12.15.2005

Soapbox.



I do indulge in the occasional rant, but this time I will fully get on the soapbox.

Last week, I learned of the dog and cat fur trade exported from China, presented by Heather Mills McCartney. I don't agree with everything Heather McCartney does, such as stomping into J Lo's offices with camera crews in tow, but I admire her courage (she lost her lower leg in a motorcycle accident, championed numerous causes, and later married Paul McCartney) and find it necessary to share this information. This is, after all, a blog about education.

I know, I know, if you feel like wearing fur, it's your business, not mine. But LaMai was truly shocked at the repulsiveness of the things Heather had to share with the American audience last week. The methods that the dog and cat fur trade use to market their goods are particularly insidious. Currently, we have a ban in the U.S. on imports of dog and cat fur, but the Chinese fur trade finds ways around our laws. Chinese exporters may label this fur as "fun fur" or "Asian Lynx" when you are actually buying domestic cat or "Asian Jackal" when you are buying German Shepherd pup fur. Note that only the skins are used; not the meat. Our vanity perpetuates this business, not our necessity.

We have options like Poltartec Fleece and other man-made materials that as good or better at keeping us warm. Vintage fur is another option one might consider if one really must wear fur. If you buy outerwear made in China, re-consider your purchase if there appears to be "fun fur" on the trim. It might be a dog or cat.

I can't even believe I am actually writing this.

If you hated this post, send me one of these for Christmas/Chanukkah. I'll get the message.

6 comments:

Calletta said...

Wow, I hadn't heard about the dog and cat fur. . . I would never wear fur, myself, although I'm not one to toss paint at those who do (no matter how much I might really like to). . . I just can't stand the thought of any animal suffering for someone's ego.

L said...

What if the animals were mercifully dispatched?

What about leather?

As much as I prefer not to have a dead beast draped over my shoulders, and an option not practical for my locale (even though the grand dames of Palm Beach will wear them in winter even if they're sweating), I would prefer a natural, naturally renewable material to a synthetic one produced at the expense of the environment. Fortunately there's still wool. And I still like silk even though all those poor little worms must die for my comfort.

la Maitresse said...

The post was about dog and cats only...not by-products of food. Dog and cat fur is illegal for import here. Unfortunately, they're not mercifully dispatched (if anyone really needs to see the evidence, Heather's site offers it, courtesy of the American Humane Society).

Wool is great. This post was simply a heads-up regarding the dog and cat fur trade, and folks who try to get us to buy dog and cat fur when we would prefer not to.

la Maitresse said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
L said...

The practice and trade is disturbing, especially intentionally mismarking it as faux fur. ::shudder::

I was just wondering what your stance was on the other issues. And where do you (collectively speaking) draw the line? For instance, cats and dogs are sources of food in Asia (although the photo of the carcasses being dumped in a landfill indicates these were not.) Alligators and crocodiles are raised primarily for their skins, meat is somewhat of a novelty, an afterthought. Squirrels give their lives so their fur can be used in paint brushes.

Maybe cats and dogs garner more sympathy because we see them as companions?

Interesting. Being a vegetarian for humane reasons would be a very difficult, complicated choice. Food for thought... ;)

la Maitresse said...

I had a feeling you were giving me a run for my Socratic money... heh, heh. Honestly, I have no opinion regarding people who wear fur that is marketed legally here, or leather-wearing, meat-eating, etc. There are cultural norms that we should respect that may not be personally ours.

I do think that since dogs and cats have been domesticated for our companionship/security/longevity (dogs are taken to nursing homes for the health benefit of elderly patients), dog and cat fur trade presents an entirely different ethical can of worms for western tastes. Hence the ban on dog and cat fur imports in this country.

I actually saw a woman wear a fur in Palm Beach, btw. I guess she keeps her thermostat really low at home.