Sep. 4th, 2010

devi: (Default)
So yes, the white fluffy scarf.

I used to have a Russian student called Vita, who was smart, funny, outspoken and generally brilliant, though a complete fool for her exploitative twat of a boyfriend in that way that some bright young girls can be, which made me want to shake her sometimes. When she came back to Oxford at the start of term she'd bring me something Russian. Usually caviar or similar. One first day of term, though, she asked, "Are you in Greenpeace?"

What? "...No." (I was when I was a teenager but I let it lapse.)

"See, I got you this," she said, producing the white fluffy scarf and explaining that it would be perfectly acceptable in Russia but on her way back here she'd been having doubts as to whether someone in the UK would want to wear it. It is your basic knitted scarf, but trimmed with so much luxuriant rabbit fur that you can barely see the wool bits. The fur feels amazing. It is a beautiful thing, and I thanked her, but I don't want to wear it.

I know this is not consistent. I'm not a vegan; I wear leather quite happily; I eat meat, though I avoid factory-farmed stuff when I can; but the idea of wearing fur squicks me out. I have heard grim things about the Russian fur industry, but haven't had the stomach to actually look into it. But the scarf sits there and looks at me, and putting it in the bin feels wrong too because then the rabbits would have Died In Vain. (I know, I know.)

I guess I'll just charity-shop it, but I find it odd that this particular thing seems so loaded for me and I don't seem to apply the same principle to all similar things. Is it just that I've been programmed by awareness campaigns about fur and they haven't had any about (eg) shoes? I'm curious as to how others feel about it. And does anyone else want the damn thing? (ETA: this is it. OK, you can see lots of wool in that picture, but wrapped around your neck it's all Tilda-Swinton-as-The-White-Witch.)

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