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Shiny boots...


Yes I wear both. Leather is acceptable but to admit to wearing fur and you are some kind of monster to some. Why does fur have these connotations but not leather.

Before you comment in horror, consider: why is the knee-jerk reaction to fur one of disgust, while the vast majority of us are rocking leather shoes or boots?

Wearing fur may be more viscerally offensive, but is it’s any worse than strapping yourself into a leather belt. In fact, it’s possibly better. True, much of the fur industry raises animals in appalling conditions. But do 'CAFO' cows have it any better? -which is happening here in NZ, Not a chance. It’s completely reasonable to argue that the business of ethically raised animals turned out as autumn's new fur vest still has the moral high ground over a hue-du-jour downer beef belt bought on sale at Glassons Rack.

Going further, it’s nearly impossible to separate the issue of animal welfare from environmental principles. Even if you think, as I do, that it’s perfectly acceptable to raise animals for human use (if done in a way that is ethically humane), there’s still the fact that animal products of any kind – from fur caps, ice cream to tonight’s dinner – put a strain on the earth’s resources.

Ethically, the choices are either vegan products made from synthetic goods, or animal products produced in a way that is deemed to be humane. Environmentally, neither vegan nor animal products are ideal. Nothing is.

As for Vegan products selling everywhere at the moment and “vegan”, “eco” faux fur. The vegan claim doesn't bother me, since it was true, but there eco claim gets my attention – mainly because the fur actually used “eco” in the brand name. What could possibly be eco about petroleum-based faux anything?

Nothing annoys me more than a vegan…product trying to cop some green cred. Vegan is often touted as being eco-friendly, simply because it sounds more ethical and less energy-intensive than using animals, but sounding all nice ‘n stuff doesn’t make it so. A lot of vegan goods are little more than plastic. Marketing much?

I’d personally rather have recycled leather, which has had years to off-gas those nasty preservatives, sidling up to my skin than plastic, recycled or otherwise, which will never, ever biodegrade and is far more energy-intensive to recycle or reuse than an animal-based good.

When I tell people my love for fur, the bittersweet part of this is that no one ever says a thing about their closet full of leather handbags and gussy shoes. Fur is off the list – if you’re a good person, you just don’t do it. But crusted fish filets and suede M.K's are OK some how.

When vegetarianism first garnered Western mainstream notice in the 70s, meat-eaters loved to point out the hypocrisy of veg-heads, like me in the past, who have shown up to animal protests sporting leather jackets, boots, bags etc. And if we’re being honest, they have a point.

Should we only ever wear recycled, vintage or vegan products?

More questions:

Would you rather wear recycled or vintage, and therefore eco-friendly – vegan products, or recycled or vintage leather and fur?

How many times have you been(privately or openly) judged a in fur, while they ignore the hordes of both leather and plastic boots, bags and belts parading past them daily? I know there have been times that I have.

And, do you wear leather but not fur?


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