Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A genuine imitation

I have never understood the appeal of fake fur. Most people in civilized society--including, perhaps, those who shop at Neiman Marcus--do not need the warmth of fur, or can get the same warmth evisceration-free, from sources that do not squeal or bleed through the production process. It is with good reason that, for anyone who cares deeply or even marginally about unnecessary animal suffering, fur should symbolize not only decadence or wealth but human willingness to tread heavily on the earth.

So I have never understood the desire to achieve the look of being selfishly comfortable at the expense of other life forms, without actually flaying anything to get that look. Now, it turns out that even fake fur comes at a heavy price.

A series of recent investigations have uncovered widespread mislabeling of fur sources at a variety of clothing retailers. The latest report tested 25 coats that were labeled fake and found real fur in 24 of them. And not just fur, but dog fur. While I'm not thrilled about fur of any kind, it is certainly most disturbing to imagine the family dog being skinned alive to trim your hoodie. As high end retailers scramble to deflect blame and avoid fines by pulling the fake fake fur from their floors, it seems that the only way to be sure you are not wearing Spot is to avoid fur of all kinds.

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