Fur or Fur Free?

Baby Fur Seal

Perhaps we could call this species aomething other than "fur seal"?
Perhaps we could call this species aomething other than "fur seal"? | Source

Fuzz Ball

After I began exercising as an adult, I required fewer outer garments in cold weather and temperature extremes no longer caused me difficulties. In fact I rarely wear a coat or jacket today, unless the temperature dips below 28º F. A fur lining would be much too warm.

I have tried fur outerwear in cold weather, however,finding it less warm than a lined cloth coat or jacket. leather is not warm either. The warmest coat I have ever had is a black knee-length coat with a nylon lining and a rubberized synthetic outer shell. It is nearly indestructible and the lining will wear out before the rest of the coat does and can be replaced.

This is a too-thick suit. Puffy, very puffy. (Remainder of photos, public domain.)
This is a too-thick suit. Puffy, very puffy. (Remainder of photos, public domain.)

The warmest coat was also the least expensive - $19.99 new at KMart about 2004. Fur is generally expensive.

While some individuals prefer to wear fur, I don't enjoy wearing either real fur or fake fur for a number of reasons. To me, these materials are not warm (unless used as linings) and are too expensive to be practical. If the fur were on the inside of a coat, it would probably be lumpy. Fur either inside or outside comprises too much bulk for my taste. This is not good.

In the light of publicity about cruelty and torture to animals for food, health and beauty aids and fur, fur garments and accessories seem unseemly. Further, when I think of wearing animal skins/furs the thought reminds me of pictures I've seen of reportedly tattooed human-skin lampshades made from Holocaust. The debate may continue about authenticity of these shades, but it's all most unappetizing. I also remember bad aromas emanating from improperly stored furs in my childhood, so that adds to my distaste.

My biggest dislike in all this is that I detest waste -- Wasting an animal and its life in order to have only its skin is not very good.

Fair Use

I respect Indigenous Peoples and modern hunters that hunt for food and use every part of an animal that they hunt. Some of my ancestors have done it and I would do it if I were in such a culture or time of need. However, I dislike reasonless killing - sometimes leaving the entire animal to rot on the ground. It's like the destructive random drive-by shooting that we would like to see eliminated.

Similarly, killing an elephant for its tusks is illegal, but still occurs. Elephant foot watsebaskets and umbrella stands are in poor taste, I think. I don't like alligator or crocodile skin accessories and shoes, either. I do like good-quality leather shoes, so I am guilty of that. However, leather coats and jackets may look nice, but to me are not warm and therefore useless, so they are not for me. And I don't even carry a purse, so that's a moot point for fur and leather.

On a positive note, when deceased deer are found by the side of the road in these parts, the meat is donated to the needy through local soup kitchens, The deer skin is also used, but I don't know how. If these animals are killed in traffic accidents and such, it's practical to use every part of them that we can.

Today, one can use furs to look fat and of an unnatural color at the same time.
Today, one can use furs to look fat and of an unnatural color at the same time.

Fluffy Patterns

If I were going to wear fur, it would not be a patterned variety. The bulkiness of fur already is unwieldy and many patterns make people look fat. All these furs and patterns - spots, stripes, big swirls - are all just "too much" for me. The sleeker the style the better, in my opinion. Smooth well-tailored outfits, or catsuits and spacesuits are good form. Actually, I simply like smooth fabrics. Fur gets in the way for me - much like a puffed up cat with its hair sticking out in all directions..

Patterned fur hats are not bad to look at, but again, I think they are not as warm as a good lined cloth cap or a knitted or crocheted hat. Natural fibers from plants and animals are best for those handcrafted items. Animal hair and wools can be gathered without harming the animal. In fact, one exhibitor that has worked at Cedar Point Amusement Park made yarn from her group of long-haired dogs as they shed it. It was unique and warm.

Animal wools and hair are very useful in creating warm and attractive garments, as long as the animals are not harmed in the process -- One does not need to kill a sheep in order to sheer it. Similarly, bison hair yarn is becoming popular and the bison does not die in order to provide it. Great yarns come from many animals, such as alpacas, mountain goats, a variety of sheep species, dogs, and probably many other species. Alll these can be dyed in a variety of colors and are all better alternatives to animal furs for individuals that want to be fur free.

