Monday, 11 May 2009

Moral dilemmas, part deux

The beginning of summer isn't necessarily the most ideal time of the year to start thinking about the moral dimensions of wearing second-hand fur. However, I found this hat at a local charity store for 5 euros. Why would I never in a million years even consider buying a piece of new fur, but I feel that it is okay to buy it second-hand? Am I supporting the fur industry nevertheless? Despite the fact that it is illegal in Finland to advertise fur as an ecological choice, could it actually be more ecological to wear one life-lasting second-hand fur hat than to buy cheaply mass-manufactured, imported acrylic fake fur hats that only last for a season, even if the production of real fur is probably (at least according to Animalia) more energy-consuming?

I wear leather shoes almost every day, too, and I eat meat. Isn't leather murder, too, just like fur and meat are? Am I okay with leather shoes or a nice steak simply because they don't look like cuddly animals? Is it easier to justify the need for proper shoes or a nice meal than the need for a warm, pretty hat? Does it make me any warmer (no pun intended) inside to want to believe that cows-turned-into-shoes have nicer lives than foxes-made-into-a-hat?

Ugh, this topic is giving me a headache. Yes, buying a wool hat off a local designer who spins her own yarn would certainly have the highest moral ground of all.

4 comments:

Haidi said...

I have been wondering the same questionstoo. However, ashamed to admit, I love the hat...

T said...

After about a year in Russia, I forgot about the stigma attached to fur, and started thinking about it as a very warm, functional thing to wear.

I'm sure the meat industry is as despicable as the fur industry. Best would be to raise your own animals for food and fur on your own patch of land. They might chew up your garden though.

wrennybird said...

I don't eat meat, either, and have the same leather dilemma. But you know cows are being killed for meat anyway so I'd like to think leather shoes are a way to use more of the by-products from that. I would think shoes and purses from "man-made materials" are probably not any better for the environment.
It would be worse if that fur hat were thrown away and the animal died for nothing, I suppose.
Sheesh, I don't think I'm helping.....

The Waves said...

Haidi: I do too. Aaargh, what is a girl to do..?

T: I used to be against all fur, but when my stepdad gave me my first fur hat, it shocked me how practical fur could be. It's ridiculously warm, and after having had it for 10 years, it still looks brand new. I don't know. I guess the question is: since you have to draw the limit somewhere, where do I want to draw mine?

wrennybird: I guess the same applies here; we all need to figure out our own limits, and at times it is not easy. I guess it's not meant to be.