FUR COMMISSION USA COMMENTARY, NOVEMBER 22, 2002
CATS HAVE GOT THE TONGUES of America’s largest animal rights groups following a massive oil spill off northwest Spain.
Since the Bahamian-registered oil tanker The Prestige was crippled in a storm on Nov. 13, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA) have failed to condemn the huge loss of marine wildlife and environmental damage that may take years to repair.
Why should this be? PeTA, in particular, has something to say on everything, even though its opinions seldom rise above worthless.
Well, there is one explanation that fits the bill.
Both HSUS and PeTA are big promoters of fossil fuel fashions made from petrochemicals. The products they hawk have exotic or peculiar names, like pleather, “eco-fleece” and Evolutionary Fur. But they all boil down to one thing: oil.
The cargo aboard The Prestige that is now killing birds and fish in their thousands, and destroying the livelihoods of coastal communities, is the same stuff these professed animal lovers want us all to wear on our backs.
While telling the rest of us what we should and shouldn’t wear, PeTA and HSUS owe the people who buy into their plastic philosophy some answers:
When PeTA’s Ingrid Newkirk is not preaching the alleged benefits of wearing petrochemicals, she’s a doe-eyed follower(1) of what has been dubbed the most polluting sport on Earth: Formula 1 auto racing.(2)
F1 cars now use unleaded fuel complying with the strictest standards concerning pollution. They are also far more efficient at turning fuel into power than even the most economical small car. Nonetheless, they average about 3.1 miles per US gallon (3.8 UK mpg), or 1.3 km per liter, to go nowhere very fast.
(2) See for example, Biodegradable car could ‘clean up’ Formula One, The Independent, Nov. 4, 2007; Environmental group slams Honda’s “green” Formula 1 car, Edmunds Inside Line, May 3, 2007; Earth Car or not, Button will emit over 50 tonnes of CO2 this season, Guardian Unlimited, Mar. 2, 2007.
How do they feel about the production and transportation methods used for oil?
- Do they have any grand suggestions for handling oil spills, and how much funding have they given to help pay for clean-ups to date?
- Why does neither of them run a recycling program for the non-biodegradable synthetics they endorse?
- Why do they never participate in Clean Air Act discussions concerning the pollution involved in producing synthetics?
- And so on …
In the meantime, there are two things we can be sure of:
If the impossible happens, and a leather tannery, fur or silk farm, or wool mill causes an environmental disaster on the scale of an oil spill, HSUS and PeTA will talk about it for months.
And the next time we have an oil spill, and the time after that, HSUS and PeTA will have nothing to say.
At a glance : The HSUS / PeTA guide to PC dress
THESE THINGS ARE BAD: All natural organic fibers, especially those from animals. If you want to wear cotton, try not to think about the wildlife habitat that was lost in order to produce it, or the millions of critters killed by pesticides. Also, try to forget that these fibers are renewable and biodegradable. Politically incorrect: silk, velvet, wool, cashmere, angora, felt, leather and other skins, suedes, sheepskin, shearling, furs, and so on.
THESE THINGS ARE GOOD: Synthetics produced from petrochemicals. Try not to think about the pollution caused in producing them, or the fact that they are non-renewable and take centuries to degrade. Just remember, it only takes one gallon of oil to produce three fake fleece jackets! Politically correct: nylon, polyester, fake velvet and fake felt, acrylics such as fake fleece and fur, fake leather (“pleather”), vinyl, PVC.