Too fuzzy.
Too fuzzy.
Fuzzy and cute.
Fuzzy and cute.

Fluffy Chinchilla

I once attended a presentation about raising chinchillas. It turned out to be a recruiting meeting for potential fur raising professionals, but it was interesting. It also rather put me off using animal fur and skins in almost all ways.

The professionals were a married couple in their 40s, long in the business. They explained all about raising chinchillas as fur bearing animals and brought out several sample garments. They also brought out photo albums of celebrities wearing chinchilla garments.

The bit about killing each chinchilla was unpleasant. You were to place each one into a jar of cholorform fumes and when it passed out, take it out and skin it. Supposedly, there was very little blood and gore, but still...

The evening ended with the couple becoming embroiled in a bit of a spat. It seems that she worked many more hours per week in the business than did he - did all the killing, too - and he refused to "allow" her to have any chinchilla article of her own - not even a bookmark. It was not a fun evening.

A baby chinchilla.
A baby chinchilla.
Considered lovely in the past, a historic Greek fur cap is not for me.
Considered lovely in the past, a historic Greek fur cap is not for me.

Fur Flying

If it were to become illegal to kill any further animals in the US for their fur, then fur pieces already in circulation would probably skyrocket in value. In some areas, animal skins might even revert to currency, as in the 1600s and 1700s. Today we buy gold, tomorrow it may be collector's furs.

Related to using real furs, what is the consideration for Native American groups whose traditions and religious ceremonies involve animal furs, new ones being required from time to time? In addition, some African American communities enjoy fur coats and consider them part of culture and tradition. We saw many of these garments at the Presidential Inauguration of Barak Obama in 2009. All this would make a fur ban difficult.

Importing animal skins to America if we could not use our own country's animals may be problematic also -- The Internet is full of reports and videos of animal mistreatment in the Chinese fur industry. These are very hard to watch, worse than videos of slaughter houses here.. Criminalizing US fur production, while accepting foreign imports might result in an uproar of protest by animal rights groups and even lead to violence between factions, similar to violence attached to some other societal issues.

I think fur and fur free will remain choices, since banning furs may not be practical - not much more practical than banning alcohol during Prohibition. For myself, both fur and faux fur are out; smooth fabrics and natural fiber creations are in. If culture reverted to the need for using animal products as our Native American cousins have done in the past, using the full animal in a humane method, I could live with that. Killing animals, especially inhumanely, just for fur when we have other fabrics at hand disturbs me.

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Comments & Additions 44 comments

Trsmd profile image

Trsmd 6 years ago from India

congrats for publishing this as your 1000th Hub...Well done..


livingsta profile image

livingsta 6 years ago from United Kingdom

Oh..that baby chinchilla is so cute...nice hub Patty..


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

Thanks! Trsmd - I'd been trying to keep up with the 30 Hubs in 30 Days and that really led to 1000 Hubs in less time than I'd imagined.

livingsta - I had a chinchilla once, but not so tiny. Just as cute, though. Thanks for reading!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Patty, what do you mean a fashionable wolf fur cap is not for you...it would keep your ears warm, the back of your neck warm, you could scratch your head if it was itchy by just pushing back and forth, the teeth would take car of everything...

Good lord, can you just imagine if you were caught in the rain, the smell that that furry animal on your head would give off...peeyuuuuu...

I'm not too fond of wearing fur but I have to admit I like to sew it and create stuff with it.

Great hub also congrats on it being your 1000th hub too (wow that is quite an accomplishment)

take care and kindest regards Zsuzsy


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

Well, Zsuzy, I think you are the only one I can trust to make a SMOOTH garment of fur - of course, only from a poor dead beast by the side of the road. If we ever find BT laid out in a culvert... And the smell of that wolf cap would repel con artists and salesmen and such, wouldn't it? :) Thanks for the congratulations! The 1000th was here quicker than I thought.


