Friends with someone who wears fur?
Posted by Iaraun at 01/18/2014
My title was too long for the topic subject. Could you be friends with someone who wears fur? I'm not vegetarian but fur disgusts me. In my class a woman wears fur and wants to be friends with me, but I feel disgusted whenever I see her. There are only a small percentage of people who wear fur, so it seems like no big deal not to want to be friends with her, because she wears fur. How do other people handle such issues?
You might try mentioning to your friend that you saw something on tv about fur that troubled you. That way it's not you attacking their choice.
But you would also be opening yourself up to the charge of hypocrisy, if you're still supporting an industry that slaughters millions of animals daily for "food".
If you're not vegan let alone vegetarian, consider what the other reader asked. Do you eat meat? I would also ask if you wear leather? Do you own one or more leather belts or shoes?
I don't see how you can differentiate between eating meat but not wearing fur. The animals that provided both meat and fur are still dead.
I think you're looking for excuses to avoid friendship with this person. I find this sad. Is the quality of your life such that you have no need for another friend?
I'd led an interesting life. There have been times when friends have been a huge blessing. A friend held me in her arms and comforted me on the terrible day that I learned that the mother of my heart had died after suffering from a long and painful illness.
When two Bedouin tried to mug me in Cairo, a friend and colleague came charging to the rescue - shouting as loudly as he could while swinging his 35 mm camera by the strap as though he was twirling a war hammer.
After suffering an injury to my throat, a friend took me home to care for me since the doctor had said that I couldn't be left alone. Unable to speak, I could not have called any one for help, so my friend took me to her home and gave me a bell to ring so that I could call her if I had as medical emergency e navy.
While living in Beirut during Israeli bombing attacks, friends stayed on-line with me as I described the on-going attack as I watched a Syrian anti-aircraft gun engage the attacking planes with tracker fire.
After returning stateside and joining a volunteer fire company, friends in this engine company watched my back just as I watched out for them whenever we entered a burning smoke filled building in search of survivors to rescue.
You shouldn't be so quick to discount a friendship. If she wears fur while you eat meat and wear leather shoes - so what?
Your reason for not wanting to be friends seems really superficial.
The Hammer01/19/2014 04:10:12
Both fur and meat are luxury items that don't need in order to live. Both cause EXTREME and UNNECESARY animal cruelty.
Thank you so much for your compassion for animals. I agree with you that fur is disgusting. Fur wearers fall into one of two groups: they are either heartless or uneducated. Those who are uneducated simply have not put 2 and 2 together yet and figured out where the fur on their coat comes from. They haven't made the connection. They think it is a soft, beautiful fabric but haven't allowed themselves to think about or accept how it's made. Then there is the other group: those who know animals are killed for their coat and they don't give a damn.
In either case, I think it would be to your benefit to make friends with this person IF you can politely confront her on the fur issue. I say "if" b/c you don't want to make a false friend. You have to let your feelings be known. I would take ahimsa's advice. Ask her if she knows where that fur comes from. Maybe text her this:
Some people are very receptive to change. They just need a positive influence in their lives. At a minimum, you'll give her food for thought. Then give it a while to sink in. If after a few months she still isn't changing her tune and heartlessly wears fur around, well, you tried. You can still keep her as an acquaintance but I'd move on and find better friends.
The Hammer01/20/2014 05:44:14
That is a very pleasing reply to the OP.
As you say fur wearers fall in two groups, BUT SO DO MEAT EATERS.
The OP is on a veg forum so we can assume that the OP is fully aware of the animal cruelty on her/his daily plate.
Isn't it awkward to praise a person who, exactly like the fur wearer, is completely aware of the animal cruelty behind his product, and yet at the same time, demonize the fur wearer ? That is odd and inconsistent.
Shouldn't we just give an honest reply and treat the OP as an adult person, or as a child who we have to pat on the back ?
The argument isn't valid, it is sentimental and a bit childish. I for me i don't want to be a Saint, i simply don't want to contribute to large scale animal cruelty.
