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Born Free USA Blog

Born Free USA Blog

Fur is for Losers

Published 07/09/08
By Monica Engebretson, Senior Program Associate

One of my favorite quotes by U.S. essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson is one that sets out the requisites for "success" in life.

By Emerson's standards designers who use fur are failures on several counts.

One step to success according to Emerson is "to earn the appreciation of honest critics." In a recent Life and Style article in the U.K. Guardian, fashion reporter Hadley Freeman revealed how fashion designers systematically ban critics who give less than raving reviews about their designs. Fur designers (Gucci, Versace, and Jean Paul Gaultier) it seems are particularly infantile, er ... um... "sensitive."

Freeman wrote:

"I am already banned for life from any show by Jean Paul Gaultier and there have been some wobbly moments with Gucci and Versace in the past ... my Gaultier ban was prompted by a review of a particularly fur-heavy couture collection in 2006 in which I suggested that 'rarely can an animal have died in vain as sadly as did the fox, whose top half, head to tail, was splayed across an evening gown'."

Sounds like a pretty honest criticism to me. I think that might add that to my personal list of favorite quotes.

So, back to Emerson.

Emerson's quote also notes that to have succeeded one should "leave the world a bit better," and that one should "know that one life has breathed easier because you have lived." Considering all the environmental destruction and intense animal suffering involved in making fur garments, it's clear that designers who use fur are "Losers" with a big fat capital "L".

Blogging off,


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