Godslittlechild profile image

Godslittlechild 6 years ago

I am definitely fur free! They'd all be pets in my house.


dusanotes profile image

dusanotes 6 years ago from Windermere, FL

Well done, Patty. I love the furs you showed, definitely signs of wealth, especially in the past. Don White


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Wow, Patty. I really liked this hub and agree with you on this topic. I can empathize with Native Americans who use virtually every part of the animal they kill, but in today's day and where just about anything is available via a click of a mouse (not death of a mouse, mind you). Thanks for a wonderful and thought provoking hub.

A Thousand Congrats to a Thousand Hubs!


frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 6 years ago

Patty I'm going to try and avoid making too graphic a comment but many a fur hat, trim, pair of gloves and even some coats and jackets are from dogs and cats. So domestic animals are on the fur hit list too. And it's not just the fact that they kill these animals, it's also how the do it.

I once had to watch (quite a few) videos re the fur trade, the reality etc. I can't tell you how sickened I was, or how many times I sat in the group quietly crying.

But - I do agree with the point you made about indiginous peoples wearing fur. The why and how of it. And they also use the whole animal. They don't kill for the fur and waste the meat, sinews and bone.

Really great article. Congratulations on 1000 hubs.


B.T. Evilpants profile image

B.T. Evilpants 6 years ago from Hell, MI

Well I admit to wearing fur, but I really have no choice in the matter. As a rule, I'm against the whole idea.

Another fine hub, Patty. Now let's talk about lucky rabbit's feet...


KJRaider profile image

KJRaider 6 years ago

Good going on your 100th I hope to get there someday.

As for fur, It is only for show and I don't wear for show I wear for warmth & comfort only.


sukhera143 profile image

sukhera143 6 years ago from Home

Great hub.


Philipo profile image

Philipo 6 years ago from Nigeria

Congrats on your 1000th hub.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

1000 hubs! Yahoo! What a feat. Excellent subject. I never thought about "fur flying". That would be so odd, trading fur. How things have changed over the centuries.


Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 6 years ago from United States

That baby chinchilla picture was way too cute! I've been on both sides of the fur debate and finally concluded it just isn't for me.


Vizey profile image

Vizey 6 years ago

nice written Patty great it is sad that we kill animals to get Fur . hope your hub will give them some guidance.


JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

JYOTI KOTHARI 6 years ago from Jaipur

Hi Patty,

Congratulations again for your 1000th hub. If I am not wrong, it is the the 1000th!!! And a perfect maintained hubber score 100!!

I will be waiting for 2K.

I belong to a culture where killing animal is not allowed for any reason and I love and follow that.

I appreciate your No fur move.

Thanks and thumbs up!

Jyoti Kothari


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

That is amazing - 1000 hubs. You are so dedicated. I hope it is worth it for you. I have just started and feel like quitting most times when I see my score go down and don't get the traffic I want. Perhaps you can share more of your ideas with me that will bolster me up and help me continue.

Oh and BTW I am fur free. Poor little animals.


neysajasper profile image

neysajasper 6 years ago

Great hub !! but it is sad we killed animal for fur we should stop this activity.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

Thanks very much for all the comments!

frogdropping - I once heard that a lot of cat and dog fur is passed off as other animals, and now we have confirmation fo that; so thanks 1000 times. Though people eat cats and dogs in some part of the world, I don't think I would do it. Even Anthony Bourdain does not like to eat an animal he has met beforehand.

As for tips and pointers to all who asked - read every day and just keep writing; it goes together.

BT - I used to wonder about the claws on rabbits' feet keychains when I was a kid. It was kind of ghastly.

One more item - Last night I saw how frogs in the Everglads are skinned alive for food in a restaurant and I was not happy with that. Chlling them on ice first does not help them much, imo.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

Not being a female, I have a decidedly different view than a woman would, since I would not wear fur anyway (well, one of those Russian winter hats would be a possibility.) I know women who are against animal cruelty in all its forms, and yet they make an exception for fur coats. It's a complicated subject. Certainly, I don't object to leather nor would I have a problem with deer skin. I suppose this is because - as you point out - presumably the entire animal is used, particularly for food. But baby seals are most definitely out. It's just too horrific.

So what of farm-raised animals, such as chinchilla? I don't know. It just seems so...unnecessary. But try to tell that to a woman who likes fur coats or a person who's culture includes wearing fur.

