It's Not Easy Being Green

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

February 27, 2009 Ed Cartoon

The latest advertising campaign produced by the Fur Council of Canada is promoting fur as green, stating it is a more natural and environmentally friendly product than synthetic garments.

While it may upset a few environmental enthusiasts, the new Fur Is Green campaign may actually have a point.

Initially the idea of killing an animal may seem necessarily detrimental to the environment. However, when weighed against the pollutants expelled during the manufacturing of synthetic garments as well as the waste created through their disposal â€" the campaign may not be so far from the truth.

Animals are a renewable resource and any waste would be organic and therefore compostable. Additionally, in light of the recent economic crisis, supporting the fur industry will help finance local production and reduce importing clothing from other countries.

Whatever claims the Fur Council is making, the fur industry could still be greener. Perhaps trappers and farmers could model native practices by ensuring all parts of the animal are utilized.

Of course, many animal rights activists will likely remain critical of the Fur Council’s green-friendly claims. Using an animal’s fur could be interpreted as literally killing part of the environment.

The term environmentalism or being “green” is no longer straightforward since it can refer to a number of different beliefs and practices, from protecting animals to reducing carbon footprints.

It is important to make a distinction between environmental and ethical arguments when dealing with animal rights. Many may have a moral issue with killing an animal for its fur, but the effect of the fur industry on the environment is arguably low, especially when farm animals are used instead of animals trapped in the wild.

For years, fur companies have been stigmatized and attacked with slogans such as “fur is murder,” but their new advertising campaign could be the start of a new mindset among younger consumers.

The Fur Council should be credited for their creative thinking. As the green movement continues to gain popularity, more and more companies are trying to find new ways to market themselves as environmentally friendly and kudos should be given to the fur industry for finding a way to jump on the bandwagon.

It is debatable how green these companies or products actually are. Most companies are only using green as a marketing tool, putting an environmentally friendly spin on their product or service. Without some form of regulation, any company or business can call themselves green.

While genuine efforts to limit environmental harm should be commended, the onus is on consumers to remain skeptical and check their facts before trusting a product that may be taking advantage of green as a buzzword rather than an actual movement.

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette