Here is the fourth installment of our Hypocrite series, aimed at exposing the celebrities and professionals whose anti-fur arguments have a lot of holes in them. Today we are talking about the Senior Fashion Editor of the British edition of Cosmopolitan magazine, Sairey Stemp. An email response of hers to a fur company was recently published in the Huffington Post. She had c.c.’d her email to PETA, which she suggested as a good source of information on “this highly cruel and unnecessary industry.”
“I’m afraid this email has really upset me,” she told the fur company. “I think you need to be aware of the extremely barbaric practices of the fur industry. I cannot and will not tolerate an industry that sees fit to torture, skin alive, electrocute and castrate innocent animals so their pelts can be used for ‘fashion’.”
Now, let’s not focus on the problem that the supposed journalist didn’t bother to have her work fact-checked. We all know that animals are NOT skinned alive for their fur, and PETA has even admitted that this is not a normal practice. We also won’t focus on the fact that Cosmopolitan features tons of cheap “fast fashion” clothing on its pages, clothing made under highly questionable working conditions in the Far East, from (usually petroleum-based, synthetic) materials that are filling our landfills and polluting our waterways. That is a topic for another day. This article’s about the hypocrisy of denouncing fur while featuring lots of other animal products in your magazine.
The Hypocrite: Sairey Stemp, Senior Fashion Editor of the British edition of Cosmopolitan magazine, a publication that does not feature real fur but promotes lots of other “dead animals”.
The Hypocrisy: Stemp’s anti-fur rant, published in the Huffington Post, was one of the silliest articles we’ve read in a long time. Devoid of facts, she spews inflammatory (and hypocritical) garbage like this: “The fur industry is one of the most barbaric, hideous, cruel and bloody industries. The reason it continues is simply because of money. If people didn’t buy and wear fur, if the fashion industry didn’t use and support it, then it would cease to be a viable commercial industry and the fur farms would close.”
Stemp denounces fur, but guess what her Cosmo suggests for winter coats: leather, wool and sheepskin! “But they’re by-products of the food industry!” she’ll cry. Someone should tell her PETA also opposes the production and eating of meat animals! (And, funny, now that we think about it, we’ve never seen sheep on the menu in England, only baby sheep.) So it’s OK to kill farmed cows and sheep for clothing, but not mink? And how about the bags and shoes that Cosmo features? Many of them are made of leather and suede, a.k.a. dead animals. Yup, according to Stemp’s Cosmo, it’s “obscene” to wear fur but you look “Stunning in Shearling.”
What they say: According to HuffPost, Stemp’s article was an “epic response” to a fur company.
What we say: Her article was a load of hypocritical drivel, with lots of copy-and-paste from a PETA press release.
Sairey, we respect your decision to dislike fur, you have every right to do that. You don’t have to wear it, no one is forcing you. You also have the right, as a Fashion Editor, to decide not to put fur on the pages of your magazine. But, please, don’t write insulting articles about the fictional horrors of the fur industry while you happily promote other apparel that is also made from “dead animals”.
If your only knowledge of fur farming comes from PETA, you don’t know anything about it. (And by the way, did you check the welfare standards of the animals used by the leather brands you promote?) Please explain why fur is so terrible, but leather and sheepskin are totally fine. Last time we checked, animals died for both, so the real question should be how responsibly the animals are treated.
Bottom line, you have a choice: you can be a shallow-thinking hypocrite or you can act like a professional journalist. If you think it’s wrong to kill animals for clothing, then stop promoting leather and sheepskin too. But if you can’t do that (because the leather companies pay your salary with their ads), then at least stop parroting PETA’s hateful drivel about fur. You can’t have it both ways!