According to Julie

Fur issues, part 3: Organic, fair-trade, free range coats

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I’m surprised the Norwegian fur industry hasn’t gotten its act together by now.   

Let’s examine the evidence:

1. Norway is a rich country, but Norwegians claim to be down to earth and sensible. So Norwegians love politically correct, expensive status symbols.

2. A Norwegian writer recently used this country’s winter weather as evidence that God’s world-creating talent is grossly overrated. You would think we were willing to buy anything that could keep us warm.

3. Free range meat, eggs and dairy are sold in many Norwegian supermarkets. This indicates that plenty of Norwegians care about animal rights, but are still ok with killing animals so human beings can be happier.

4. Vegan footwear exists. Marketing fashion as politically correct seems to work.

5. I count Norwegian tap water among my favorite drinks. I miss it when I’m outside the country. But selling Norwegian bottled water to people in Norway who own sinks, turned out to be a successful business plan. We will clearly pay money for anything.

In all seriousness, why does the fur industry not attempt to capitalize on the consumer demand for "ethical" luxury?

After a dissapointing fall season for the fur industry, the unusually cold winter has driven Norwegian fur sales up, leading to more debate about animal cruelty. In this VG article, a spokesperson for Pelsinform says fur farmers who mistreat their animals are a far greater threat to the industry than animal rights activists or fur boycotts are. I think that’s true.

As I’ve tried to explain before, killing animals for fur isn’t basicly any worse than killing them for meat. But if the fur industry really is crueller than the meat industry, then of course they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

My advice: Make sure the animals are treated well until they die as peacefully and painlessly as possible. And then make sure consumers know about that.

This is Part 3, in which I give the fur industry some marketing advice. You should also read

  • Part 1, in which an ethical dilemma turns up literally on my doorstep, in the form of a white rabbit fur vest
  • Part 2, in which I make a more serious attempt to discuss fashion as if it were a topic in ethics class.

Photo: .jowo. CreativeCommons

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