Green Fur? Green Wash!

Fur is Greed

Fur is Green? More like Fur is Greed. The fur industry is jealous of the environmental movement. Green with envy, in fact. This has resulted in the Greenwashing award of the decade going to the Canada Fur Council’s “Fur is Green” campaign, which includes a spiffy website, a Facebook group, and amazing rationalizations that make historical comparisons impossible to ignore!

There are so many ways to expose the ridiculousness behind their hairy agenda that I don’t know which one to start with! Ok, ok, I’ll start with the one where they call people wearing fur “Environmental Activists“. So Let me get this straight – according to the Fur Is Green Facebook group,  if you are a compassionate person who wants animals to be able to live out their lives in protected habitats and doesn’t want them to be bludgeoned, trapped, or drowned in the wild, or vaginally electrocuted, gassed, or to spend their entire lives in small cages, you are a “fanatic”. But if you rationalize those things under the guise of “supporting thousands of jobs”, while avoiding looking at or openly addressing the actual acts and images associated with fur production, and indulging in toxically peserved luxury products, you are an “environmentalist”? Therefore, according to the CFC, compassion and empathy is fanatical.

Fur Is Toxic.
Producing a fur coat from ranch-raised animals takes more than 15 times as much energy as it does to produce a faux-fur coat! In addition, runoff waste from fur farms destroys waterways, and the toxic chemicals used (ammonia, chromates, bleaching agents, coal tar derivatives, hydrogen peroxide, formaldehyde, sulphides) to preserve the skins are also harming the environment. The fur industry has even lobbied governments in the Great Lakes area to maintain low water-quality standards—so that fur farms won’t be identified as major polluters. Wild trapping is no better,  indiscriminately catching whatever wanders into the trap – cats, dogs, endangered species – who are all thrown away after a miserable death.

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I will be breaking a sacred rule of abuser-denial by making a historical comparison here (and they will be outraged at the audacity of my comparison): It was only 60 years ago that Ford Motor Company rationalized using Holocaust slave labor (my relatives) for car production. Yes, I know beavers are not Jews, and yes, I know that the Holocaust is not the fur industry – but the rationalizations used are the same. How could something so clearly terrible happen under our grandparents watch? Social atrocities don’t happen magically. They happen when people making money justify horrifying circumstances thoroughly enough to make them seem like “business as usual”.  The rationalizers avoid being compared to their predecessors at any cost. And they will continue to avoid these comparisons.

It seems there are always people who find ways to rationalize cruelty if there is money to be made – but to claim that your cruel and toxic industry is a workers’ advocacy, environmental, and “humane” industry is total doublethink!

The “FUR It’s MY CHOICE” poster from furisgreen.com showcases the crux of the disconnect. Anyone who has a dog or a cat knows that animals are more than fiber-production-units. What about the individual animal’s choice to avoid sources of pain and torment? To roam free and raise their young? Clearly, that point can never be  addressed.

It’s pretty obvious that the purpose of this campaign is a desperate attempt from a dying industry to quell the doubts of inquisitive potential customers. The problem? The truth is hard to cover up.

Thankfully there are brilliant designers like Calvin Klein, Charlotte Ronson, Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Benjamin Cho, Duckie Brown, Eddie Bauer, Guess?, H&M, Tommy Hillfiger, John Varvatos, Levi’s, Paul Frank, and people like Tim Gunn , Todd Oldham, Martha Stewart, Ellen Degeners and scores of other indistry professionals who are outspokenly anti-fur.

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25 Responses to Green Fur? Green Wash!

  1. Ari says:

    Thank you for exposing this heinous and devious hypocrisy for what it is. Animal cruelty for the sake of human vanity is just wrong. There is no rational reason for it but greed, greed, greed. These people should be ashamed.

  2. Cybergrunt says:

    Yeah, thanks for exposing this Joshua. After reading your article I also blogged about it (http://www.cybergrunt.com/2009/02/fur-is-green-fur-is-dead-animal-you.html) to help spread the word. This ‘environmental’, ‘humane’ message that is coming across more and more in the fur, meat and dairy industry is really making me angry.

  3. Michael says:

    Thanks for writing about this!

    Since I noticed this site, I’ve been joining it and uploading simple photos of what the fur industry really looks like. They take them down and kick me out – but i just rejoin and re-upload the next time I log into facebook.

    If fur is “green” as they say, they shouldn’t mind photographs of their “green” business practices.

  4. CatherineM says:

    it’s kind of too late in the game to try to convince consumers that fur is not bad. as you said, the truth is extremely hard to hide..excellent post!

  5. Mesiu says:

    I’m waiting for other groups coming up with something like “domestic violence – it’s my choice” or “child prostitution – I want it, thus I’ll have it”. OK, actually I’m not. Sorry for being that fanatic.

  6. Ari says:

    I’d also like to add that this is an utter disgrace for Canada — a nation that is already awash in the blood of baby seals.

  7. Cybergrunt says:

    Catherine, while I understand your feelings, – I believe that if only one designer stops using fur this year, things in the world have become a little bit better for animals. It’s a baby-steps mentality I know but it’s better than constant anger and potential madness!

  8. Cybergrunt says:

    Nice blog Michael, subscribing.

  9. Michael says:

    Speaking of the “baby-steps mentality” that Cybergrunt mentions – I was just thinking about PETAs campaign to change the way that chickens are slaughtered for McDonalds. What if they succeed at this, and eventually all animals are “humanely” slaughtered – then what?

