To Fur or Not to Fur?

Cozy? Or Crazy?

This week’s moral dilemma is brought to you by a bunch of bubbies: I don’t know how this happened, but suddenly my closet contains three fur coats.

Well, if you want to get all sartorially technical, two coats and a vest. But still, it’s a lot of animal to be hanging with my J. Crew peacoat and El Yenta Man’s plastic rain anorak.

Let me just say that I would never, EVER buy fur. Raising animals in hideous conditions only to kill them for their skins is a cruel and disgusting practice, and the fur industry people should all come back in their next lives as minks.

(This set off a Jewishly-minded thought process, though: Why aren’t there kosher laws governing the killing of animals for their fur like there are for food? Next time I see a rabbi wearing a streimel, I’m gonna ask.)

But when fur appears in your closet and the peacoat has a mysterious stain on it from wearing it to the county fair, you start thinking fur coats aren’t so bad. The Native Americans did fur without guilt, right? If the coat is at least 10 years old and the little fluffy animals would already be dead by now anyway, so what’s the harm? No one can tell the difference between real and fake anyway, so maybe I could just rock it and tell everyone it’s from Target?

I am struggling here. On one hand, the PETA people get to me every single time. On the other hand, I can see my breath and there are snoogly coats beckoning me from the hallway.

The first one is my favorite, a chestnut brown super-stylish sable number with three-quarter sleeves and a bell shape that hits right above my hips. It belonged to El Yenta Man’s maternal grandmother, who bequeathed it to my mother-in-law before moving into the nursing home. Great Grandma Ruth spent her entire life at the beach, but I guess in the 50s and 60s, every respectable Jewish lady had to have a fur.

The second one is a full-length, dark mink that still belongs to my mother-in-law, though she hadn’t worn it for a decade even before she got sick. I think it was an anniversary gift from my father-in-law, which was very old school of him. It is traditional to give fur on one’s 13th anniversary, though El Yenta Man will never officially give me this particular coat as he has claimed it as his very own. He wears it every year to the annual Tybee Island Polar Plunge over his bathing suit. Apparently fur coats at the beach appear to be in the DNA.

My third and most recent fur acquisition was snuck into my suitcase on my last trip to Scottsdale by my mother when I wasn’t looking. I thought TSA had stuffed a dead boar in there while they were searching as revenge for me leaving my dirty socks on top, but it turns out it was just a vest of my dear Bubbe Reggie’s (may she rest in peace) made of some unknown animal that I suspect may be a large rodent. Still, it looks awfully fierce with jeans.

So here I am, three furs and all a’flummoxed. What are the rules these days about fur? Sure, rich people who spend a year’s worth of college tuition on a coat should be paintballed in public, but is it OK if:

1. You didn’t buy it?
2. You feel bad, or at least hipsterishly ironic about it?
3. Send a donation to PETA while wearing it?
4. Chant a prayer for forgiveness from the souls of the animals who gave up their little lives for your warmth and extremely hot-looking ensemble?

Please hurry. There’s a cold front coming, and I don’t think I can go back to the peacoat.

4 thoughts on “To Fur or Not to Fur?

  1. ‘I thought TSA had stuffed a dead boar in there while they were searching as revenge for me leaving my dirty socks on top…’

    this made me giggle. 🙂

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