The Living Dolls

February 12, 2009

My Granny has a fur coat. Actually, both my Grannys have a fur coat [plural of Granny- Grannys or Grannies?]. One each like. Not one to share. Obv. I’ve had my eye on these coats for a while. Alas, I’m at the bottom end of The Will on both sides, so the odds are not in my favour.

The other day I was wearing a big fake fur hat that I found in my dressing up box (see smug looking photo above, taken by the adorable Loreana Rushe.) Someone came up to me, and asked ‘Are we allowed wear real fur now?’ Firstly, I pointed out that my chapeau was, in fact, made from old carpets/teddy bears, then I answered that I didn’t have a problem with wearing vintage fur at all at all. I’m sure it sounds callous, but the animal is dead already. And has been dead for at least 20 years. If I was an animal that had become a fur coat, the least I’d want would be some longevity.

It seems that protesting against fur is an easy cop-out, like vegetarians who eat fish. I understand that there is massive amounts of cruelty to animals in the fur industry, but, equally, there are very strict sanctions in place also- especially in Ireland. Here’s the rub, it’s a business, like everything else. Just as there are battery hens, and organic chickens, there are good furriers, and bad furriers. I honestly don’t know how I feel about wearing a brand-new, freshly-killed mink coat, but I do know that it’s unfair and ignorant to slam an entire industry while still wearing leather shoes (like the protesters outside Barnardo Furs the other day).


BTW, can’t wait for the comments to this. ‘OMG UR so INSEnsitive. H8 u and ur blg will nvr read it agn…’ Let the backlash begin.


23 Responses to “The Living Dolls”

  1. ams said

    Ailbhe I inherited a fab coat from my granny but am afraid to wear it for those very reasons! I was in vincent de paul in camden street one day and the shop was packed with vintage furs.

    Not sure if I could pull it off but this girl certainly can:

  2. bluebirdsaresonatural said

    Annmarie, wear it! Fuck dem haters.x

  3. Aoife said

    There’s a bit of a difference between wearing vintage fur and ‘new’ fur, but I doubt there was any less cruelty involved in the former. Personally I wouldn’t wear either…I wouldn’t quite compare leather with fur as a mink, for example, that is killed for its fur is then discarded.
    A cow on the other hand is used for food and milk. If you’re a veggie/vegan, then neither will be acceptable to you; if you’re a meat eater than the latter might be fine.
    It’s a hugely, hugely complicated subject and saying ‘the animal is dead already’ is a bit of a cop out to be honest.
    Anyway your hat proves that fake fur can look great without cruelty, which is a good thing!

  4. Male-Mode said

    Finally someone’s said it. The anti-fur bandwagon has been running too long.

    Also, for those that truly believe fake fur is an adequate alternative in terms of quality, I’d have to disagree. Not only do most look blatantly synthetic but they feel it too.


  5. Aoife said

    It’s not so much about quality (it’s synthetic…) but if it looks good, isn’t it? 😉
    The anti-fur bandwagon might be running but there are plenty of people out there who are pro-fur, so it’s hardly like the fashion world has fallen to its knees ‘cos of those evil anti-fur people.

  6. niamh said

    what annoys me most is people who thinks wearing fur is a crime when they walk around sporting leather bags and shoes. NO DIFFERENCE. Im a former veggie but like if the animals dead its dead so we should just wear it 🙂

  7. ana said

    the day I bought my fur coat from the Harlequin, it and the shop opposite had been splattered in red paint. i think they thought i was ripping the piss when I came in and said, ’em, i’d like to buy this fur please’.
    i’ve only ever got a few horrible reactions from it. most people tell me they think i’m brave. i do get awful looks if i get on a luas wearing it during the day – it’s really more of a nighttime look…

  8. missmilki said

    I had a hat just like that in my dressing up box growing up which also came from my Granny. Sadly its long gone to some jumble sale or charity shop. Dunno if I could wear it as well as you though. I’m with you on the vintage fur thing – I’d have no problem with it. Not sure what I’d think about wearing new freshly killed fur but I’ll probably never have to worry about it!

  9. bluebirdsaresonatural said

    Aoife- I agree, there’s probably no difference on the cruelty scale between vintage, and new fur, but somehow I don’t mind vintage. I know that sounds really hypocritical though. I do want to stress the difference between different furs though. Mink and fox etc are considered rodents, and aren’t endangered. They’re bred for fur, as opposed to monkey fur. Though, one wonders whether wearing fur of any kind is promoting fur- vintage or not. You’re right, it’s a tricky issue, and one which I don’t know enough about.

    Cillian- I don’t think I actually wear fur (real or not) for the feel of it, more the look, so synthetic doesn’t really bother me.

    Niamh- Yeah, like I said, get your story straight. I admire Stella McCartney for what she’s done for vegan fashion though.

    Ana- Katie-Lilga wears her fur coat all the time. Go for it, man. Although my teddybear-carpet hat has gathered me some stares…

    MissMilki- That’s such a pity! Try and get it back! ASAP! We can be TWINS!

