People tend to bash winter and it's grueling chill, but I welcome it with warm, loving arms. I open my box of winter clothes and reveal an array of vests and coats, from browns to blues, with a soft texture. I've been wearing fur since my mom let me borrow her rabbit ear muffs in elementary school. It's incredibly prevalent in my family.
My mother owns a long mink coat, a present from my dad as well as a shorter coat. My sister has jackets, coats, and hats from various sample sales and excursions. Fur has been passed down from generations in my family from both sides. My mother has stories of my grandpa's connections when he used to get fur off the rack at discounted prices.
My mom always said, "When in doubt, buy a fur because it's always in style". Fur can get passed down as a meaningful present, worn out to all occasions and even be sold for money. As a New Jersey native, I always admired an elderly woman who wore a leg length mink to pick up groceries or a mom in a posh fox jacket picking up her kids from school.
I'm not saying it's right, but fur has always been apparent in my life. I get scoffed at by a friend every once and a while or get told I look like a mob wife and I'm doing harm to the environment. I don't care about animals I'm a killer and why would I ever want to wear something like that knowing it has done harm.
I do admit to feeling nervous when I walk around the city in hopes I don't get caught by an activist with red paint or someone carrying "I wear fur and I'm an asshole" stickers. I can't deny the facts of owning so many of these luxury items, but I see it in a different perspective. Everything in life comes at a cost. Endless shoe companies pay child laborers pennies a day to work in unbearable conditions. Your family's leather couch that you lounge on Saturday mornings is made of a cow.
That adorable star-shaped chicken nuggets you scoff down come from millions of birds that haven't even seen sunlight let alone had enough room to have a full wing spanned stretch. So what makes people so ticked off about fur?
The thing about those chicken nuggets, couches, and shoes is that they are desensitized. Most items are able to hide their background and story with fun advertising, a cute shape and a comfortable motive. You don't feel bad popping a blob-shaped nugget in your mouth or use an item with a fun catchphrase because the product has detached itself from the process, so the average individual rarely thinks of how their product came into grasp with their lives.
Fur is in your face and brushes on the skin of anyone I walk past in a crowded bar. Real fur is fluffy, soft and apparent that an animal's life has been taken in the process. There's an apparent difference between faux and real fur, which easily determines who the "heartless" people are.
However, wearing fur is not trying to make the skin of an animal look like something it's not. The animal is distinct and recognized. When I put on a fur vest I'm putting it on knowing what it is, how it got killed and paying an aspect with respect to it. I don't look astonished when people question how many animals it took to make what I'm wearing.
I, not my head, respect their decision and go on with my life. People forget that everything comes with an amount of labor nowadays, from knickknacks, jewelry, makeup and the process of actually obtaining these resources. I'm not going to feel bad for taking a resource because it is more apparent than an animal tested lipstick or jewelry made from blood diamonds.
We live in a society that takes and takes and prioritizes issues on a personal level while expecting others to feel the same, when we are probably doing the same harm. It's not right, but there's an aspect of actualization and apparent knowledge of the process of fur that makes me feel more aware and comfortable to wear it.