    What happens when we get to the point that the animal slaughter industry can say to us “We’re doing exactly what you asked, and none of the animals are feeling any pain.”

    Are we just hoping that by then, there will be a cultural climate that will allow us to make the argument that they shouldn’t be killed at all? I guess this is an old debate – but it really does seem like abolition should be the goal of every action.

  10. Pao says:

    This is a proof of the days and age we’re living in. Totallt hypocritical, blinded by greed and what’s most important TOTALLT IGNORANT! I can’t believe anyone with just a little brain can actually buy into this nonsense! How can you be an environmentalist and wear fur? What’s next? retrospective Nobel Prize for World Peace to Hitler? Well, that may well happen judging from the stupidities we are exposed to on a daily basis.

    It’s beyind my comprehension. Luckily.

  11. Pao says:

    This is a proof of the days and age we’re living in. Totallt hypocritical, blinded by greed and what’s most important TOTALLT IGNORANT! I can’t believe anyone with just a little brain can actually buy into this nonsense! How can you be an environmentalist and wear fur? What’s next? retrospective Nobel Prize for World Peace to Hitler? Well, that may well happen judging from the stupidities we are exposed to on a daily basis.

    It’s beyond my comprehension. Luckily.

  12. Jeanne says:

    Anyone with a fragment of a brain should be able to realize that there is no way in any realm of the universe that fur is or could ever be green. And yet, there are a lot of suckers out there.

  13. […] Green Fur? Green Wash! « The Discerning Brute Fur is Green? More like Fur is Greed. The fur industry is jealous of the environmental movement. Green with envy, in fact. This has resulted in the Greenwashing award of the decade going to the Canada Fur Council’s “Fur is Green” campaign, which includes a spiffy website, a Facebook group, and amazing rationalizations that make historical comparisons impossible to ignore! […]

  14. Lo says:

    That Facebook group is one of the most vile, vomit-inducing examples of one-sided propaganda ever. It sounds so forced and is more proof that people will say anything to try to pacify their guilty consciences.

  15. Everybondy is trying to be green these days. But to me it is clear that fur is not green. And if they want to claim that it is, they at least could try and prove it. But they have not…If have not seen any studies being done that prove any of their claims. I just can’t believe how easily some people buy into the whole thing. And off course, this way they deflect attention from the ethical aspects.

    I wonder how fur is helping the environment by the way…Must we from now on wear t-shirts made from mink because it is eco-friendly?

    I guess synthetics is ok, as long as you stich some fur trim to it. Because a lot of fur being sold these days is used as trim…

    And you are right on the mark with this statement:

    “Anyone who has a dog or a cat knows that animals are more than fiber-production-units.”

    Animals are not mere things. They are not machines, nor stones…

  16. Becci says:

    I love angry you are, and how RIGHT. The fur-is-green movement is the dumbest bunch of crap I’ve heard of in a looooong time.

    I’m going to subscribe to your RSS feed!

  17. […] a contest! The  10 BEST letters written to the Fur Council of Canada about the idiocy behind their Fur Is Green campaign will win a […]

  18. […] Fur Council’s “Fur is Green” campaign with the “greenwashing award of the decade” (see entry here).  The CFC certainly struck a chord with people who know anything about the toxic, cruel, and […]

  19. Park Howel says:

    Loved your post (and your brand, for that matter), and included a link in this morning’s blog:http://parkhowell.com/?p=3055 Thanks for sharing.

  20. […] look at several greenwashing case studies, including the Canadian Fur Council, Nestle Waters, and the “Clean Coal” industry. Plus we highlight folks who are doing it […]

  21. […] look at several greenwashing case studies, including the Canadian Fur Council, Nestle Waters, and the “Clean Coal” industry. Plus we highlight folks who are doing it right, […]

  22. Kelly says:

    Dying industry? Fur sales are bigger than ever.
    Over 77% of environmentalists believe that fur is green.
    From a survey of over 8000 people from the environmental website “TreeHugger”

    You can believe your anti-fur propaganda, but numbers don’t lie.

  23. Juan says:

    What one chooses to wear is a matter of personal choice. People should have the right to wear a fur garment free of harrasment. Just as we respect the decision of an individual to be a vegan or a vegeterian, we must respect the choice of how a person chooses to wear. It’s a matter of common sense. PETA and the HSUS appeal to emotional statements not based on fact. The fur industry is extremely regulated, and animals must be well-cared for if you want a good pelt. People should be more informed before insulting or demeaning a person or an industry.

    • Personal choice? What choice do the animals have who are the ones having their skin ripped off for something so frivolous? I wish it were only about “me and my choice vs. you and your choice“, but unfortunately there is a third-party that you are totally leaving out of the equation; the animal – who like you and I, has a will to live and has interests and it’s own value beyond what people can use it for. Your perspective is selfish and narrow, and if you were able to see for a second that the animals used for their skins are not a product or property, but individuals with their own perspectives, you would agree.

    • Cybergrunt says:

      Really? Who is this ‘we’? I get hassled at least 2-3 times every single month for being vegan sometimes to the point where I almost feel I should apologise for being compassionate and free-thinking. I say almost because I will never apologise for it as I will never understand how you could possibly write those words without some little light turning on in your brain to enlighten you. An animal doesn’t have a pelt, it has skin and/or fur. How would you like it if I referred to your skin as a pelt? Some people do; they are called serial killers. Any illumination in that bulb yet?

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