Is Shearling Fur?

just cavalli shearling jacket

So if you’ve been following me for a while you know I do wear fur but only vintage fur, however, I do wear and buy new leather. When I got this jacket I was extremely conflicted, the tag said “real fur”, which is true but it’s technically shearling. I have explained my take on fur and why I only buy vintage before (here) but here is an excerpt:

” When I got back to Los Angeles, I couldn’t wait to wear my new vintage fur coat. And the first time I did, I got a horrible comment on it from a girl wearing leather shoes, and carrying a leather bag… “Maybe someone should skin you alive.” Well, I took some major offense to that. I LOVE fur. I love it. While I think it’s okay to love fur, I don’t think it’s okay to support torture; that’s why I always buy vintage, thrifted, antique whatever you want to call it. Hopefully, with a monogram from the person who owned it before; there is something terribly romantic about a monogram on the satin interior of a fur coat. Anyway, back to my point; I don’t support the continuation of the fur industry, but if there are beautiful pieces out there, someone should enjoy them, and I’d like to be that someone.”

Okay, back to the shearling issue. I used to work for Jayde Nicole, famous mean-girl, and vegan. Jayde unfollowed me on Instagram so I called her out on it in our work group chat, she said “Too much fur for me sweety” to which another girl chimed in “oh like your ugg boots?” (Jayde always wore uggs, and this was circa 2013/2014 not 2005.) Jayde didn’t say anything, I didn’t say anything but it made me wonder, why don’t people have an issue with leather the way they do with fur.

It’s believed that animals farmed for their fur like mink and rabbit are skinned alive. My boyfriend worked on a mink farm when he was young and he said they definitely don’t skin them alive, they gas them so they just kind of pass out and then they’re painlessly killed and skinned. (Plus it’s illegal to skin them alive in North America and Europe.) However, a lot of fur comes from China and in China they boil dogs alive because they think tortured meat tastes better.. so I wouldn’t put it past them to horribly torture their fur farmed animals. I have a small dog and I couldn’t possibly imagine her going through pain or suffering. I was gutted watching her in pain after a recent necessary surgery. Regardless if they’re tortured and skinned alive/awake or just farmed for their fur, I think before I can support buying new fur I would need to see a major turn around in all farming practices. We can’t even manage to take care of the animals we INGEST let alone the ones we wear. Therefore I only buy and wear vintage fur.

Ok I know I’m going on and on but finally back to shearling and leather. Many people, including myself, justify our wearing of leather and shearling because cows, lambs, and other heard animals are killed for food and the skin is a by-product of that. Basically, they’re killing cows for beef anyway, so it would be wasteful and kind of disrespectful to not use the skin for something and just let it go to waste. Some people disagree, those people are usually vegetarians or vegans who don’t eat meat, so they think if nobody else did, there wouldn’t be any by-product or leather/shearling to wear.

But recently, I was doing even more research and I came across some very interesting information. Mink are carnivorous animals, as are foxes and some other animals farmed for fur, and what do you think they eat? According to The Fur Commission, they eat the remains of factory farmed animals like cows, chickens, and pigs.. the entrails, the organs, the snouts, basically the parts we would never eat (assuming you don’t eat bologna). Mink are raised on agricultural waste products — keeping spent hens, off-grade eggs, unusable cheese, fish guts, beef byproducts and other protein sources out of landfills. Even minks’ manure and carcasses are recycled. My dad has worked at a landfill most of my life so I know more than most about them and trust me you don’t want to fill up our landfills with animal remains. Could it be that mink farming is actually green? I’m not sure, I’m still going to stick to my guns about wearing only vintage fur because the thought of an animal being killed solely for me to wear it makes me a little uneasy but I honestly don’t see why we shouldn’t upcycle the hides of animals who are already being killed for food. Feel free to disagree and let me know your opinion in the comments below.

Thank you for reading!

With love from Las Vegas,

Jacket: Just Cavalli. Jeans: Hudson  Top: Ramy Brook
Bag: Vintage. Booties: Valentina Rangoni.


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One Comment

  1. That’s an interesting and well reasoned explanation of your decision and as the grandson of a dairy farmer who has seen how the girls are treated, I support you completely!

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