**click illustration to enlarge**
(watercolor on paper, 18X24, 2008)
"The Fur Wearer"
A pacifist at heart I find Gandhi's peaceful approach to protesting to be the most suitable for civilized human beings in our day and age. I understand that some people are naturally more passionate than others, but it's no excuse for aggression. I think it unfortunate that there is some downright appalling behavior exhibited by animal rights groups whose cause I would wholeheartedly support if it weren't for their modus operandi. When a group of individuals is throwing rotten tomatoes at little old ladies in fur coats while screaming about animal rights and spraying passers-by with saliva; people might think that they are using the term 'animal rights' in reference to themselves. Acting in such unbecoming for a civilized person manner turns people away from a very good cause. ...which is sad.
As a proud chinchilla owner I, personally, take a different approach to educating people about furry little beings. I talk to them one-on-one about my chinchillas. Like an annoying new mother I tell everyone I meet about all the cute little things my chins do and I always emphasize their intelligence. So far I've been quite successful in persuading a number of people that it's better to have chinchilla as a pet rather than a coat.
Of course, there are those who oppose having exotic animals, (or any animals for that matter), as pets. Some time ago, I saw a half-naked woman (in the middle of December, that is) sitting in a large cage right in the middle of a street. There was a big sign next to her explaining how cruel it is to keep animals in cages. I looked at the woman for several moments, read her sign, adjusted my winter coat and went home to my chinchillas. I let them out of their specious cages and watched them play. I pictured their lives as they could've been in the wild; constantly searching for food and shelter, pursued by both people and bigger animals... Somehow I didn't feel like a monster for loving them and catering to their every need...
"People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it's safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs."
"Animal rights activists give disillusioned feminists an excuse to go back to being women protecting wee creatures without compromising their radical credentials."
"No one in the world needs a mink coat but a mink."