Disclosure: I am completely ready to be skewered on this one. I have owned and worn a full length black mink coat - Saga - male pelts and not fully let out. I no longer own it and thus do not wear it. It is not the only fur I have ever worn. I wore a fur parka in Anchorage, Alaska as child. Fur lined gloves, fur lined boots and fur-trimmed apparel. I also wear leather shoes and carry leather bags (dead animal skin without fur) and have a leather coat. I am an omnivore. Call me names, comment and crack wise but do not accuse me of withholding information or being a hypocrite.
Ever since I recently learned (through the Canadian press) of PETA's ongoing policy of killing animals brought to its Virginia headquarters - thousands - dogs, cats, baby animals, bunnies - this list goes on - I have been confused about the entire "fur is murder" crusade . I am not nor have I ever been a supporter of PETA - I found their message and methods to be incompatible with my own moral compass.
I love cats; a recent loss of my Girl brings me to tears. I have no quarrel with animals in general. I ooh and aah and send money to several animal charities and I think Best Friends is the happiest place on earth. I have adopted a Bengal tiger, support Alley Cat Allies and think pet stores should not sell animals - period. I believe in spaying and neutering, rescuing and TNR.
Having said all this, I must address the recent WeHo Fur Ban. I do think it has its heart in the right place but I do not think it has WeHo's best interests as a center of fashion, design and art even close. Why mention it now? Because business is in a dreadful slump globally and locally. Staying alive and profitable in the businesses we promote in town is a pact we have made when we entered into taxing them for their revenues.
Business taxes are revenue streams for WeHo. Important ones. Unfortunately fashion and design businesses, through this ban, are forced to limit their revenue because there are some things they are forbidden to sell. Decreased revenues = decreased taxes and may cause others to close entirely. Since the business of our city is supported by the business of our commerce we are sending a very confusing message.
But there is another reason this vexes me. In the last two days I have read three "Fashion Issues' of three popular publications and oopsy daisy - "Fur is Back.” With a gusto. Dyed, fried and swooped to the side - it is being used by the fashion powers that be (except Stella) and is a huge part of their Fall shows. As sad and morally disgusting as this may be too many who shun fur, it indicates that merchants and designers who cannot sell fur will lose out on profits - especially in an area where high spendable income supports these sellers.
WeHo is just such an area. And I am not talking about fur salons. I think their day is over - but rather boutique and interior shops and showrooms that would like to boost their profits with every available raw material that is legal for them to buy. The ban could very well diminish their customer base and as long as Anna, Glenda, Karl, Carine and the NYT and the other fashion devils declare it "in" - our ban will leave our businesses "out" in the cold.
Because most adults (anyone over 18) know that trends are declared alive and dead in the media - where does this leave our businesses on the Avenues of Fashion, Art and Design? We can stand on admirable morals and animal rights or we can support the humans who pay taxes and keep this town in business. It is a dilemma.
And let me add just this - if you wear leather or carry leather you are wearing dead animal hide and if you wear silk - you are responsible for the death of living creatures called silkworms - which die for our fashionable pleasure by being boiled alive. This is a slippery slope and most folks I know despise synthetics - it raises many questions to which I do not have the answers.