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Fake Fur Fall Fashions

Updated on April 12, 2011

It's fall and that means cooler weather and attempts at fashion that don't involve baring more than 75% of your body at once. Unsurprisingly, fur is back in this season. It doesn't matter how many times PETA activists hunt down wearers of fur and do their level best to publicly shame them, fur keeps popping up on the runways and in fashion stores, because let's face it, shallow people don't care how much animals suffer.

Of course, before we go too far with the 'fur is murder' shtick, we should also remember that bacon is murder, as is salad on some level or other. Let's not pretend those celery sticks will be making it out of your gut alive.

Generally speaking however, it is fairly unethical to support the fur trade, mostly because fur is farmed in places like China, where they skin the animals alive and leave them to die. A sheep may not exactly enjoy being slaughtered, but you can at least wear shearling in the knowledge that the sheep didn't have its skin removed whilst it could still feel pain.

I've explored this dilemma in my piece on shearling. Shearling isn't fur per se, though it is often mistaken for fur, and really does bear quite a great deal of resemblance to fur given that it is the coat of an animal still attached to that animal's skin. Whether it is more or less ethical to wear shearling given that the rest of the animal will be turned into lamb chops anyway is probably a matter between you and the deity of your choosing. At any rate, shearling is going to be everywhere this season, you're not going to be able to escape it unless you decide to go swimming in an Indian crocodile sanctuary, and even I have to admit that there's something about the neat wool trimmed tanned jackets, boots and bags that I think will probably become the defining look this fall.

However if you're concerned about animal cruelty at all, false, fake or faux fur is the way to go, especially if you're into the more exotic furs, like mink. Not only are fake fur products usually quite a lot cheaper than real fur products (on account of the fact that it costs far less to create a fiber than it does to raise 50 minks to adult size then skin them alive), but they're also eminently morally defensible, and anyone who dares sniff at your fake fur instantly loses the moral high ground.

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