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Humaner Fur & Leather

from animals that died of natural causes and accidents
  (+2, -3)
(+2, -3)
  [vote for,

I want a fur hat, the trapezoid-shaped Russian kind, because it's getting really cold in Cleveland right now, but I don't need rabbits or whatever to die for it to be made. So, I think fur made from animals that died of natural causes and accidents needs to be put on the market. The idea could also be extended to leather, since I have to have leather shoes for work (cloth shoes can't be worn in food service, and if you have walk around all day in vinyl shoes, they'll give you blisters).
dj_photon, Nov 05 2001

The Guilt-free Christmas Turkey http://www.zeppotro...ns/lord_turkey.html
Obligatory non-PC unnovations.com posting. [st3f, Nov 05 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Nonmoral nature http://www.freethou...gould_nonmoral.html
Stephen Jay Gould considers arguments that God wants animals to be eaten. [pottedstu, Nov 05 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Horsehide clothing http://www.aeroleat...ing.com/aboutus.htm
Laws prohibit the slaughtering of horses for their leather. [Lemon, Nov 05 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Information on the manufacture of leather http://www.hewit.com/sd1-leat.htm
"The leather industry has also been known to use skins from animals which have died of natural causes. This source of skins tends to be inferior because if the animals have been lying around dead, the skins would have started to rot." [Lemon, Nov 05 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Appendix - Darwin or Creation http://www.answersi...s/v3n1_appendix.asp
Forget the fact it's on a Ministry page - it presents purpose of appendix in various lifeforms and compares Darwin with Creationism. [thumbwax, Nov 05 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

The International Society Of Animal Recyclers http://www.morbidte...com/isoar-main.html
Roadkill clothing and accessories [FloridaManatee, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       1) Er, that would be "More Humane".   

       2) There are plenty of leather substitutes already available.   

       3) Shoes come in a greater variety of materials besides leather, cloth or vinyl.   

       4) Does getting turned into dinner classify as 'natural causes' or accident?
phoenix, Nov 05 2001

       Or, perhaps, we could provide farm-raised fur animals with such lavish affection and luxurious lifestyles that, when they discover the impoverished living conditions of their wild bretheren, they cheerfully commit suicide out of sheer guilt at having had it so good.   

       Then, perhaps, we could feel better about skinning and wearing them.
Guncrazy, Nov 05 2001

       Maybe we should tag the items in question with the manner of the animal's death.   

       The source of this garment died from:
[ ] BSE
[ ] Clubbing
[ ] Electric shock
[X] Old Age
[ ] Gunshot
[ ] Act of God
phoenix, Nov 05 2001

       [ ] Buick

Seriously, the problem is that for garment purposes, you want the nicest possible furs. And furs on a critter are in the best shape when the animal is in the prime of its health. Old foxes get gray hairs, their skin is more likely to have old scars, etc. Besides, it is prohibitively expensive to remove those tire tracks.

Forget the animal, and just grow some furry skin. Cultured skin is already baked - it is grown and used for grafting of burn victims. Why not take the same idea and culture animal skins, complete with fur. If done properly, you could grow the fur in dimensions much larger than the original animals. Imagine a single pelt of mink that's 6 feet wide and 80 feet long! No ethical problems, no picking up roadkill.
quarterbaker, Nov 05 2001

       absterge - I'm an omnivorous pedant:

1. Animals are also made out of bone, brains, blood, fur, guts, partially digested meals, shit, piss, and a whole bunch of parasites. Wanna eat those things, too?

2. People are meat machines, too. Still hungry?

I'm not trying to be difficult, it's just that the use of stupid jokes to "trump" legitimate ethical questions is rude behavior. And it is really far, far too easy to do.

Following the "logic" of your comment, consider the following:
a. The meat of which animals are made is raw meat. Do you cook yours?
b. The meat of which animals are made is whole-slab sinewy stuff. Do you eat hamburger? Sausage?

Though I am an omnivore, I realize that the ethical questions surrounding animal consumption are legitimate questions. Even if you and I don't agree with the PETA folks, their questions dig at some important issues.

If you're going to try and be funny, at least be smart about it.

And if you're going to have a devil-may-care attitude about your animal consumption, at least have the, um, guts to be Nietzschean about it: "Why, because I can!"
quarterbaker, Nov 05 2001, last modified Nov 06 2001

       [quarterbaker] Do you expect a carnivorous/omnivorous animal to justify it's killing to eat, too? Or do you expect a "Neitzschean" response from them as well?
phoenix, Nov 05 2001

       [quarterbaker]: If, through the process of natural selection, man evolved into a strictly herbivorous creature, or for the creationist, God prohibited the consumption of flesh, it would seem to be a paradox that the muscles, blood and organs of other creatures should provide such an abundance of nutrients, including those essential amino acids which an unsupplemented vegan diet often does not sufficiently provide, and in a myriad of easily digestible and highly palatable forms, as well.   

