Working through my ignorance with your help.
See: throwing paint at bikers in leathers.Plus, one works for emotional attacks much better-- "rich people" and all.
Foxie, good point. I hadn't thought of the class warfare angle.
Foxie, +1.See also: why gays protest in front of lily-white Mormon churces here in San Diego vs. AME churches in Skyline.
Fur is something I've always been on the fence about. I'm not a vegetarian by any means. But it doesn't seem right to me to kill an animal just for it's fur. Somehow eating an animal seems less wasteful. Generally speaking, very little of a slaughtered food animal is wasted.Leather doesn't bother me so much. Especially cow leather, because I figure the whole animal is used. Plus leather has it's utilitarian roles which only it can fill; synthetics leather-like items always fall short. However, if you live somewhere very cold, I can see wearing fur. It kept an animal warm, why not you? I guess for me, it's the reason you're buying the fur. Is it strictly vanity and conspicuous consumption or is there some genuine need behind the purchase?
Re: why fur? I had the opportunity to spend a January week in Russia a while back. Everyone who could afford fur wore it. Speaking as a man, fur is very sexy. Most fur animals are farm-raised, just like the ones we eat. Fur is warm, natural and beautiful. So why is it ok to snack on the three little piggies, but not ok to wear farm-raised ermine?
Foxie makes a good point that leather, rather than fur, is more of the equivalent. Perhaps another way to ask this is why don't we eat cats and dogs in our culture, but we have no problem with pigs, cows and chickens. Why is it so repellant to see cats and dogs used as food, rather than as companionship? Why does Michel Vic's dog fighting bring on a reaction as strong as if he abused children - perhaps even stronger? Are we transferring to small furry animals the same status as our companion animals? I've yet to fully answer this for myself. I just "know" that it is wrong, but I don't have a well though out argument as to why.
Companion-animals have been glorified into almost-people. While I wouldn't eat a pet, I don't see anything wrong with eating something that's the same species as a pet.Animal fighting is clear cruelty, and dogs are incredibly symbolic. (see: over-humanizing the species) When's the last time you heard someone get really emotional about cock fighting? (And yes, it's a very big money maker, especially in illegal-heavy areas.)For crying out loud, we have folks who say they'd save their dog before they'd save a stranger's child if both were drowning in the river. To even SAY such a thing blows my mind....
I think Kelly makes a good point about it being cultural. Ermines and minks are cute and fuzzy and it's easy to turn them into sad little creatures with big, tear-filled eyes in cartoons against fat, wealthy matrons who want to skin them to wear their fur. Never mind the fact that both ermines and minks are colossal jerks in the animal world, disemboweling and eating alive other fuzzy, cute creatures.
On the "waste" angle; while I'm not sure if it is actually done, it would in principle be possible to feed the carcasses back to the next generation, since the vast majority of fur species are carnivores.Except for things like rabbits. And people are willing to eat rabbit, so that's OK.
Risk of disease if you do that; probably better to use them for pet food, if there's no demand for their meat. (It's amazing what some people will eat, and I haven't researched if anyone eats minks.)Same way that hardly anyone does the old anti-egg slam of slaughtering all the male chicks, they sell them to people who want stew meat. (I'm sure I've mentioned the year my mom got 125 of them for some incredibly low price... and 121 survived to slaughter. Ooh, that was a rough few weekends. And the NOISE!!!)
Some of the debate is colored by our feelings of disgust that are societally useful but difficult to justify rationally. Jonathan Haidt has an interesting article on this psychological phenomenon.
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