As if there weren’t a multitude of reasons why the nation of China is to be deplored – shooting innocent students, subjugating and victimizing their citizenry, the massive US-China trade deficit, Communism – my local news station has been running this story about how coats containing the fur of domesticated dogs are coming in from the world’s most populous country. What’s more, they are being deliberately mislabeled or misadvertised!
From King5.com (emphasis added is mine):
Is your fur fake or is it Fido?
WASHINGTON, D.C. – That fur trim on your jacket that you think is fake? Tell it to Fido.
An animal advocacy group says its investigation has turned up coats – some with designer labels, some at higher-end retailers – with fur from man's best friend…
The Humane Society of the United States said it purchased coats from reputable outlets, such as upscale Nordstrom, with designer labels – Andrew Marc, Tommy Hilfiger, for example – and found them trimmed with fur from domestic dogs, even though the fur was advertised as fake.
"It's an industrywide deception," said Kristin Leppert, the head of the Human Society's anti-fur campaign…
Of the 25 coats tested, 24 were mislabeled or misadvertised.
Three coats… contained fur from domesticated dogs. The others had fur from raccoon dogs – a canine species native to Asia – or, in one case, wolves. The single correctly labeled coat was trimmed with coyote fur, but it was advertised as fake.
Most of the fur came from China.
If you’re so inclined, read the entire article, though I warn you, you will be educated in some rather grisly production practices employed by people who think nothing of selling you a coat lined with the pelt of an animal they know you consider a beloved and loyal companion.
I’m Not Falling For the "Cultural Divide" BS
When I was in college, I had an Anthropology professor who came storming into class one day irate over an ad she’d seen in a local small-press newspaper. She held the ad up and read it aloud: “We must STOP the EATING OF CATS in Vietnam!!!”
She then began a twenty-minute tirade about how ludicrous and uneducated of a statement that was. People in Vietnam do not see felines the way Americans and Europeans do, she told us. Many of them live in such abject poverty that their only space to raise livestock is on their own roofs and as a result, they raise chickens and cats for their meat. She went on to talk about how ignorance is what causes a seemingly unbridgeable cultural divide.
And there are some who might argue that this practice of skinning domesticated dogs for use on human designer clothing is not so much barbaric and sick as it is simply an example of the cultural divide to which my professor was referring. To this I say, “Bullshit!”
In fact, I would go so far as to say that what China is doing is the exact opposite of cultural ignorance. Indeed, they realize full well that most people would not want real dog fur on their coats, thus the 96% deception rate. Further, they are acutely aware that enough Americans fall for the notion that “expensive” equals “quality” to justify the massive boost in profits generated by not having to manufacture quality artificial fur. That’s not ignorance of our culture; that’s knowing it all to well and exploiting it.
Tell me, why do we do business with China again? Why do we financially support a nation whose government embodies the exact antithesis of democracy? Why are we even bothering to do any trade at all with people who would insidiously clothe us in the scalps of our best friends?
(I believe Henry has some stuff to add to my list, if you care to listen to him for two and a half minutes.)
If you happen to own a coat with, say, a fur-lined hood, you may want to scrutinize that lining very closely. If it seems too good to be synthetic, it probably is. Look at Marley's sweet, smiling face and realize that the German Shepherd Dog is a breed commonly used for this cruel purpose.
Just so you know.