You've done a great job raising all the questions. I wish I could be more emphatic with my answers to myself.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

Culture and pros and cons - that's why it's so hard to control fur production, imo.


kathy 6 years ago

poor!!!! animals!!!!!!


Treii28 6 years ago

“Existing” kills. You can deny it or seek to be consciencious about it minimizing your adverse impact and promoting a beneficial interaction in the natural scheme.

If you don't wanna wear fur, don't. If you don't want to eat meat, don't! If the industry follows reasonable guidelines and people want to eat meat and wear leather or fur - let them.

Funny how people get the most upset when an animal they deem as 'cuter' is the target of responsible use. Let's save the cute ones first, we'll get to the ugly ones later.

The fact is that planes, trains and automobiles kill tons of animals every day. Every house, factory, distribution hub and retail store not only killed animals but took their homes away to allow it to exist. Your synthetic clothing kills animals to make, the waste from any manufacturing process creates waste that can potentially add to environmental pollution, and the process of shipping it to market so you can buy it and take it home uses those planes, trains and automobiles mentioned above.

As someone that has actually sponsored a 'road kill awareness month' where we had a list of people each driving a different direction of commute 'keep track' of how many animals they saw - I just can't comprehend why people are getting so bent out of shape over raising and using animals 'responsibly' for the fur industry. Fur coats are beautiful in my opinion and are incredibly warm and comfortable to wear. Most of the animals that are used to make them wouldn't exist were it not for the desire for their fur (as in they are farm raised for the purpose). And a properly cared for fur can last multiple lifetimes.

After that 'month' and counting more than 4000 animals WASTED, rotting on the side of the road on a short 10 mile commute, I just laugh at all the anti-fur whackos and their state of complete denial.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

Pointing at "road-kill" is a cheap method to distract from conspicuous gluttonous consumption by a fur wearer. In Ohio, road kill deer and other game is taken to churches and community kitckens and prepared as meals for anyone in need. Rural residents, hunters/hobbyists/some breeders/Native Americans also use the whole animal; much of the fur industry does not.


marieryan profile image

marieryan 6 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

In my opinion the wrong we do in wearing fur is that we don't need to. We have a choice. If i were neanderthal (some say I still am!) then obviously I would need to keep my children and my family warm and would have no alternative , of course! We have so many alternatives available to us.

However native, indigenous groups utilize the whole animal due to necessity, basic survival techniques and of course this is therefore a very different case.

Very interesting article.

Thanks


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Excellent article that points out the logic behind why it is basically far more acceptable to wear fur if the whole animal has been used, but it is totally immoral to kill an animal, (often inhumanely), simply to make it into a fur coat or similar. Like they used to say, "Fur coats are on beautiful animals and ugly people".

Thumbs up.


theherbivorehippi profile image

theherbivorehippi 6 years ago from Holly, MI

I don't feel any animal should be killed...ever! I understand many many years ago things were different and people ate and wore the animal but in today's society we have enough alternatives that animals should not be used for our materialistic needs, entertainment or consumption. Well written Hub! Thanks for sharing.


ateenyi profile image

ateenyi 6 years ago from Chicago

Good Hub!!!!!!

The hub highlights the brutal cruelties occurring on the animals across the globe. The leather, fur, tusks etc. are used to create asset by the loss of precious life. The awareness created by hub is the great step in the write direction. The hub will create great impact on the society.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for all the comments! I still think fur is only warm if worn on the INSIDE of the coat. How often do we see that? --Rarely, except for sheepskin linings.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

Some people appreciate the lives of animals and use fur more appropriately, but (just my experience) the people I have met personally that wear fur do so as a flaunt of "wealth" and "importance" and also buy huge amounts of groceries and throw much of them away, unused. They go to expensive restuarabnts when someone else is paying, order one of the most expensive meals on the menu, take only two bites, and won't; take the remainder home, either. It is a sickness.


torimari profile image

torimari 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

I am very much against wearing fur for fashion or any myself...unless you are like a hunter who NEEDS to hunt and uses every part. Heh, but me preaching aside, this was a very informative article. I like how it also touched on the potential disadvantages of banning killing animals for fur...though as much as I'd support it, this now makes me consider other affects that could be just as bad on animals even with a ban.

