Animal Rights Activists Should Remember Fur Free Doesn’t Mean Animal Free
Everyone is all excited to hear that Italian designer Giorgio Armani has agreed to stop using fur, starting with this autumn/winter 2016 collection. But what about the use of other animal products? Replacing one animal with another is not a victory.
The Guardian reports that the Armani group, which includes Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani, AJ Armani Jeans and homeware brand Armani Casa, will be included in the fur free promise. The 81 year old fashion icon said in a statement that new technologies “render the use of cruel practices unnecessary as regards animals,” and that his decision reflected his luxury group’s attention to “the critical issues of protecting and caring for the environment and animals.”
Of course, single-issue campaigners like Fur Free Alliance and The Humane Society International are claiming this ‘victory,’ forgetting that cutting out fur won’t change the exorbitant amounts of other animal products the Armani brand is proud to continue using. The “leather goods” section of Armani’s catalogues should be considered just as cruel and unnecessary as any fur coat, trim, or lining. In praising the designer for his choice to remove fur, activists are supporting his continued use of leather, wool, silk, and other animal products.
Rather than spending time campaigning against companies producing these products, activists should focus on vegan education. The only way to truly have an impact on this overwhelmingly large industries (and others like it) is for individuals to go vegan, and refuse the commodifying of animals altogether. If everyone stopped buying animal products, they’d stop making them. I know many will argue that it’s the first step, but if it’s taken forty plus years or campaigning to get rid of fur, I can’t imagine how long it’ll take to move to leather.
Campaigns against fur are not only unsuccessful against the continually growing industry, but they promote the continued use of other animal products. If you care about cruel practices, or protecting the environment and animals, as Armani has said the decision stems from, go vegan.