Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fur is Bullshit

I cringe even to visit the Fur Council's website - they have really outdone themselves. Anyone see that billboard on Riverside Drive? Some Windsor animal rights activists were protesting there recently so at least some people have reacted in the right direction. The ass-backward-ness of their latest campaign has left myself and many others mentally dumbfounded and viscerally disturbed. Unfortunately, this is not a hoax and the Fur Is Green campaign is for reals.

"Respect for Animals: Nothing is Wasted!"
When was the last time you skinned something you respected? As far as "not wasting" parts of an animal goes I think it is a justified choice in traditional cultures or for necessity in areas of the world on the remote side. However in a industrial and modernized nation or world, finding ways to use up all the parts only propagates the demand for animal products. Using animal byproducts only encourages and supports companies who use them. The argument that the meat is being eaten anyways and to not use the rest of the animal would be a waste undermines a central issue: it is not only the purchasing of meat that contributes to the demand for animal products!

"Fur, A Renewable Resource"
This is one of the most transparent lies used in the campaign. Why is fur still being considered a resource? A resource for what, warmth? Maybe in Nunavut. A resource for "eco-fashion"? Obviously according to the Fur Council of Canada. The sense that it is being called renewable is from the standard and perspective of those who are taking recent eco-minded buzz and manipulating it. The Fur Council has tried to make it seem like killing animals for fur has no consequences - like these animals don't mind they are being hunted, trapped or farmed. Just because a species is not endangered does not mean that anyone has the right to go ahead and make that happen, let alone call a species or living beings sustainable.

"Environmental Activism"
The language used in this campaign is interesting because the truth is literally the inverse of the words and phrases used. The focus is explicitly put on the use of animals so that the extrapolation of their methods and goals is of course manifested in advertising. It doesn't take an in-depth look to see the immoral constructedness of the language: Earth-friendly, durable, recyclable, a gift of nature? Skinned animals have nothing to do with these things. I am intellectually insulted at the level of stupidity which this company has assumed of their potential customers. I thought at first this has to be a joke. Then reality sunk in that "A New Vision of Fur for an Eco-Conscious World" is being presented as that it is positive, respecting land, animals, cultures and people. The list of unacceptable advertising tactics and the twisting of eco-jargon goes on to include "Beautifully Canadian" and "Because fur is a part of our heritage". They've gone as far to call on our nationalism! Mine certainly has nothing to do with the Fur Council of Canada's nation-wide-fur-pride.

Also featured in the campaign is a counter attack on Peta - their slogans such as "Fur is Dead" obviously conflict with the Council's fiscal goals. One example of the methods being used which blatantly expose ulterior motives is in the rhetorical question "Do 'so-called' animal rights groups really help animals?". Well, yes actually they do Fur Council. Followed by "Judge for yourself...PETA KILLS ANIMALS".


If the Fur Council was asking us to make up our own minds and "judge for ourselves" than we would not be bombarded with their extreme and ludicrous advertising strategies. Is this an attempt to be subversive? Because it's not working. Maybe this will sway some of those who straddle the fence on the issue of fur, especially for the people who do not question what is being fed to them as well as their own beliefs. There are many ways to do your part in saving the environment, being eco-conscious and making a "green" choice: buying fur is not one of them.


  1. It's so sad how they sell things these days, this is crazy Nicole. Great post though.

  2. It's stupid that they bring nationalism into their advertising tactics -- we're not Natives from the 1600s. We're living in the 21st century, and there are lots of non-furry or still fuzzy, non-animal products available to keep us warm!

    My mom has a fur coat (I don't know why, really), and it is made of minks so when she wears it, which is not often... I always comment with something along the lines of "Those poor little minks!! :("

    Fur is unnecessary, and overly expensive. If we needed fur to keep us warm, we would have been born with it like gorillas, or dogs!

  3. Great post Nicole. That's so dumb.
    I can't believe their argument is that fur is eco-friendly! FURTHEST FROM.

  4. when i originally saw that billboard i assumed it had to be some sort of joke too! especially when i saw the slogan "fur is green" in the website address. hopefully their campaign will fail miserably; anyone in their right mind who takes a second to read that ad has to realize that no matter how many billboards say it, "fur is green" is still an oxymoron.

  5. so glad you all agree, its a relief that so far i haven't consulted with anyone that actually bought this campaign!

  6. The weapons today are made by non-natives, who actually help us & non-natives kill more animals,mammals and HUMANS. If they stop making weapons for HUMAN & HUNTERS, we would kill less renewable resources. Furs up here are free, we just have to make it, bullets & guns are the only expenses.....hey the apples up here cost $9.00 for 10 apples, oranges cost $12.00. just south of us cost 3 times no justification at all to stop us from I AM CANADIAN.

  7. That's a disgusting campaign, thanks for blogging about it Nicole.

    Anonymous: What are you talking about???

  8. annonymous 1: not sure what you meant by 'just have to make it'. if you are in a remote location where it is hard to get affordable nutrients then you should read where I addressed that in the post. its great that you are Canadian too but do you feel that hunting animals for fur makes you Canadian?
    Annonymous 2: thanks for commenting, glad you enjoyed the post!

  9. Hi,
    It touched me hard to read what you wrote. I lived near a farm not far from Shawinigan, Quebec where they raised thousands of visons to kill for fur. The point is their conscience seems different from the rest of us, they consider these animals their money and eveything related to it. It was always painful to imagine they would gas them and skin them for tiny pieces of fur. I do not understand why hunting wild animals for fur was protested but this; or because it is technically a part of agriculture, as we categorized it.
    By the way, c'est la vie
    Thank you guys for reading this.

  10. Yes, you know who I am, and I'm pretty much a ninja if i do say so myself, but to the point!
    Your post on this is amazing and soo true!
    but why the hell do we have a fur council?!
    I'm on their website at the same time that I'm posting this it says "The most beautiful furs in the world" first of all that's a lie, and second if you have the most beautiful furs why would you take them from the most beautiful animals in the world...I'm all riled up now and kinda wanna start a blog! People are sick!
    Ms.Markham (that's gotta clue you in to who I am) you're an amazing person for bringing peoples awareness to things like this!