Great hub.


mbwalz profile image

mbwalz 6 years ago from Maine

Great hub! I'm always caught up with looking at a subjects from both sides. I have a hard time justifying my eating animals if I can't use their skin, fur for clothing. I do have leather shoes and a leather coat.

I also have to wonder about wearing modern fabrics made from petroleum products. Cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops. Some people feel the sheering of wool is inhumanely stressful to the animal.

I'm not saying yes wear fur or no don't. I'm just saying that there's a whole can of worms to think about! How do you draw the line?

Congrats on your 1000th hub!


lovelypaper profile image

lovelypaper 6 years ago from Virginia

I think that wearing fur simply for fashion and not survival is wrong. I agree, the baby Chinchilla is so cute!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

Chinchillas are cute, but there is not much to them, so many are needed for one garment. That's to much destruction for my tastes.

@torimari - good comments, thanks for writing.

@mbwalz - That's interesting about cotton and it sounds dangerous in long-term effects.

@lovelypaper - too tiny for a coat except to be worn by himself.


girl 6 years ago

i realy don't know how anyone could kil an animal for such an unreasonable and cruel cause how do those people sleep at night after killing something so innocent , small,and quite frankly adorable


Phoebe Pike 5 years ago

I have to wonder who came up with the idea to wear fur in the first place. This thought normally creates the image of a cave man looking at a large animal and thinking to himself, "Animal is warm... I am not. What does he have that I do not?" Then BING! There's the answer. Lolz.

Good job.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago

Great hub. I prefer not to wear fur coats. I have had chinchillas as pets. They are sweet and have a personality and although the wild chinchillas are bigger, no animals should be slaughtered for merchandising and status symbol purposes.


franziska02 profile image

franziska02 5 years ago from NRW

Nice, these pictures. Furs are needed today and tomorrow. Yes, the little baby seal is a beautiful part of my next fur. The lady in fur costume has the right taste to wear a lot of fur. The many colorful fox, yes, they are beautiful stoles and coats are. Yes, many chinchillas need my fur. We have enough breeding chinchillas, the furs are very nice and pretty. Fur is unique.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

I thnk fur is useful in Arctic and Antarctic climates, but hjnting shoud not be about simply killing and stripping the skin off an anuimal or skinning it alive.


pepsharada profile image

pepsharada 5 years ago from Hyderabad

if the animal is killed in an accident and the skin and flesh is used, it should not become a fancy for others to kill new animals to enjoy the same. I thing the usage of animal skin in leather accesaries and garments should be banned. seeing the baby chinchilla in the picture how can anyone kill it for skin.

"Fur coats are on beautiful animals and ugly people". by mistyhorizon2003 what a quotation


CatHellsky 5 years ago

I'm currently wearing a faux fur vest. I would have bought it even if it were real fur. I don't wear it for fashion, though. I wear it for warmth. I keep the fur on the inside, where it's much much warmer. It's nice to brush my cheek on the collar of it, as it's so soft, and it really does keep me warm. I like fur. I don't wear it for fashion, I wear it for warmth.


writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

I have to admit I had two fur coats in England and that was over thirty years ago. I didn't bring them to the U.S. west coast because it's very casual.

I agree with you about not wearing fur.


DrMichael 3 years ago

I love the look of fur on a woman, and it is valued as much for its softness and appearance as it is its warmth. Many "furriers" use the whole animal and kill the animal humanely. As I don't see myself quitting hamburgers, furs acquired under these means are acceptable to me. There is a new practice of gluing a base to the top of the live animals' fur (to beome the 'pelt') and then laser shearing the fur off underneath without harming the animal. Besides being humane, this has the benefit of seeing the animal being continually cared for and of seeing its individual value increase, and of seeing potentially cheaper prices for furs as the animal also becomes a renewable resource for the material.

Finally, it is thought that both fur and meat may be "grown" in the near future from cloned skins/cells without harm to animals at all. This would be a boon to both the fur trade and the preservation of many endangered species. I truly hope this comes to pass sooner rather than later. As far as much of the Chinese fur trade goes, I find it apalling, as I have seen for myself videos where they really do skin creatures alive, tossing them aside to suffer and die as waste amid the dying bodies of their fellows. This practice must be stopped!

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