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Trixy;

 

Congradulations on a work well done. We all appreciate your effort and the quality vested very much.

 

It is a bit GB centric in places but certainly understandable and so precisely done. A warning for other countries to not allow this sort of ecological travesty to happen elsewhere.

 

There is a similar "Debate" going on in building world wide with some of the same individuals from these groups going on in the "Build Green" or "Ecobuild" movement. The extreme is "Earth First".

 

"Ecological" and "Humane" issues can be simply framed but as your paper demonstrates are not so easily argued or dealt with in a fair and balanced manner.

 

Again Congradulations.

 

OFF

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As mentioned before I agree totally. It is a great paper for us to keep here archived. Nice work Tryxie... All members will really enjoy that one.

W

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nice work Trixie! lots of thought and time went into your paper and you can tell. it is a great source of info for new people to the den, thanks for posting it!

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Okay Tryxie here I come to rescue you from drowning in sycophantic praise.

 

There are problems with your thesis which could be re assessed. There are huge historical gaps glossed over and perhaps this would disrupt your chunting flow, which is very entertaining. However it is open to crticism because of it.

 

The main issue that you may have over simplified is the role of fur in the middle ages and the renaissanace and its origins. It is western centred history. At the time the Mongol tribes were competing with Russia for exploration of the Siberian territiries. The yakuts are only part indigenous and some of their number come from the nomadic plainsmen who wanted to control the spice roads fur trail. Inevitably this would lead to them fur farming in the much colder climates to produce wonderfully thick pelts compared with what was coming from China.

As a result, the British Empire was in danger of losing out and thats why the Americas were hugely important. From there you are okay. There was never a fur trade in Britain to speak of after the Roman invasion gave us better quality pelts than the indigenous animals. You couldnt make a fur coat any good from a british fox; he is too short haired. Your implication was that there werent enough...which if you come to where I live I can show you the sheere numbers are incredible

 

The inner continental climate of the Americas produced much thicker pelted individuals; hence the Hudson Bay companies success, and its essential role in the British empire.

 

I would also take up issue with the use of fur in denoting social class. You may be using a modern framework of morality in part influenced by marxism to assess a period where such notions were not relevant.

 

If anything, furs denorted not social class but role. Certain guilds used certain furs in a certain ways on their costumes. Ermine was the only fur to denote feudal power, but it wasnt exclusive; just expensive because of its rarity. The trade sectors of certain cities were rivals and you can see a modern inarnation of this in the city of Sienna which still stages a medieval horse race there. Throw fur into this kind of mix and different animals represneted different sectors, which were trade sectors. So jewellery quarters for example would have got furs from the merchants that they traded with, rather than it denoting social class.

 

The same with your social assessment of fur. In the 40s times were austere, but there was a huge market for mouton or beaver lamb, which, while expensive, was a fabulous alternative to beaver and looks and feels similar. The weight is heavier, but the sheen was fabulous, and the structure of 40s shoulders well suited to such a sculptible fur. These coats were still expensive, but offered the working class woman a fur she could own without the moral implications that fox suggested, or the price of mink meant unobtainable. However the politics of envy then, so naked after the Russian revolution, were not popular with the British whos protestant work ethic meant that striving for things was uppermost in the mind. It was the era of the white picket fence not the picket line, though Labour try to portray it rather differently.

In 1961 my grandmother had her first mink. It was

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TOS

 

I agree with some of what you say. But bear in mind I was given 1500 words to complete this project. At 3500 I stopped writing and hadn't even dealt with the ethics at that point. The whole work was eventually butchered to 2800 words I think.

 

In something so short its impossible to deal with the whole gammut of issues and certainly not to deal with fur as a global concern, with all its different cultural values. Something has to give somewhere. I have however tried to give an essence of the situation pertaining to Britain.

 

No, there never was a fur trade in Britain, it was mainly an indigenous use, but social class there was, and crushingly enforced by the Normans. The mere facts that Acts of Paliament were passed to stop certain groups of individuals from wearing furs makes it a class issue, and joe serf didn't get a chance of joining a Guild.

 

There may indeed have been a huge market for beaver lamb etc in theh 40's but remember utility clothing was intoduced in 1941 and wasn't lifted till 1947 I think, and ornamentation with fur was banned.

Second hand furs were acceptable.

 

Other than that I take on board your issues, and if given the space and time would no doubt have covered the ground I did more thoroughly. Have you any idea how long it takes to read 2000 newspaper articles for the possiblility of a usefull fact? or how long it took to refind the articles I remembered seeing on Melody that no one could help me with? I couldn't even begin to list the web sites I vistited for background info, books I skimmed and people I talked to to gain insights and knowledge only to have to bin most of it. But such is life.