       Then again, maybe not. Sometimes, you can have smart, you can have funny, but you can't have both.
Guncrazy, Nov 05 2001

       // The appointment of death by the agency of carnivora as the ordinary termination of animal existence, appears therefore in its main results to be a dispensation of benevolence; it deducts much from the aggregate amount of the pain of universal death; it abridges, and almost annihilates, throughout the brute creation, the misery of disease, and accidental injuries, and lingering decay; and impose such salutary restraint upon excessive increase of numbers, that the supply of food maintains perpetually a due ratio to the demand. The result is, that the surface of the land and depths of the waters are ever crowded with myriads of animated beings, the pleasures of whose life are coextensive with its duration; and which throughout the little day of existence that is allotted to them, fulfill with joy the functions for which they were created. //   

       -- 18-19th century theologian William Buckland, quoted by Stephen Jay Gould in "Nonmoral nature".
pottedstu, Nov 05 2001, last modified Nov 06 2001

       phoenix - No, I expect no response from carnivorous animals. They are, if you'll forgive me, naturally Nietzschean. Besides, they aren't trying to justify their behavior with stupid jokes, as absterge did (and it was the stupid-joke-as-justification that I found irritating/offensive).

UnaBubba, pottedstu, GunCrazy - thank you.

jutta - thanks, sorry, I should know better for a reformed philosopher - let's just say it was a typo, mmkay?

PeterSealy - I agree. Which is actually why leather is less ethically problematic than fox fur (again, a reference to one of absterge's stupid joke attempts).

Please, everyone, I was just objecting to absterge's sophomoric humor. Now, back on track:
What do you think of my idea for growing skin without the normally-attached critter?
quarterbaker, Nov 06 2001

       I'd absolutely love it if fur could be grown in huge petri dishes. It would drop the price of fur, making it affordable for more people, and it could be used in more products. I, for one, think fur would be a great replacement for leather in auto interiors. Leather gets way too hot in the summertime.   

       On the other hand, such technology would not diminish my support of hunting.
Guncrazy, Nov 06 2001

       //Going out and offing wild animals, I'm not so sure about.//   

       It seems to me that this would be more humane to some extent, as the animal in question would get to enjoy a free, natural, unfettered existence instead of being cooped up on a farm somewhere.
PotatoStew, Nov 06 2001

       OW OW OW OW OW!! Good lord, man! Your barbs sting me so! Sorry that I was in a less-than-cardiac-arrest-serious mood last night. I wasn't trying to 'trump' the idea by making fun of it. I've since deleted the anno. Happy?
absterge, Nov 07 2001

       "If you are prepared to farm animals for food, then there is nothing wrong with farming animals for fur and leather."   

       i'm not prepared for, wanting to, approving of, advocating, or endorsing any of these things. cultured fur sounds cool though. then i could have my russian hat (incidentally it's the one sasha wears in _orlando_ (the movie), although without such enormous jewels). also i would upholster my house and car in ermine. also, phoenix, what else can you make shoes out of besides leather, vinyl, or cloth (includes nylon and fake suede)? of course there are wooden shoes, straw sandals, plastic jelly shoes, etc. but stuff like that isn't practical.
dj_photon, Nov 07 2001, last modified Nov 18 2001

       Back to the original idea:
Baked. See links. I also remember a shop near the Kings Road in London that specialised in leather shoes form animals that died of natural causes. I can't remember the name, I'm afraid.
Lemon, Nov 07 2001

       Sorry, absterge. Sometimes things just hit me the wrong way. Most of the time, I just bite my tongue (or whatever the on-line equivalent is [bite my fingers? sit on my hands?]). Nothing personal.
quarterbaker, Nov 07 2001

       [Lemon]: I can imagine some Body-Shop-style hypocrisy going on there; 'Well, it's perfectly natural that a {insert creature here} should die if it stands in front of a rifle.'
angel, Nov 07 2001

       [angel], if such a commercial enterprise generated large amounts of income, then I would agree with you. On the other hand, if it is one small shop (and, judging by the lack of information I can now find, one that has probably gone bust), it would probably be run by enthusiasts rather than hypocrits.
Lemon, Nov 07 2001

       I'm sure you're right. I'm just an old cynic.
angel, Nov 07 2001

       For those that argue that humans did not biologically evolve to eat meat, I would point out that humans have an appendix (the sole purpose of which is to aid in the digestion of raw meat. The appendix is now a vestigal organ because we no longer eat raw meat.)   

