December 23, 2003

And So, the Fur Flies

WE NOTE WITH DISPLEASURE that an animal-welfare pressure group has again stooped to abhorrent lows in preaching its hatred of furred clothing. It seems this particular group has decided to stake out performances of "The Nutcracker" and give innocent children leaflets that condemn their mothers for wearing fur. Indeed, as the leaflets have a drawing of a housewife repeatedly stabbing Peter Rabbit and the legend, "YOUR MOMMY KILLS ANIMALS!" upon them, we would submit that perhaps condemn is too polite a term. Vilify might be more accurate.

Consider the goal of this tactic:

"Kids will see the bloody truth behind their momsí pretentious pelts. Accompanied by graphic photographs of skinned carcasses and animals languishing on fur farms, children will read: "Lots of wonderful foxes, raccoons, and other animals are kept by mean farmers who squish them into cages so small that they can hardly move. They never get to play or swim or have fun. All they can do is cry-just so your greedy mommy can have that fur coat to show off in when she walks the streets."

We find this particularly unfortunate.

While we do admit that a fur coat may be seen as an unnecessary extravagance, it does have two redeeming features: its utility and its value as an asset. By that, we mean it keeps people warm, and in the event of societal collapse, it can be put up for hock. A fur coat also has great intangible value. By that, we mean it will look rather stunning on our (eventual) Foxy Wife, and we will earn credits in our marriage ledger for weeks following the purchase. These intangibles thus make the purchase of a mink coat a reasonable and prudent investment, and we can assure Rant readers that we will someday buy our (eventual) Foxy Wife a fur coat for those very reasons. Unless she happens not to like fur for some reason, in which case we'll opt for the diamond tennis bracelet.

Now, we can see why the activists would be dismayed if the targets of their disdain owned several fur coats. We would not personally approve of such a thing. That would be foolish and wasteful, and the money would be better spent on appreciable assets or charitable giving.

However, to openly condemn people for spending their money as they see fit is churlish and wretched. If people spend money wastefully, it is almost always their own business -- and good does come out of that for others.

This is because such spending leads to A) greater social equality, as the wasters burn through their store of cash and begin a slow economic descent; B) greater economic opportunities for society as a whole, as the impact of that spending is magnified throughout; and C) quiet self-satisfaction for those Americans who are smart enough to live slightly beneath their means, and will eventually live out their years in blissful happiness.

But we digress. For our complaint is not merely limited to the envy and class hatred we see in this loathesome screed. It extends to the puerile idea that animals are on the same level as Man.

Now, we here at The Rant rather like animals, provided they're domesticated. We further agree that animals bring joy into many people's lives, and that it is important to recognize the bonds people have with animals.

However, while it is clearly preferable to not treat animals cruelly if it can be helped, we have no compunction about the ideas of eating animals for food, killing them for food (although we don't hunt) or putting them to other uses. And if they're wild animals, we do not see them as "wonderful." We do not see them as playing or swimming or having fun -- we see them as attacking livestock, spreading pestilence, and causing untold nuisances.

Of course, there is no telling the folks handing out the fliers about this state of affairs. We do note, however, that the flier distributors will be dressed up as foxes and raccoons during their stunt. They had best hope no bystander accuses them of being the raccoons which tipped over the garbage cans the previous night, or there could be trouble!

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at December 23, 2003 09:58 PM | TrackBack