Refinery29 | Are You A Hypocrite When It Comes To Fur?

Before recently bouncing down the runways of Marc Jacobs, Thakoon, Altuzarra, and Alexander McQueen, fur has been freshly reinterpreted into edgy silhouettes and colors — in other words, not your Upper East Side dame's mink. The number of fuzzy accessories available online (think purses and collars) has almost doubled in the past year. That comeback is bound to irk animal-lovers everywhere, which may not be entirely fair — how many of us pause before purchasing leather? 

When Lady Gaga had to go on the defensive this year for wearing a fur coat, she said, “I am choosing not to comment on whether or not the furs I purchase are faux fur pile or real because I would think it hypocritical not to acknowledge the python, ostrich, cow hide, leather, lamb, alligator, 'kermit,' and not to mention meat, that I have already worn.” Yes, little monsters, leather is made from animals, too   

So, why are the two often treated so differently? “Leather is such a ubiquitous product that it is almost invisible as an ethical transgression,” Professor Marylyn Carrigan of Coventry University in England, who specializes in research on consumer ethics, said in an email. “Further, we eat meat, so for some consumers it is acceptable to use the ‘byproduct’ of eating animals.” She also pointed out the importance convenience plays in our decision-making. “It seems easy to give up fur on a moderate budget, but more difficult to give up wearing leather.” 

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