       I think that a much stronger case can be made for reducing meat consumption on the basis of resource utilization. Raising cattle is one of the LEAST efficient uses of resources imaginable, if you look at it from the standpoint of resources used to nutrition made available.
mwburden, Nov 07 2001

       Or bark. Speaking of which, I thought the purpose of the appendix was to aid digestion of cellulose (from fiberous plants). High school biology was a looonnnggg time ago.
phoenix, Nov 07 2001

       Rabbits have an appendix, Cows do not - they do have 4 stomachs, however. Gorillas are herbivorous and frighteningly powerfully built. I often wonder if I should continue to eat meat or switch to a vegetarian diet. Has nothing whatsoever to do with ethics, rather it is in interest of eating the healthiest foods. Naaaaaaaah.
thumbwax, Nov 07 2001

       That was stunningly ill-informed regarding the appendix, [mwburden]. [phoenix]'s high school memories are clearly more trustworthy.
The resource utilisation argument has some credence, but as there is a surplus of food in the west it is more of an environmental argument.

[thumbwax], as I'm sure you realise, vegetariansim is not necessarily healthier. It is just that vegetarians tend to eat healthier food, as they are more likely to be careful about what they eat.
Lemon, Nov 08 2001

       Who says Humaner is the comparative of Humane rather than Human? I say we make more human fur. Maybe a jacket with a sense of humour; ear muffs which chat to you...
pottedstu, Nov 08 2001

       I'm not talking vegan - milk and eggs are OK. Candy Bars are vegetarian food right? Ice Cream, Pies, Cakes, Potato chips - why the list goes on nearly forever.
thumbwax, Nov 08 2001

       I didn't realize that horsehide was such a *hot* commodity.....I'm going to be rich! Come here my little pretties..... <evil "Cruellla" grin>
Susen, Nov 08 2001

       Gee, Susen, I'm so glad you made the Cruella comment... I scanned down the thread with the intent to add my own black-and-white fantasy... I always wanted to tan all those skunks I see in the road, and have a lovely black-and-white striped, full length, road-kill coat...   

       I could just never figure out what to do about the stink. I thought about breeding my own skunk (destinkafied) for the purpose, but I feel that if you kill an animal, you should find a use for all of it, and I'm not sure I'm up to roast skunk yet... let me check my "White Trash Cooking" book a minute...   

       Chicken feet & rice   

       Mama Leila's Hand-Me-Down Oven-Baked Possum   

       Fried Rabbit   

       Broiled Squirrel   

       Butt's Gator Tail   

       Cooter Pie   

       ...Nope, dammit, no skunk recipes. Not even for skunk brains. Can you imagine?
Oolahboolah, Nov 11 2001

       Oolahboolah, on the Red Green Show, he has gloves that look like they're made of skunks...I want a pair like that.   

       Quarterbaker, the 'cultured skin' is not really skin. It's more like temporary plastic wrap to keep the flesh beneath from drying out and dying before it can grow some real skin. I'd like to see cultured fur, too, though.   

       To everyone who keeps talking about 'natural causes', being eaten by carnivores / omnivores IS natural causes for prey animals. We just do it a little more elaborately then 'pounce out of a tree'. There are whole ranges of critters whose purpose in their lives is to end as a brief, crunchy squeak. Cows have been selectively bred for centuries for just such a purpose, as a life support system for dinner.   

       Leather is just the wrapping off a hamburger.   

       StarChaser "People Eatin' Tasty Animals" Tyger
StarChaser, Nov 11 2001

       We're prey for sharks and bears and alligators. Do you think if we are eaten by them it's a death by natural causes not an accident? Is skin just the wrapper on a shark's humanburger?
dj_photon, Nov 22 2001

       From the shark's viewpoint, I'm sure it is. (Applause for [Star]'s third para.)
angel, Nov 22 2001

       Dj_photon; We are NOT prey for sharks and bears. Prey is what they normally eat. Nothing 'naturally' eats humans. Sometimes they kill humans. Bears rarely eat humans, and sharks often take one bite then leave because humans aren't what they normally eat. Yes, it does happen sometimes, but it isn't normal. When an animal becomes a 'maneater', generally it's sick or injured, and humans are easy to catch.   

       Human meat has sharp edges, though.   

       Humans have removed themselves from the food chain, so it doesn't really fit to talk about them being part of it.   

       Thanks, Angel...
StarChaser, Nov 22 2001

       (Having returned from doing a little brushing up that I should have done earlier) [Lemon] - Not misinformed, just misrememberd. Since high school biology was some (mumble) years ago, my aging memory somehow replaced cellulose with meat. (Now if only my aging midsection could replace cellulite with meat!)   

       I'll stick by my resource utilization argument, though. Just because we haven't hit crisis yet doesn't mean we shouldn't be doing more to make sure we don't.
mwburden, Dec 15 2001


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