Monday, October 3, 2011

The Purity Argument

In 1970 I organized a protest march against the wearing of fur at a fashion show. This was the first of its kind in Anchorage, Alaska at the time, so the media turned out in force, even though there were only about 12 of us marching on that March day. Nearly all my social sorority sisters were inside that fashion show that day, wearing their furs. They stared at me in shock and horror as they crossed our line to enter the hotel that day. Some spoke to me. And that was the first time I heard the argument that a person could not protest the wearing of fur if she ate meat or wore leather. "What are your shoes made of?" Apparently, if a protestor wore a speck of leather, she had no right to protest the clubbing of baby seals -- which was rampant at that time in Alaska. My hand-made sign had a picture of a baby seal, and the words "He died for your skins!"
Now all of PETA is overly familiar with fur wearers arguments. Those arguments probably contributed greatly to veganism. Fine. I have no problem with veganism and pleather and options to wearing animal skins. I'm a vegetarian. I was then.
Here's the thing though. This is a free country. We have the right to free speech. We have the right to protest whatever we feel is wrong. And we do not have to be pure before we can speak out. So, please if you feel in your heart that you should say something about the fact that the makers of UGG boots are using the skins of raccoon dogs that have been SKINNED ALIVE (see, but you eat meat and wear leather shoes, don't let that stop you. Okay?
If you want to join with other protestors in Pioneer Square this Thursday at noon October 6, and protest Wall Street, but you happen to own stocks, or invest your money in bonds, or some combination that you don't even understand, but you still don't believe that the people who brought this country to its knees should get away with it -- well go protest!
Remember the last line from "Some Like it Hot": "Nobody's perfect." That's right, none of us are, and if we all speak up, stand together, do our part, we CAN make this world a better place.