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Fur or against? Against

"When it comes to fur, for me it's a simple choice between cruelty and kindness. Life for animals reared for their fur is hell. They're kept in cramped, filthy cages and go insane from stress and boredom. Then, they're either gassed, given a lethal injection or electrocuted, as shooting them would ruin the appearance of their fur.

"Footage from China -- the world's biggest fur producer -- even shows animals including cats and dogs being skinned alive. Where's the glamour in that?

"Being anti-fur in the fashion industry isn't easy. I've had to turn down work because it involved modelling fur. By refusing to wear fur, I know I risk not being booked again by that client -- but it's a risk I'm prepared to take.

"The red carpet has become a battlefield for celebrities desperately trying to get attention by being outrageous -- just look at Lady Gaga's meat dress. There's nothing creative about wearing fur just to be controversial.

"Many stylish women, such as Michelle Obama and Kate Winslet (and most Irish women ) never wear real fur. While top designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Calvin Klein are fur-free.

Arguing that fur is warm is a cop out -- explorers don't climb Everest in mink coats, they wear amazing man-made fibres! Real fur is also loaded with chemicals to stop it from decomposing in the owner's closet.

"As for fur being no different from leather, when was the last time you ate a mink burger or fox steak?

"Let's not kid ourselves -- the only function of fur is vanity.

"When I'm in the company of someone wearing fur, I have to bite my lip. Would these people be happy for their pet dog or cat to be turned into a coat?

"Wearing fur only advertises a person's ignorance and ugliness. I'm not a tree-hugger or an aggressive animal rights activist, just someone who loves animals.

"Neanderthals may have found it necessary to club animals to death for clothing, but I should hope we've evolved beyond that!"

Irish Independent