I feel like engaging in a topic that’s been discussed for years, yet do I feel like I’d like to hear our reader’s stand on the issue. Issue being, the seemingly unfashionable fur. The impulse to this post came when I thought about the earlier mentioned Fendi Mink Spy. I’ve read way too many reactions of people on internet forums, or seen countless debates on public media, critisizing the fur industry for its animal cruelty. Yet, I’d like to fuel the discussion by my belief that most of the criticism stems from pure hypocrisy.
Many animals killed by the fur industry in the name of fashion are bred and raised in a manner meant specifically to better the animalsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ coats. The extraction of the animalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fur is the industry’s primary purpose. Hence, consumers can more easily circumvent the fur industry if they avoid buying its primary products, fur coats and other clothing items made of fur – right?
Many people mistakenly believe that the leather industry itself is not self-perpetuating. The buying of leather shoes or belts does not increase demand for the slaughter of cows… this discrepancy on the part of the buyer results directly from the misguided belief that leather (unlike fur) is simply a byproduct of factory farming, an industry that houses animals in unsanitary and abusive conditions in order to harvest them for meat and dairy products. Yet the leather industry generates a significant profit, and buying leather products does give the industry incentive to produce more leather.
Leather is derived mainly from dairy cows who no longer produce viable amounts of milk, and veal cows chosen for slaughter. Each of these animals lives out their lives in cruel confinement with inadequate space. They are also subject to cruel transportation to the slaughterhouses, with cattle crammed inside of trucks that are way too small for their numbers. The livestock handlers neglect to give their cows adequate water and food during these trips, and many cows die even before reaching their destination.
Actually, it seems like the origin of most leather products sold in the U.S. and elsewhere is anything but transparent to the buyer. The consumer will never know where the leather he or she purchased originated from, or even whether or not that leather even comes from a cow! Horses, sheep, pigs, goats, lambs, even cats are also killed for their leather. In fact in most cases, you have absolutely no way to judge the degree of cruelty attached to leather items you purchase.
After all my drivel, I have to pose the question whether it is justified to point fingers at the fur industry and its inadequate farming conditions when a precious cowhide leather hobo is dangling from the other arm. Are we not supposed to be concerned about the boring ol’ moo cow, when there’s cute and cuddly Bugs Bunny who got saughtered for Jimmy’s Fur Torquay Bag?