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The Freedom Correspondent: Are animal rights activists as sustainable as they claim to be?

“In a meat-eating world, wearing leather for shoes and clothes and even handbags, the discussion of fur is childish.”- Karl Lagerfeld

Growing up in Russia I can not remember anyone pointing fur out to me as being unethical or unsustainable, or showing me release videos or animal abuse on farms.

I never knew PETA and the like existed (maybe I was better off). Fur was always portrayed to me as a luxurious and sustainable material. Just like the other natural textiles like wool or leather.

Just a few decades later we all now live with a new reality of very unsustainable fashion.

We buy cheap, fake apparel to be taken home, worn and dumped. This means recycling is minimised and consumption is the be all and end all.

We also farm out our choices and as a result, animal rights activists have become a disproportionate influence. Unfortunately a core belief is if you truly care about animals and sustainability, you can’t love fur.

Is that true? I don’t think so.

Millennials consistently identify sustainability as a key factor in purchasing clothing, but are they aware that fake fur is actually far less ecologically friendly than real fur?

From Marks and Spencer and Bon Marche to now Gucci, retailers are selling a wide range of coats, slippers and even bedspreads all made out of plastic. But far from concealing the fact that their material is basically unbiodegradeable plastics, they are misguidedly flaunting it as a way of proving their ethical credentials.

I am not surprised.

Animal rights activists have demonised fur to such an extent that wearing this real, eco-friendly material is now likely to get you in trouble or at least earn you a few severe looks. Rationality is out the window.

Young people are losing their freedom of choice and blindly follow key players in the animal rights industry (or shall we say business) such as PETA or HSUS.

There is no doubt PETA and its ilk knows that fake fur is made from non-renewable petroleum- based products, such as nylon, acrylic and polyester. But they are supporting products that can in the long-run destroy endangered marine species and those animals that rely on them for sustenance.

Aren’t they the ones supposed to put animals first?

Real fur is a sustainable product and biodegrades naturally within a year and can even be composted in the garden… Farmed furbearers are fed on food production remnants and the waste they produce is used for biofuels and fertiliser. 

Wild furbearers are harvested sustainably from naturally replenishing populations to help balance species numbers and protect native ecosystems.

In New Zealand for example, the government has even encouraged people to buy possum, what they call ‘the world’s most ecological fur’.

Helping the environment helps animals too. It’s a basic point but one that animal rights groups have yet to understand.

I think when it comes to fur, people should know both sides of the coin, but to say fake fur is sustainable in comparison to the real thing is madness.



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