  10. Layla said

    my granny has a fur coat and she doesn’t dare wear it. which for an 85 year old woman i think i pretty sad really. I would rob that shit in a second but it’s really ugly and way too big so no point.

    i’m with you on the vintage/non vintage thing Ailbhe, if it’s already there we should use it up so it doesn’t go to waste, but they should probably stop making it now, i won’t mind too much when it all runs out.

    as for the leather thing – actually Leather for shoes/clothes etc is NOT neccessarily a by product of the meat industry. at all. there are a lot of cows used for just leather, bread for it and kept for it and butchered differently for it. basically only non leather wearing vergetarians get to preach in my book.

    Which by the way doe snot include the little shitmonkeys that gather outside burger king and the furrier on grafton street in their 20 hole doc-martens and thier shitty hair cuts and their total and utter ignorance of any of the issues they protest about.

  11. I have a rabbit (yep, rabbit!) fur coat I got from my Nana and when I feel like wearing it I do. I think I have a problem with new fur, although I am aware that’s a bit hypocritical. It’s my choice and it’s a moral thing I have to work out myself. What I don’t agree with is someone attacking me based on my personal choices. I don’t care whether your CEO of PETA or some asshole protesting outside a charity shop, if someone threw something at me, paint or otherwise, I’d kick some serious fucking ass.

  12. Duffy said

    I debated this so many times in school.. it was always “Fur/Media/Uniforms are bad because…”

    i was talking to someone who is passionately anti fur and i mentioned that wearing leather is hypocritical and she said the difference is that when an animal is killed for leather it doesnt get skinned alive and i said .oh.
    I guess calling anti fur campaigners hypocrites is a cop out too. Im definitely 100% against new fur but i do eat meat. So im just as bad…but i dont throw paint at people. rude.

  13. Kitty Cat said

    My fella and his mate each have a deadly fur coat they got from an old lady giving them away for nowt on, he wears it out every so often and people love it! They come up to him and just start rubbing his arm, it’s mad funny and he looks great in it!

  14. bluebirdsaresonatural said

    Kitty Cat- That is SO exciting. May need to register on dublinwaste, stat.

    Duffy- It seems you just can’t win. But you CAN make your own choices, and shouldn’t have to feel horrible about them.

  15. I get what you’re saying about the animal already being dead and trying to , in a way, make it’s death worth it. But I think that any statement that draws attention to fur as a fashionable commodity is wrong as it only encourages the industry. There will always be people out there willing to pay the money for the real thing.

    I just couldn’t wear it as a matter or principal.


    “..then I answered that I didn’t have a problem with wearing vintage fur at all at all. I’m sure it sounds callous, but the animal is dead already.”

    You silly, ignorant little bitch. You are so ill-informed about this topic that it’s laughable.. as are your pathetic excuses to vindicate it. “Well, it’s vintage, so it matters less.” Hilarious! GET FUCKING REAL.

    You and your mates, and anyone else who’s agreed with you in this comment section – fucking airhead Trinity students who spend their days twirling their hair around pencils in lectures, daydreaming about what car they can persuade Daddy to buy them for doing well in their exams.

    Over-privileged little bunch of cunts – why don’t you inform yourselves properly before spouting COMPLETE FUCKING SHITE in the name of ‘fashion’.

    “Finally someone’s said it. The anti-fur bandwagon has been running too long.

    Also, for those that truly believe fake fur is an adequate alternative in terms of quality, I’d have to disagree. Not only do most look blatantly synthetic but they feel it too.


    Ed Gein missed this one. CUNT.

  17. bluebirdsaresonatural said

    “why don’t you inform yourselves properly”

    AH HA HA. Uncontrollable laughter erupted at this point due to your previous statement that went a little like this

    “fucking airhead Trinity students who spend their days twirling their hair around pencils in lectures, daydreaming about what car they can persuade Daddy to buy them for doing well in their exams.”

    Oh dear where do I start.

    And for the record, I HAVE actively gone about informing myself on the subject recently and will NOT be wearing fur, vintage or otherwise, again.


  18. Darren said

    Best. Comment. Ever. That’s put a smile on my face today.

  19. bluebirdsaresonatural said

    At last. If I’ve angered only one person, then that’s enough for me. Now, back to twirling my gold-plated pencil.

  20. rosemarymaccabe said

    I know I should really care about this issue, given that I have passions for fashion and animals, but it leaves me cold. It feels like it’s an argument that’s been going on for so long; we race horses and greyhounds, we eat meat, we breed chickens in tiny square boxes, we cut pigs’ teeth and tails off. None of this is “right”, exactly, but it’s how we’ve chosen to live – if we were writing from Moscow it’d be a completely different argument. There, fur is about survival.

    I agree that in Ireland and the UK, and the States, for the most part, it’s about fashion and maybe “we shouldn’t be encouraging it”, but that’s a bullshit argument as well. If that’s the case, we shouldn’t be wearing leather, any kind of designer labels that are recognisable, we should all live as if we’re setting an example for future generations… yawn.

    Great hat, though. I have a rabbit fur trapper hat that is cool but matches my hair colour so I tend to look quite deranged in it.

    And, yeah, if anyone came near me with paint I think I’d lose my reason.

  21. Out of interest… why do we cut pigs teeth and tails off?

  22. Megaroo said

    Personally I just want a new coat because every other girl was wearing fur at the carboot sale last week and I felt like I was wearing nerd glasses and skinny jeans and leggings and a hairband all at the same time, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

  23. Wow, wonderful article and fantastic examples, Liam! You hit on a ton of nice points here, this will be a resource I will come back to often.

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