It’s often difficult to have a civilized debate about real fur as it quickly spirals into something nasty. This is mainly due to the fact that anti-fur advocates passionately defend their stance and can sometimes miss the broader picture.
In this post, we are not going to talk about the negatives of fur. That’s something that has already been covered about in plenty of posts. Instead, we are going to present the other side of the story that often goes unheard.
The first thing you need to know that wearing and manufacturing fur coats in the United States is not illegal. In fact, you can even buy men’s fur coats online.
While wearing fur is completely legal, slinging red paint on someone’s coat because they are wearing fur is illegal. So is verbally assaulting someone for wearing fur.
Another misconception about fur is that it somehow contributes to the very real concern of animals going extinct. When it reality habitat destruction, pollution, and release of exotic invasive species are the main culprits.
Ethical fur coat manufacturers source pelts from farms and ranches. That’s because farming ensures a steady supply of high-quality pelts and is more sustainable in the long run than going hunting. It’s not in the interest of manufacturers to destroy the natural habitat or deplete the population of the very animals they depend on to earn their living. There are also strictly enforced laws pertaining to trapping animals in the wild. While China has little to no laws to protect animals, there are laws in the United States and Europe to prevent animal cruelty.
Our Biased Approach to Animal Farming
Do you feel guilty about buying a leather jacket? If not, then you shouldn’t feel guilty buying fur coats. There is no debate that animal farms that involve killing animals are cruel. The very act of killing an animal can never be “humane”. However, we tend to focus our attention to farms that involve killing cute furry animals. We don’t care about how we treat chickens, cows, lambs, pigs, crocodiles, and other animals we farm for food.
The popular argument justifying that these farms are okay is because they are for food production. We need food to survive, so it’s okay. However, we also need coats to shield ourselves from freezing temperatures.
Both in terms of meats and winter fur coats, there are non-animal alternatives. We can choose to have tofu instead of chicken just as we can choose to buy a faux fur coat instead of buying the real thing. The only difference is faux fur coats also comes with its own baggage of negatives.
Faux Fur is Not All Sunshine and Rainbows
While it doesn’t involve killing animals directly, the production process of faux fur is anything but clean. The production of synthetic fur requires petrochemicals and massive amounts of energy. The coats are not biodegradable and can take thousands of years to break down. This puts a lot of pressure on already overloaded landfills. The production process of faux fur is also highly polluting. The dumping of waste materials, as well as high energy demands, can cause severe environmental damage, which contributes to habitat destruction and in turn extinction of animal species.
Manufacturing of real fur coat demands much less energy and space. It causes little to no pollution and the end product is completely biodegradable.
There is also the question of quality. While real fur coats provide excellent protection against extreme cold weather, most faux fur coats often prove to be inadequate.
Whether you choose to buy a faux fur coat or a real fur coat still remains your call. However, we do hope that this post encourages you to think and discuss the issue in a constructive manner. Feel free to leave your comments below to start an honest discussion.