Opinion | A Debate About Fur, Race and Animal Rights

To the Editor:

Re “Nothing Faux About It” (Thursday Styles, Jan. 31), about what wearing fur represents for black women:

I have worn and sold my share of recycled furs while purveying vintage to stylists, designers and all. I have long questioned the notion that we black people should expend energy on being anti-fur.

On one outing, I channeled Mary Tyler Moore’s iconic fox piece as I strolled unself-consciously through a city department store. Within a few minutes, a white woman in her 30s followed me closely as she erupted in high-volume condemnation.

Her reaction failed to filter harsh realities about race: Black human beings in our country have historically endured worse treatment than the animals such freelance activists protect.

Petria May

To the Editor:

As a brown-skinned person with immigrant parents who knows what racism, bullying and cruel treatment feel like, I take issue with the article. Having a heart and being anti-fur isn’t a white thing; it’s a decency thing. To be O.K. with wearing fur now is to be coldhearted.

In the past, people may not have known how fur is stolen from minks and other animals, but today you’d have to have been living under a rock not to be aware that thinking, feeling animals are caged, electrocuted, gassed, stomped on or harmed in other ghastly ways for their fur. A person wearing animal pelts in 2019 doesn’t look glamorous; she or he looks callous.

I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing fur. It represents oppression and enormous suffering. Being uncaring about another’s misery isn’t a good look for anyone, and certainly not for those of us who know what malice and injustice feel like.

Poorva Joshipura
The writer is vice president of international affairs at the PETA Foundation.

To the Editor:

I am the owner of two mink coats and two mink scarves, among other fur items, and was very happy to have them to wear last week when it was 30 below zero here in Charles City, Iowa.

My mink coats are worn with great pride because they represent me as a very successful woman and business person. I wore a mink coat to the gym last week and was outside in it for a long period of time and not only looked beautiful but felt toasty warm as well.

These coats are some of my most treasured possessions!

Connie J. Parson
Charles City, Iowa

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