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 Why I Love Fur

Brown Sheared Mink Fur Coat from Marc Kaufman Furs in NYC

When I was little, I thought that the most glamorous thing in the world was a fur coat.

It wasn’t mine, not really. It belonged to my mother, and sometimes I would sneak into her room and slip it on, imagining the day I’d be grown up and it would fit. I even gave myself a fancy fur coat-wearing name, “Prue Magic.” I probably looked very elegant; nothing compliments a fur coat like alphabet print leggings.

I wondered why my mum brought it with us every time we moved, but never wore it. At the time we lived in the deserts of Australia, and fur isn’t necessary in places that never really get cold. This was also the 90′s, heyday of “I’d rather go naked than wear fur.” I don’t remember seeing those ads but I did internalise the message, and at a certain point I didn’t put the coat on anymore. I hung it up, I hung up Prue Magic, and I didn’t think about it again for years.

When I was 23, my mum gave me the fur I’d loved so much as a little girl. I could never wear this now, I thought. Fur is gross! People will throw paint at me!

I first wore it as part of a Halloween costume–I was dressed as a Plastic Surgery Nightmare–because I thought, okay, it’s sort of a joke. And even though I was wearing a slip and some bandages underneath, I never once felt cold. That’s when I learned that fur really is the warmest thing in the entire world, and that fact alone reversed my anti-fur stance.

Slate-colored Rabbit Fur Vest with Fox Fur Collar

I live in Chicago. I am freezing for six months every year. If there was a climate where fur was required, this would be it.

I started wearing it on days that the windchill in Chicago was in the negatives. We have plenty of them. It kept me warm, and dare I say it? It made me feel a little glamorous, a little cool, a little like Prue Magic again. It made me think of my mum wearing it in LA in the 70s, all long blonde hair and a bikini top and giant flared jeans. My mother and I don’t have a lot in common even now, but this coat is like a tangible link between us. I like owning and wearing something that she loved so much.

It’s very hard to have a conversation about fur because there are so many strong emotions on both sides. But we have to talk about it, because right now you can’t avoid it. Look through any pictures from any fashion week around the world, and you’ll see fur. Fur in the collections, on the attendees, on the designers themselves. According to the Daily Mail, sales of fur worldwide have increased 70 percent since 2000. And of the supermodels who told us they’d rather go naked than wear fur? All of them–save Christy Turlington–now wear it.

I’m not one to do a lot of mental gymnastics to justify my choices. I’m also not someone who discounts animal suffering either. But I eat meat, which has to come from somewhere. I wear leather shoes and carry leather bags. I have a down comforter–another winter essential–and I’m sure all those feathers don’t just fall off ducks at the park. To me, a fur coat seems like the same sort of thing. I can’t tell myself that fur is bad because foxes and ermines are adorable, but leather and steak is okay because fuck cows.

So I’m in the “YAY FUR!” camp. Mostly. But there seems to be a line in my head I can’t cross.

Slate-colored Rabbit Fur Vest with Fox Fur Collar

When I ask myself whether I’d ever buy a brand new fur coat, I pause. It’s not just the thousands of dollars that would go into a purchase like that, it’s also a question of whether it’s RIGHT in the context of how we do things. Animals raised for their furs are often treated horribly. I don’t know if you could say that conditions in a battery henhouse are any better, but I can at least make the choice to buy free range eggs. I couldn’t buy free-range fur because that choice doesn’t exist. If I knew where the fur came from, and if I knew that the rules ensuring the humane deaths of slaughtered animals were followed, then sure, I’d buy a fur coat tomorrow.

But I can’t, so I won’t. Maybe this means I approve of fur more in theory than in practise. Maybe I approve of fur, but not the fur industry.

I don’t know. I’m trying to align all of this stuff so that I’m not a giant hypocrite, but it’s hard. And avoiding these questions or just not thinking about it at all isn’t a solution.

Articles talk about how the public isn’t listening to the anti-fur crowd anymore. How consumers are all so jaded that we no longer even hear their message. Honestly, I think it’s more about how that message is delivered. I’m not saying that PETA’s insane shenanigans have pushed me into wearing fur, but statements like “We may see more fur on the catwalk but that doesn’t translate into what real people are wearing, unless they are the sort of people who would elbow aside a starving child on their way to kicking a stray dog,” from PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk REALLY don’t make me want to align myself with their cause.

I’ve only met one anti-fur activist. I was wearing my mum’s coat and picking up a prescription when she started screaming at me. She called me a murderer, among other things, asked how I slept at night and told me I should be ashamed of myself.

I looked at this woman, so hellbent on telling me how to live my life. She was carrying an expensive leather Coach bag. She had sheepskin Uggs on her feet. The hypocrisy was stunning. So I told her “You’re a grown woman wearing pajama pants in public. YOU should be ashamed of YOURself.”

And then I walked away. What else can you do in a situation like that?

Dyed Blue Silver Fox exclusively from Marc Kaufman Furs in NYC

Marc Kaufman Furs in NYC has the most complete selection of the finest fashion fur coats: full length mink coats, mink strollers, mink jackets, fox coats, fox jackets, sable coats, and sable strollers. And for the softest in furs we have the finest Mink coats, Mink jackets, Chinchilla coats, Chinchilla jackets, Lynx coats, Lynx jackets, Sable coats, Sable Jackets and many other types of fur jackets and fur coats. A full range of fur colors including mahogany mink, black mink, and whiskey mink. All furs at very attractive prices. We can also customize a color to your individual taste.

Marc Kaufman Furs NYC NY 10001 212 563 3877

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Long Hooded Mink Jacket, exclusively from Marc Kaufman Furs in NYC

Marc Kaufman Furs in New York City, NY ships your fur purchases and rentals to wherever you may be: Chicago, Illinois, Detroit, Michigan, Buffalo, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, California, Minnesota, Seattle, Washington, Philadelphia, Taos, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Atlanta, Georgia, Portland, Oregon, Park City, Utah, Idaho, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Wyoming, Montana, Aspen, Colorado, Missouri, Anchorage, Alaska, Moscow, Russia, London, UK, England, Seoul, South Korea, Geneva, Gstaad, Lausanne, Zurich, Switzerland, Germany, Paris, Chamonix, France, Austria, Italy, Dubai, UAE, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, China, Tokyo, Osaka, Japan, Toronto, Whistler, British Columbia, Quebec, Canada, Helsinki, Finland, Stockholm, Sweden, Copenhagen, Oslo, Norway, Melbourne, Sydney, Australia, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Singapore; to all 50 States, and just about anywhere else in the World! With over 2000 quality furs to choose from, and the option to design your own, Marc Kaufman Furs of NYC has the most extensive online fur selection in the World.