Honoring fur

Why would I, an animal lover and environmentalist, wear fur?  I should point out that I have not and don’t plan to wear fur in public, but on my lap here at home as I write.

With all the anti-fur furor in recent years, many furs are winding up in attics or in thrift stores.  This seems as sad to me as the fact that animals died to make that item.  Ideally, people will stop making new furs, but give good, respectful homes to existing furs.

It is indeed regrettable that an animal was killed to make a fur item, but even sadder if it is hidden away to deteriorate in neglect.  Letting fur waste away does nothing to help the animals. The stigma against fur may prevent women from buying new, expensive furs, and that is a good thing, but being embarrassed to wear old fur does not stop the killing or bring back the slaughtered creatures.  I prefer the idea of wearing used/vintage fur, and feeling gratitude to the animals that die not only for fashion, but for food, for science, and as roadkill.  And to honor animals who are starving or have starved due to human intrusion in their habitats.

Faux fur is made with synthetic chemicals, mostly petroleum-based, so I don’t see how they are inherently “greener” than wearing fur that already exists.  Recycle and re-use is the green mantra, so let’s re-use that abandoned fur with mindfulness and humility.  There is fur on internet auction sites that is falling apart and could be re-fashioned into hats, bags, scarves, and other items.

I’m not saying we should strut fur as being glamorous, but rather utilitarian, as the Native Americans have.  They make ceremonial objects from eagle feathers and bear claws, and from furs and hides.  Old fur can be seen as a ceremonial object, reminding us of our connection to nature, our dependence on all living creatures for sustenance, and learning the wisdom and powers of the animals.  Touching the soft fur and feeling a deep connection and thankfulness for everything nature provides for us can be a moving, spiritual experience.

So, if you see a woman wearing fur, instead of lecturing her, find out if it is old/vintage.  Rather than being a “killer” she may be giving a good home to an honorable item.


2 thoughts on “Honoring fur

  1. Isn’t this a little bit naive? By buying second-hand fur you are not directly responsible for animal cruelty but perhaps you are indirectly? People copy each other and when one person sees you wearing vintage fur that might “inspire” them to buy real fur. In the Netherlands fur is actually having a frightening comeback the last few days because some role-models started wearing them and their flog followed. Most of these people are not aware of the animal cruelty behind at all. You obviously are aware of it, so please don’t be part of the fur rehabilitation movement, good as your intentions might be.

    • good point. Thanks for giving me some things to think about. So far, I haven’t and don’t plan to wear fur in public–only at home as a blanket while I write. I should have mentioned that in my post. That is disheartening to hear that fur is coming back in the Netherlands…thanks for making me aware of that.

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