Is Free-Range Fur A Kinder Alternative? One Writer Learns, First-Hand

Without picking sides in the real vs. faux fur debate, we began to wonder if there was something to be said about going the free-range route. If you've heard of free-range chicken or eggs, well, this is along the same lines: animals live in the wild and are captured for food, pelts, etc. as opposed to being farm-raised; an extremely sad existence all around. Writer Jenni Avins raised the question as to whether wearing real fur can be justified as not being cruel if the wearer was able to trap it in its natural environment, and then skin it and sew the pelts herself. And, yes, she followed through to the T.
Working with experts in the field of acquiring, preserving, and fashioning furs, Avins learned to do it all and participated in every step of the process. We'll admit we got kinda choked up when she described the traps that "hold an animal’s paw until it’s 'dispatched' (i.e., shot and killed)" and almost lost our breakfast with the writer's in-depth description of how she skinned her trappings with her own hands — don't worry, we'll save the gory deets for you to read yourself.
After a few days, six experts, five fox pelts, and one recorded emotional breakdown, the result was — drumroll, please — a vest. Granted, we admire the investigative journalism and, quite frankly, her strong stomach, but is this kind of hunt-and-gather fashion really any better than the farm-raised option? Can animal murder for the sake of fashion be justified? Under any circumstances? Read the full account of this first-time taxidermist, and obviously, spill all your thoughts in the comments. (Vice)

Photo: Via Vice

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