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Animal Rights Activists Should Remember Fur Free Doesn’t Mean Animal Free

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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.

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  • It’s a good step nonetheless.

  • Well, I’m still glad to see Armani himself is acknowledging that modern technology has rendered animal products unnecessary. Many retailers fear abandoning fur, leather, silk and wool because of the luxury aura they’ve created around the products of animal exploitation. When respected designers embrace fake fur, it damages the facade of the entire violent system. Perhaps the next step is reminding everyone that fur is merely leather with hair?

    • Mark Miller

      Or maybe we should be reminding people what FAKE fur and leather is made from?
      That would be petroleum. More damage and destruction are done to the eco system and animals thru the use of petroleum. Petroleum is a non-renewable natural resource, damages the environment and ecosystem bringing it to market, pollutes in every step of production and when turned into items like plastic and fake fur/leather they become destined to landfills never to breakdown.

  • MrMiran

    The writer will never be happy, apparently. If they use metal fasteners I’m sure they’ll criticize that as well, since carbon from cattle bones is often used in the making of steel. They aren’t beating chinchillas over the head with a pipe or skinning them alive, so… Be happy! smh

France’s ban of faux-meat branding won’t stop veganism

I’ll take “mycoproteinous food tube” over a tube of dead pig any day.

Concerned about endangered animals? Stop eating them

Methods of animal conservation that support the exploitation of animals don’t exist for the animals, they exist for human profit.

What you can do if live exports disturb you

The outcry should go further than importation and should be directed at the fact that the animals in question were on their way to slaughter in the first place.