When temperatures Yellowstone National Park dropped below freezing last week, this bison woke up with a frost blanket. The bison’s heavy fur is perfectly adapted to winter conditions.
Photo: Tim Townsend
See? And then anti-fur people try to tell me that synthetics are better.
Or maybe you have more methods available to keep warm than a bison does you ass
I’m not talking about in warmer regions or times when you’re just dashing from one well-heated indoor spot to another and are only exposed to the cold for a couple of minutes at best. If you have to walk around, work, or otherwise be outside for any period of time during winter in Alaska, northern Canada, or similar places, there’s not a whole lot else to keep you warm, and no synthetic (or certainly not any affordable one, anyway) insulates as well as fur. It is literally a lifesaver for some people up that way, indigenous and otherwise.
Additionally, synthetics are largely made with petroleum, and I’m sure you’re aware of all the animals that have died horrible deaths from oil spills and other toxins that are a direct result of oil drilling, never mind those affected by the pollution from petroleum products being burned for heat, manufacture, transportation, etc. Plus the dyes used to color them are pretty toxic, too, and have their own nasty manufacturing processes. And when a fur coat is worn out, it can be made into other things like pillows and other crafts, pet bedding, etc. Eventually it’ll biodegrade. When a synthetic coat is torn and too worn out to use or repurpose (usually much sooner than a cared-for fur or leather coat), it won’t break down for thousands of years.
As to hemp and other plant alternatives? So far none even comes close to fur for insulation. And even then, every acre of field used to grow hemp, cotton and the like in a monocrop is one less acre of wildlife habitat, with habitat loss being the number one cause of species endangerment and extinction. And if the crops aren’t organically grown, then you have chemical pesticides and fertilizers killing animals, wild plants and the fungi necessary for healthy soil, and running off into the waterways and contributing to deadly algae blooms that cause dead zones in the ocean. Harvesting, transporting, and converting these plants into usable fibers is also energy-hungry, along with the machines and labor needed to weave them into something even remotely as strong as an animal hide for sewing and tailoring and shaping into a garment. And again, they usually won’t last as long as hides, so the garments have to be replaced more often.
No, the large-scale fur and leather industries aren’t without their pollution and other problems, to be true, and I’d rather a handmade fur parka from a small family business in Alaska than an overpriced fox fur coat straight off a New York runway. But don’t act as though the alternatives to fur aren’t covered in animal blood as well, never mind being less effective for some people’s life-and-death needs—or, for that matter, desire to not rely on petroleum and other poisonous chemicals and non-biodegradable, unsustainable materials as much.