Images credit: Fur Council of Canada
Four years ago we congratulated the Fur Council of Canada for setting a new standard in greenwashing with their Fur is Green campaign. They are in the news again, with an upgraded website and downloadable brochures, all attesting that fur is green.
It is a slick campaign; they take all of the green movement's buzzwords and throw them back in our faces. But is it true?
Jim Motavilli of the Green Police on AOL isn't convinced. He talks to the VP of the Fur Council of Canada, who admits to picking up the green lingo.
"We've learned from animal rights groups like PETA. Are we being a bit provocative in the way we say it? Of course. But people are talking about green living, so we thought they'd be interested to hear what we had to say."
US Humane Society isn't convinced
Others are not so sure. Motavilli points to a report from the US Humane Society that concludes:
Abiding by the Fur Council of Canada's own criteria for what it means to be an environmentally friendly product, it becomes clear that because fur production is intensely polluting, energy-consumptive and an otherwise unnatural process, fur cannot be considered an environmentally friendly product. In addition, as the processing of fur employs a host of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals, a more apt conclusion is that common production processes for fur garments and accessories put human health and our environment at risk.
There may be a place for hunting and trapping, but you can't call it green
It is a complex and controversial issue in Canada, much like the seal hunt; a lot of indigenous people work in the fur industry. It has been around a long time and has had an important historic role in Canada. But can you call it green?.
If we apply the same standards to the fur industry that we do to others, then we would look at the entire production process and get certification from a third party. Instead we get advertising that uses words like sustainable, fair trade (without any real fair trade certification) and ethical.
Co-opting the language of the environmental movement doesn't make something green. Cute ads don't make something green. Evidence does, and all we have is marketing. That's not green.
And our biggest survey ever, with over 15,000 voters!
Survey: Can Fur Be Green?