Tuesday, August 24, 2010

From a New Owner of Fur: Vintage, Faux, or New it Sends the Same Message

So I just bought a fur coat. But before you condemn me to hell forever, let me tell you that it's vintage. Does that make it any better? For some people, fur is fur is fur. And for me, it does bring up some ethical issues. I've already been told by my mother that it is "so not PC" and by my sister that it doesn't make a difference whether or not it's vintage. These are things that I had already considered for a good hour before returning to the store I'd spotted it at to buy it. But, suddenly I regretted my purchase; no matter how cheap it was for a coat or how good shape it was in, I couldn't help think how many rabbits it used to be. But after a half hour of mulling it over and reading about the issue, I feel a little better.

I knew when I bought the coat that I would be sending a message about wearing fur for fashion. I actually believe that faux or real, wearing fur sends that same message (even if you feel a little better if it's faux or vintage, others don't necessarily know that). One thing I'm sure about, though, is that I would never buy a new fur anything. Upon moving to New York from California for college, I refused to buy a down jacket with a fur lined hood (and that isn't that much fur). But vintage fur lasts a long time, it has the same allure (I know, superficial--cringe), and its cheaper. And the most important thing: it's not directly supporting the production of new fur even if it is sending the message that wearing fur for fashion is okay.

While I'm no member of PETA, I love animals and wholeheartedly support animal rights. I'm a still a little bit disgusted with myself that I was ever so keen on wearing vintage fur. And to tell you the truth, I still like the idea (although I'm not as excited as I was), I just don't want to offend anyone or give them the wrong idea about what kind of person I am and what I stand for. So I'm sitting here worrying that I'll be savagely criticized by students on my liberal college campus once winter rolls around. I'm not sure how loud their voices will be, but I'm positive there are strong feelings about this issue on campus. Hopefully I'll find a way to come to terms with my purchase because, right now, the only place I can imagine wearing it with no judgement is in the far reaches of Russia where my Ukrainian friend, Asya, says even peasants wear fur.

If there's anyone there, let me know what you think. I want to hear.

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