bun will ya!
Then there is the fact that alot of these rich "free loaders" get this stuff for nothing! Its to make the likes of you and me cough up the money and pay for it!
Hold your breath furriers, that should kill alot of them off for I would Never buy a fur coat!
Me thinks there is a very nasty but clever "spin doctor" working for the fur industry at the moment!
See Ya!
Kenzo ( who would make a lovely golden fur hat )

detroit dog said...

Way, way back "in the day," it probably used to make sense to wear fur, because it keeps one exceedingly warm. But nowadays there are synthetic options, which I choose.

Henry, sorry to tag you, but you have an "award" waiting for you at The Dog House. Pick it up, and do with it what you will.

:-)

Stubby said...

Henry - Mom is sickened by all the fur wearing wanna be rockstars that walk the streets. She is always yelling "Fur is dead people!" just to get her point across.
I cannot imagine being turned into a rug or jacket - yikes - but Mom always tells me that if I were in certain countries that I would be eaten for dinner. Me? Dinner? I can't imagine that I would be enough for dinner; an appetizer maybe, but not dinner.

foam said...

to me the purpose of a coat is to keep my warm. at one time furs were worn for warmth. they didn't necessarily have to be exotic to accomplish that. i grew up in germany during the 60s. i remember many older folks who had their fur coats for years. but even then the younger folks were not purchasing them that much anymore ..
since we don't need furs to stay warm anymore, i don't see a real need to have them.

Lisa said...

There's only one place fur belongs. On the animal.

La Belette Rouge said...

As a weasel I am totally against killing animals for fur. I am, after all, related to ermines and minks. I am only a fan if fur on the animals that they belong to.

LadyFi said...

Henry - the pizza was already cooked (by a very nice man at the pizzeria), so don't worry - I didn't have to strain myself at all.

Slow cooker might be a way to go!

Henry the Dog said...

Juliet - yes it is complicated, I didn't realise how until I posted this and kept thinking about it myself. I eat meat, mum eats meat and neither of us want to give it up and yet both of us love animals. Mum tries to eat meat that comes from free range animals, or, literally, the wild. Also, I'm thinking that just because we are meateaters doesn't mean we don't have the right to be anti the fur trade, though perhaps veggies would think so. Difficult one.

J L Krueger - yes of course furs were used for a practical reason, and still are in some parts of the world, but it's no longer the case is it? Unless, as Lady J says - those very skinny ladies need them to stay warm, but as she also says eating a bun would be more ethical!

Kenzo - honestly for a young pup you are REALLY astute - you must get it from your mom;) You also make me laugh out loud - yeah, throw the skinnieminnies a bloody bun:):)

Detroit - I don't mind being tagged as long as I don't have to pass on - I don't like to burden folk. It's good to see that you've done something on your blog - can't wait to pop over xx

Stubby - I know, 'tis true. Us dogs are eaten in parts of the world. The thing is in those parts of the world we are also kept in terrible conditions and NOT killed in a humane way (if there can be a humane way to kill anything:( Don't worry pal, I think you're safe with your mum xx

Foam - thanks so much for dropping by and the point you make is absolutely spot on. It's not necessary and if they want fur the faux furs these days are lovely. Thanks for dropping by. My mum LOVES your art, it is "right up her street" as we would say in Yorkshire. Mum's a bit into art but she's a crap drawer herself, but she likes looking at it and wishing she could do it:) Hope you drop by again xx

Lisa - spot on. How can you get cuter than me?

La Belette - as you're related can you help me out here? What do you call a pack of ermine/stoat? xx

Henry the Dog said...

Lady Fi - you must have been commenting right at the time I was. Glad to hear you didn't have to exert yourself. Yes, mum says slow cookers are truly magic. She used to do allsorts of stuff in them xx

Braja said...

I think all those people who can see you as a rug or otherwise (gasp!) just actually want a piece of your specialness, my little man :)

La Belette Rouge said...

It is a boogle, gang,confusion or pack of weasels. I don't know for ermine or stout. I have a friend who might know. I'll ask her and get back to you.

Henry the Dog said...

Braja - you are so sweet and make me feel special too xx

La Belette - I LOVE those 'a boogle of weasels', 'a confusion of weasels', love them, love them. I guess ermine could be the same, don't you think? I like names for packs of things. When we were in the UK at a country fair once, Uncle Hugh called a group of Morris Dancers an 'affliction'. That made me laugh.

THE SANDY DOG BAKERY said...

Keep the fur on the animals!!

La Belette Rouge said...

An affliction of Morris dancers. LOL!!!!

Jennysmith said...

Good grief, Henry, 40 comments.

When i was a kid Fur used to conjour up glamour eg Lady Penelope and rich women in Hollywood and that. But growing up I know its not worth all that suffering from animals and everything.

I don't know why people don't have fake fur. it can look just as classy and warm.

xxxx

herhimnbryn said...

I cannot comprehend why anyone would wear fur (apart from Inuit people, where survival demands warmth and insulation)

Henry the Dog said...

Sandy Dog - here here!

La Belette - yes, it is funny.

Jennysmith - but most of the comments are MINE - hee hee xx

Bryn - exactly - they are allowed. I guess you don't need it either in your neck of the woods

Marie and John said...

Hello Henry,

You're right, I think your mum and me about the same age.

Did you mum get her t-shirts from the League against cruel sports. That was where I got mine. I was a member for a couple of years.

I've done a quick reply to your comment on our blog.

Take care.
xxx

Braja said...

Henry, wake up and post. :)))

Henry the Dog said...

Marie & John - mum got her T-shirts from a friend who was very active in all things 'anti'. She was a rabid vegan and was one of the women who camped out on Greenham Common. Mum says it's what lots of young folk did in those days - protest!

Braja - sorry, have now posted xx

GiGwriter said...

All I can say to those who want to wear fur is, watch this video (warning, please censor for children, it is graphic) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_8Ko-9uKRs&feature=channel_page -- ENJOY, you O so Chic fashionistas, you!