I stick to my praises. I am very proud of Laraun. We all have to start somewhere. If she says something to this woman in her class who wears fur and that woman does not buy another fur coat, Laraun has saved 60 animals. Not bad for a day's activism. Say this woman would have gone on to buy 5 fur coats during her lifetime. But Laraun caused her to think twice and she doesn't buy them. That's 300 animals she's saved. Way to go, Laraun!
[If you wonder where I'm getting my 60 animal estimate from, it's an average number. If we're talking minks or rabbits, it takes 60 to make a full length coat. For foxes, 40. More info here: http://www.changeforanimals.org/#!fur/c20ph]
That said, Hammer, I see your point. Overall, I think we have to know when to praise and when to push. I seem to be good with the carrot and you seem to be good with the stick. I think both are important.
For those who don't know, the accusation is generally along these lines:
"You say you're a vegetarian, but you're wearing leather shoes! You're a hypocrite!" (and everything u say is invalid)
Being a hypocrite means claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform. We have to remember that when it comes to being kind to animals, it's not an all or nothing proposition. It's a spectrum.
On one side of the spectrum are people who are just getting their start when it comes to kindness toward animals. They love their pets, they recognize that it's wrong to wear fur, etc. Maybe then they progress to giving up meat one day a week. Further down the spectrum would be someone who is vegetarian. Then someone who is not only vegetarian but doesn't wear leather, silk, wool, etc. Keep going down the spectrum and you'd find someone who is vegan most of the time but occasionally has slip ups. Then at the far side of the spectrum is someone who is a strict vegan (my heroes!).
The point is, no one on that spectrum is a hypocrite. As long as we define our goal as a community as trying to cause the smallest amount of harm to other creatures as is possible while going through this life, none of us are hypocrites. We will all go about it in different ways, at different speeds, each having our own journey. And we all have to start somewhere.
The "hypocrite" argument only works if you assume the moral standard we hold ourselves to is "no harm to any living creature ever." That is NOT the standard we are holding ourselves to. No human walking the planet can meet that standard. If I ride my bike to the grocery store, I'm likely to run over an ant. If I buy a vegan veggie burger, it's likely many bugs and probably a mouse was killed while harvesting the grain.
So the next time someone calls you a hypocrite, you can say, "No one is a hypocrite for helping animals." It can also help to use this analogy: Is a runner a hypocrite because they run 5K instead of a marathon? No. No matter how far they run, they are still a runner." The same is true with us. Whether we give up meat once a week, are strict vegans or anywhere in between, we are all "runners". We are all trying to make this world a better place for animals. There's no hypocrisy in that.
The Hammer01/22/2014 21:12:27
O yeah, i fully agree with you. Sometimes we have to praise a person and sometimes, in a gentle and non personal way, point out that you can change other people but also can start with changing yourself.
I don't think the OP is hypocrite , but a person with good intentions.
Many non veg people are genuinely against animal cruelty. But they make a distinction in their mind between and unnecessary things like animal testing for cosmetics, and like and .
Because they make that distinction, they are NOT hypocrite.
I think it is LOL to point out that also is a luxury product and that most animal testing are for lifestyle medicines, for diseases we can prevent (stop smoking and you won/t get lung cancer, could get developed with alternatives, etc.
Plato descirbes in his book and ideal state. This ideal state is but rather basic and without meat.
To please other people he changes this basic hypothetical state and adds luxury items and one of them is .
I agree with that. :-) Meat really is a luxury item.
So to the OP, it is good to talk witha fur wearer about fur, but also take some time to analyze your own meat eating. ;-)
People don't need to eat meat in order to live, it is even more healthy NOT to eat meat.
Redheaded Vegan04/02/2014 13:53:57
What do you think happens to the skins of beef cattle? It virtually all goes to the leather industry. It's been argued that the leather industry would not exist but for the cattle/cow industry, because killing animals just for skin would be far less profitable than using skins purchased cheaply from the meat and dairy industries.
Non-bovine skins are only a tiny fraction of the leather industry. But what's the difference? Does a cow enjoy having it's skin more than an alligator or a snake? Killing is killing...
Using leather requires a dead animal, so it's primarily a slaughterhouse product. Although it's actually been shown on video that many animals are still alive when the skinning begins on the killing floor.