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Born Free USA Blog

Born Free USA Blog

If you care, you must be a hypocrite

Published 09/12/08
By Monica Engebretson, Senior Program Associate

I came across a blog the other day dedicated solely (or so it seemed) to finding flaws in any celebrity who takes a stand against animal cruelty or speaks out for animals. According to the authors of this blog (I won't provide a link to this particular blog because I don't want to promote it in anyway) all such celebrities (and by extention anyone who agrees with them) are hypocrites in some way or another.

For example, the blog pointed to the recent controversy involving well known fur-free fashion designer Stella McCartney (daughter of Sir Paul McCatney) who was outraged when one of the bras she designed and loaned to a stylist was worn by a model wearing a real mink coat in an advertisement.

The aforementioned blog reasoned that Stella was a “hypocrite” because the bra she had designed contained silk — which is obtained from boiling silk worms. Granted many compassionate-minded shoppers avoid silk for this reason, but if someone wears silk can they not be against fur?

On similar websites a vegetarian actress was labeled a “hypocrite” because she appeared on a TV show that was sponsored by a fast-food chain.

What? By these standards you can't claim to care about anything.

All this got me thinking. It seems that those who don't care about anything and don't spend any time helping anyone (human or animal) are those who are most likely to spend their time dissecting and tearing apart anyone who does.

In addition is seems that in no other form of advocacy are people more likely to be accused of being a hypocrite than if they have the apparent audacity to care about animals.

With all the red carpet “bling” worn by celebrities in the form of diamonds, on red carpets you almost never hear anyone, reporter, blogger, or otherwise, question whether the diamonds worn are conflict or blood diamonds, and thereby question the individual's commitment to human rights.

I'm really not sure why having compassion for animals is so threatening to such critics. Perhaps because like all bullies they are essentially cowards and see animals and those who care about animals as easy targets.

Speaking of social justice movements, Mahatma Gandhi said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Keep this in mind the next time someone mocks you for caring about animals or tries to pick you apart — their laughter and confrontation brings us all one step closer to winning.

Keep fighting the good fight.

Monica

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