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A furry conundrum

Animal rights activists, don’t contradict the cause: go veg. (Melissa Pike photo)
Animal rights activists, don’t contradict the cause: go veg. (Melissa Pike photo)

Fur: the topic of endless debate between traditional haut couture and animal rights groups. My initial exposure to the notorious dispute arose during my adolescence, when I saw a television clip displaying the brutality inflicted on some animals to sustain the fashion industry. My immediate reaction was alarm and bewilderment that there was no government regulation or advocacy for safer retrieval of fur. I began to question the humanity of our society. I knew that some communities didn’t have the necessary resources to eradicate it, especially because of the money needed to implement change, money that had to go to healthcare and education. Ready to change the world I began to talk with friends, seeking others who felt the same anger towards the fashion industry. But through these conversations, I became apathetic toward the subject. I was forced to investigate the intentions behind people’s beliefs.

People who suggest it is wrong to kill an animal for its fur should also agree that it is wrong to kill an animal for its meat.  I see no difference between the two: both involve killing, just for different reasons. I began to notice my anti-fur comrades dining on various meats. It seemed contradictory to what they were promoting. Think about what human rights groups stand for. You don’t see these organizations stating that it’s wrong for children to be neglected by their schools, but it is okay for their parents to abuse them. Not only would that make no sense, but the children being protected would have no faith in the system. I believe in promoting ideas that I genuinely believe to be true, not merely by verbal testimony but through the way I conduct my life. When I became interested in this cause, I assumed the people within this community were not just concerned with saving fur but with all aspects of animal welfare.

I’ve heard many different scenarios regarding how fur is retrieved, two of the most prominent being fur farms and hunting. It may seem heinous to cage animals up for their entire lives just to trim their fur every so often, but think about the cattle that are raised specifically to be killed for meat. Does that not fall in the same category? Is it not as disturbing and unfair? Some of the people I met seemed to be supportive because it was trendy to be activists, without really thinking about the core of the argument: protecting animals from harm.

My point is simple. If you believe in animal rights, you must fully embrace what the movement stands for. Believing in one aspect doesn’t help the whole cause.

The best way to support any cause is to fully understand what you are getting involved with. Ensure that your actions do not contradict your motives.


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