Wearing Fur: Let Your Child Make Their Own Choice?

close-up of mink coatIt's cold out, so I'm seeing lots of fur coats around the city lately. And I occassionally glimpse a fur-clad spectator in the stands at the Olympics, though it's rare these days.

I wonder if that's because of the previous incident between animal rights activists and U.S. Men's Figure Skater Johnny Weir's plan to wear a real fox fur costume in his skating competition.

Every so often in the department store, I'll pass by a coat or mittens or something made with real animal fur that stops my 5 year old daughter dead in her little animal tracks to "pet" it. She loves animals, and doesn't get the connection yet. The reality that we sometimes kill animals for our own uses is brand new to her.

"Can we buy these," my daughter will always ask.


On this one, I'm skirting the topic. I went through a period where I felt pretty strongly against anyone wearing fur. I never carried buckets of fake blood, but I did go around sticking little notes in the pockets of fur coats hanging on the coat check at restaurants. The messages told the coat owners what bad people they were. I'm sure that was terribly effective.

I still don't wear fur, but I've lightened up a lot. I don't go around with nasty notes anymore, but I don't begrudge others their decision to wear an animal coat either. That's partly because I'd be a hypocrite -- I eat meat; I love my down comforter and down coat; and I wear leather boots, belts, and gloves.

But it's mostly because I'm with Johnny Weir when he says that it's not that he doesn't care how pelts are obtained, he just has other causes that are more important to him.

My daughter is not getting the mittens first because she doesn't need more mittens and second because those mittens cost a fortune! and thirdly because of the fur. But one of these days she might chose to buy something with fur. As much as it might not sit right with me, I think I should let her.

Are you with me on this?

What would you do if your daughter wanted to wear fur?


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