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March 8, 2010 | by  | in Opinion |
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Do you know how many animals I had to fuck for this coat?

Fashion

As a vegetarian you tend to get pretty tired at the barrage of uninteresting, repetitive debates that your lifestyle choice invokes in others. No, I do not agree with testing pharmaceuticals on lab rats. This, however, does not stop me from throwing back painkillers every time I have a headache. Although I like the aesthetic of taxidermy, I certainly do not condone the slaughter of animals for that purpose. I wear leather boots because there aren’t many alternatives.

This is just the beginning of many inconsistencies. My biggest not-so-secret shame is my love of fur. I can’t help it. The only texture which surpasses its loveliness is, of course, live animals. A fur coat is an obnoxious, oversized must for those who don’t quail at the thought of being embraced by a corpse. Admittedly, I only own faux and or second-hand fur, which helps to ease my conscience. I would never buy new fur, but—as this is a student magazine—I don’t suppose you, reader, are going to buy a brand-spanking-new mink muff anytime soon, either.

I have a huge amount of sympathy for animal rights groups. As an angry, politically minded teenager I was targeted by many people who wished to know why I was vegetarian. Campaigning for animal rights doesn’t necessarily mean red paint or Pamela Anderson clad in a lettuce bikini.

US figure skater Johnny Weir supposedly received ‘death threats’ as he planned to have a fox fur costume for the 2010 Winter Olympics. He decided to replace his costume with faux fur. As recently as 23 February, the Jesus Lorenzo show at Madrid fashion week was interrupted by campaigners protesting his (admittedly rather excessive) use of fur in his Autumn/Winter line.

Two members of Animal Equality have been charged with public disorder, which I suppose is what inevitably happens when hippies exercise their right to protest. The fur trade, similar to the meat industry, has its own dirty secrets: the 50 million rabbits which are slaughtered every year for their fur are often kept in similar conditions to battery hens. Caged minks are known to display abnormal behaviour similar to that of zoo animals, such as self-injury. Which is a bit shit, really.

I buy free range eggs. My leather boots are all second hand. And that coat you’ve seen me in—it’s 100 per cent viscose. But who am I to talk—hell, yesterday I had a cheeseburger at four in the morning. It was awesome.

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