Recently I read an article in a women’s magazine encouraging faux materials over fur and leather. That got me to thinking, because something about it bothered me. Sure, I wince when I see a woman walking around in spotted fur that could only have come from an endangered animal. But here’s the thing- the real problem, as I see it, is consumerism in general. Say a woman has a fur coat that she treasures. She takes good care of it, wears it often and for many years. Isn’t she walking more lightly on the earth than the person who buys whatever is in fashion every season? Also, consider where the alternatives come from. This article was endorsing the use of artificial leather and fur. I’m thinking that would be plastic, which comes at quite a price to the planet. By the same token, proponents of vegetarian diets and biofuels may not be aware of how many animals lose their lives to the growing of soybeans.
I guess what I’m saying is, it is great to stop from time to time to examine our habits and assumptions. But before subscribing any hard and fast rules, we can all benefit from thinking things through for ourselves rather than automatically chiming in with a popular sentiment.
Regarding shopping in general, probably “less is more” and “buy local” are good places to start. Have you noticed that we are generally referred to as “consumers”, these days? What ever happened to citizens? When did we become market statistics? Maybe we can stand up to the ubiquitous marketing department. Maybe we can fill our hearts with joyous experiences and our bellies with meat we know was grown humanely, and cover our backs with a few favorite threads. Wow—guess I went beatnik on you there, didn’t I?