Sunday, February 26, 2012

Of Fur and Fury or Horsehair Everywhere

Okay, a couple of days ago, I encouraged you to punch any cat-tattooers in the face. Don't actually do that. I don't think most of you would anyway but...

This Ohio woman created a fake Facebook profile in order to try to hire a hit man to kill someone, anyone, wearing fur. She wanted the victim to die quickly via gunshot or a slit throat, and preferably be over the age of 12 or 14. Also, she wanted the deed done on the steps of a local library, " that she could then hand out documents about animal cruelty after the homicide." Craaaazy.

This is the equivalent of bombing an abortion clinic because you're pro-life, or slaughtering people of other faiths during a crusade/jihad "for God."

No. Just no. DO stand up for your beliefs, educate others when they seek knowledge, live the best you can live-- but the moment you impose your beliefs on others via force, or use violence to make a statement, you've become just as much of a badguy as those you oppose. Of course, I'm still in favor of convicted animal abusers facing waaay more harsh and creative punishments. But the key word there is convicted.

Now then, about fur: it's everywhere. Recognize any of these?

L-Cysteine: a protein from human, hog or cow hair and duck feathers, found in most commercial bread products.

High-quality stuffed animals and dolls are often made with "mohair," from goats.
Makeup brushes are often made of squirrel and other types of fur.
"Mecate" reins = slaughtered horse hair reins.
Paintbrushes, especially high quality artist brushes, are often horse hair.
Cowboy hats are made of felt, which is compressed fur-- usually from sheep, but sometimes from beaver or other animals.
Of course horse tail extensions are made from horse hair-- slaughtered horse hair.
Authentic Ugg boots are made from Australian sheepskin and fleece.

Horse hair violin bow.

Furry fishing lures.

These are just the most visible uses. It's hard to find pictures of all the chemicals, plastics and fabrics that contain animal-fur-derived stuff. And that's just the fur. You wouldn't believe what all the other animal bits get used for. Which is why there's really no such thing as a true vegan. It's literally impossible to live in the modern world without using animal-based products on a daily basis.

I'm not trying to excuse the fur industry here. Far from it. I HATE the crowded, cruel fur farms and the even more horrific trapping of animals. I HATE the fact that so-called horse lovers support those who benefit from horse slaughter by purchasing mecate reins and tail extensions. My point here is twofold:
  • Instead of becoming vegans, let's find humane ways to get what we want and need. Most of us are going to use animal products anyway; let's focus our efforts on getting them in better ways. It's more realistic. Personally, I would LOVE to see a natural causes / road-kill-only furrier. I would totally pay for and wear a Ford-Flattened-Fox fur coat. You want mecate reins? Save up the stuff that comes off of your shedding brush. And if you're not willing to spend the time or money getting humane products, well, you didn't really want them then, did you?
  • It's pointless to get ragingly angry about fur, unless you're also going to get angry about pretty much everything else. And at that point, you're just expending too much energy. Live the best, most moral life that you can, promote change, make humane choices-- but don't go around killing fur-users, because you'll end up killing everyone. Besides which, your violent acts aren't going to change anything. America is steered by capitalism, so promote change with your money by buying humane products where possible. If enough of us do that, more companies will jump on the bandwagon.

P.S, check out this neat article on how New Zealand is turning an invasive species bent on ecological ruin into furry fashion. And did you hear about how PETA got upset that a Mario game featured a fur-like "tanuki suit" that gave Mario super powers? Ridiculous.

1 comment:

  1. One comment I wanted to add. I learned after talking to horse tail "extensions" or fake tails are usually made from LIVE horse tails. There are farms (the lady I talked to said mainly in China) that keep horses, and cut their tails, grow them out again and cut them and sell them again. While it sucks a bit for the horse to have a short tail after it's cut, it's really not any worse than having horse's tails up in socks. And they get to live.