 

To paraphrase a officer at Arnham when complimented by a German SS officer at the skill at which 1st Airborne fought in house to house combat. He said, actually, this is our first engagement, we'll do better next time!

 

In memory of those who fought and died there, 1st Airborne was never reformed.

 

 

Tryxie

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Tryxie your words as usual are good.

Especially about Arnhem.

 

I kind of thought that was why the study missed out a few chunks. However, its certainly nowhere near a defeat. It would shudder through the majority of the publics preconceptions about fur. So its no Arnhem for you, more like when the tide turned at Stalingrad. We have braved the winter, now you must take the fight, your generation, back to their lines and you have the energy for battle. Your tank rolls across the summer fields of the russian steppes; your argument is unstoppable. I hope it will crash through the enemy lines and if I were you I would send it in to something like Marie Claire.

 

however I thought you could have had a go back at me to show the Americans what we are about.

 

Who knows, they may even join the war (late as usual)and help us out

 

No seriously, no offence to anyone and I only criticised Tryxie in the first place to get a rise out of her, hoping she'd lash back so we could show you how we argue. She has blistering quick logic when aroused.

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The Normans did not enforce it with the Celts with whom they had a mutual admiration society in the hunting field. In the end Edward had to give us his son. Celts were allowed fur....and to hunt because they understood the principle like the Normans of conservation, game and forest. Ask the Welsh archers.

The saxons needed a bloody good enforcement. Their culture had it dominated would have seen an agricultural revolution by the 11th century and possibly a man on the moon by the 13th. Uppitty buggers.

Give me the hunt and the animals any day.... theyd have wiped them out. The alliance between celt and norman is still strong. Ahhh the beautiful simplicity and alliance of feudalism . Much maligned.

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That's cos the Welsh went and hid in the hills and the Normans couldn't be arsed to go chase them. They would have persued the Scots but were so tired after beating up the poor Yorkshire and Northumberlanders they went back down south again to recouperate. And that's why we have a North South divide in this country. The Norman wealth was used in the south and the north still hasn't recovered from the decimation. But it don't bother me 'cos I'm a Lancashire Lass.

 

Tryxie

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Say folks, this is the fur forum and not the history forum. History of Fur is great. History of Britain is not.

Tryxie... one of the things I noticed about your paper was how much info that you managed to be able to include. In a project where you have so little room for the history, there is a lot of info included.

W

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Definetely a well documented piece of work, written with a lot of intelligence. On the morality of killing animals for their fur I make the following reasoning.

 

There are acts which are definetely moral (ie their moral content is almost universally accepted). Savings one's life, followed by a good quality life is moral. (I add the quality of life to avoid the discussion on Euthanasia at this point)

 

There are acts which to the same standards are definetely immoral. Killing someone who is in good physical and mental health, outside situations of war or self-defense, is immoral.

 

Between these two extremes, there are acts on which we have to accept that they are today controversial (ie their morality or immorality is not or cannot be universally accepted). Killing animals for fur is such an act, whether we like it or not. If someone thinks it is immoral, there is nothing I can say. Neither can one say something if I say that it is moral. There are many other examples like this. Here Euthanasia is a good example.

 

In such cases, where morality or immorality is not carried by a universal consensus (which may vary slowly over the ages) there is only one way out: establish a framework which is consensual and allow every individual to act according to his personal morality within this framework.

 

I do think that, as far as fur is concerned, the following framework can be universally accepted:

 

1) No killing of endangered species. Reducing bio-diversity is immoral as it reduces our chances for survival on this planet

 

2) No suffering of animals. There is all reasons to believe that pain is as bad for animals as for humans. Unnecessary suffering should be banned from this planet.

 

Once within this framework, which could maybe be refined, each individual should obey to his or her own convictions, without any right of imposing his views on those who have another opinion.

 

Just food for thought

 

Jerome

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A very interesting framework Jerome. the problem, and only problem, with it is interpretation.

The problem with most people, unlike PETA, is that while they think it okay to kill for meat (which they incorrectly state time and time again is somehow necessary which it is not)

it isnt for fur. They state vanity and beauty as not being a good enough reason to kill.But stuffing your face with burgers that give a mere few hours of energy is.

