I’ve been told I’ve caught the “fur bug”, and I couldn’t agree more. I’m not only in love with this beautiful, natural material, but I’m also attracted by the industry. People living off the land, small family businesses, and the fact that I’m welcomed with open arms in farms, auction houses and design studios around the world, make me so happy to be a part of the international fur family.
But there’s been one thing that’s been annoying me and I think it’s time to set the record straight.
Tree Huggers and Lefties
As a campaigner for fur, I’ve been called a few nasty things by animal activists, but what annoys me most is when people in our trade refer to “tree huggers” and “lefties” as being the enemies of the fur trade.
For the record, I’m not what you would call a “tree hugger” (I find that people are much better for hugging!), but I am a tree lover and I’m sending as much love as possible towards the forests. I love nature and I want to protect it, and it strikes me as so strange that animal activists are referred to as “tree huggers” as an insult.
Aren’t all you hunters, trappers and farmers also tree “huggers” or lovers in your own way? You want to protect the land and nature too, don’t you? Where will we hunt and trap if all of the forests are cut down?
Proud to Be Left
When it comes to politics, I’m definitely “left of center” and proud of it. So are a lot of people working in the fur industry, notably Mark Oaten, CEO of the International Fur Federation.
Mark is a former senior member of the Liberal Democrats, the third-largest political party in the UK. To clarify for those of you not familiar with British politics, the Lib Dems make the US Democratic Party look like Tea Party activists by comparison.
And yet … he and I, and many other “lefties”, love fur and dedicate a part of our lives to ensuring that this industry thrives and grows.
So why the “leftie” jibes? Why do some of us use “tree hugger” as an insult?
Let’s save our insults for the people who are trying to destroy the industry we love.
Just because I’m a staunchly left, female, half-Muslim immigrant that loves trees, doesn’t mean I can’t also succumb to the fur bug. It doesn’t mean I can’t also love fur, farmers, trappers, and the wonderful history and traditions of this industry.
Let’s embrace the diversity of the international fur family and use our energy to ensure that this industry thrives and continues to succeed for as many years as people have been wearing fur. That’s a long time, by the way.