Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Reader Question

This ended up on my Facebook page a while ago:

"So, I know you don't write about women's fashion, but here's a topic to consider: Why it might be considered trashy to wear a fur coat to the zoo."

Gladly. While I don't disagree with using the word "trashy" in this instance, I think a more descriptive word is "uncouth." Wearing fur has been politically incorrect for years now, and with good reason: it represents the most conspicuous of consumption, is unnecessary due to the ubiquity of other materials that are both luxurious and warm (you may have heard of wool, for example) and the undue suffering to the animals slaughtered to make it. I certainly don't claim to be a saint when it comes to consuming animal products; I wear calfskin shoes and eat so much meat that my girlfriend needs to periodically check up on my fruit and vegetable consumption, but meat and leather substitutes are either difficult to come by or taste like crap. It's a lose lose for me. Faux fur is all over the place. 

Wearing a fur coat to the zoo is uncouth because it shows a blatant insensitivity to the essentially imprisoned animals who obviously can't help their own plight (though it's important to mention that they're treated incredibly well). It's the sartorial equivalent of Kobe Bryant playing in a basketball game at the Special Olympics. Or showing off your Rolex to the guy next to you at a homeless shelter who lost his job and can't get back on his feet. In either situation, we would rightfully harumph.

To be constructive, wear jeans, a sweater, and a wool coat to the zoo when it's cold out. While animals can't throw paint on you if you wear fur, they can certainly urinate on your if you get too close. And you'd deserve it, too. 

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