 

Likewise, they have not even the slightest incling of the bioligical role of adrenalin which is the greatest reducer of suffering. I think therefore within your framework hunting is okay whereas most people believe incorrectly that the animal suffers. Likewise we will have the usual nonsense about the grand National next week. People who dont understand that the horse is buzzed up on adrenalin so if an accident happens the horse feels nothing.

 

So we need to understand that suffering means long term pain, neglect, starvation, inappropriate execution etc. AND we have to understand things from an animal perspective.

 

To my horse a red tricycle causes him great anxiety (for unknown reasons and I therefore take up his issue that they should be banned from the planet as they cause him suffering...really ...he is utterly terrified of them and comes up in a bath of sweat and I worry about his welfare). Fireworks are the vilest thing that should be banned as they cause huge distress to animals. They are utterly unnecessary. Animals are petrified(literally) of things they dont understand and I think the framework should be NOT anthropomorphic.

They are not aware of what death means so that is not a worry to them. A hare for example believes in its invincibility to escape a pair of coursing greyhounds...but you have a great problem trying to explain this to someone who doesnt understnd the flee instinct as a "motivator" as powerful as the sex urge.

Does a seal suffer when it is clubbed to death? I think not. Does a battery chicken suffer when kept in apalling conditions? Undoubtedly. Does a rat suffer when poisoned? Yes : the biggest scandal of animal abuse on the planet. Poisoning is COMPLETELY unnacceptable but I dont hear PETA talking about this. Nobody cries for the thousands of foxes killed with burst stomachs over days by greater london council who are anti hunting.

Even slug pellets are the mark of a truly ignorant cruel b*****d. And even sheer thoughtlessness like not feeding birds, cutting down trees, and development without thought (or even more sinister, when it is planned).

 

On morality of killing animals re animal rights: the first and only natural law/rule/right for an animal is kill or be killed. We are animals; we have that right. And they to us. Our unique speciality is we are "the wearers of skins". The only animla to do so, like the giraffe has a unique neck adaptation or a horse has an incredibly evolved strong finger nail(a hoof). Our adaptation is we take hide. Thats all that seperates us from chimpanzees. To go against it is to defy human nature. PETA are thus an abhoration in their views.

Sea otters and chimps make tools; hundreds of species use them;whales make music; termites and bees build cities; most animals have language(we are just to thick to work out how it works) ants farm; all have a degree of sentience I find absent in 50% of people(my horse and we are part of the same herd...a feeling I dont share with most people) All we do is have vocal chords and this is believed to be for teamwork in hunting, and language and art to write about/paint the animals we work with admire or hunt) For meat maybe first hunting motive(tryxies's belief) but most importantly in human evolution for hide.

So lets stop denying what we are huh? I have half a million years of human evloution in my testicles telling me that I need to find a mate who will be succesful and therefore fur clad.

 

TOS (vegetarian, mostly)

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We also possess omnivorous teeth patterns to indicate our dietary preference, MEAT AND VEG.........

Show me a PETA member with herbivorous teeth!!!!!!!!

Powerful argument for genetics...

Good work Tryxie by-the-way.

 

Auzmink.

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TOS

 

I so want to go to town on you on that last posting, but we've been there and done that so many times before. There's just so much I disagree with and some I do agree with. Have you noticed though, how you argue one point then a paragraph later contradict yourself?

 

Tryxie

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Only just got round to reading your paper.

 

So Tryxie, most importantly how was the grade? Or have those lazy lecturers not got round to grading it yet, did tell you

 

PASS or did you get downgraded for banging on & not being concise enough in jus answering the question? (1300 words over???)

 

Entertaining delivery as The history of Fur was & important to a degree for the background work, would like to have seen you expand some more on the challengers & dilemas that a designer faces when choosing fur at the expense of some of the history. Maybe put forward your personnel views & how you would deal with the issue when summing up although the analogy to Basil Brush was pretty good. That would have nailed a Distinction for me as opposed to a "highly commendable" piece.

 

Strike the above, have read it a couple of times now, the more I think about it the harder the question becomes. I like you would have mentioned the evil influence of PETA & more about the Political wills (that cannot be named!) that oppose the enviroment but maybe that's jus on the fringes of the subject matter as opposed to the crux of it. It does come across as you being very Pro-Fur though - Am I missing the point or was that the intention?

 

BTW I'm not knocking you, jus trying to get more of a feel for the piece.

 

Thx for sharing

 

Furelli

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Sorry for the slowness of my reply

 

 

 

So Tryxie, most importantly how was the grade? Or have those lazy lecturers not got round to grading it yet, did tell you

 

Nope I have had no feedback or grades for the piece at all. It's one of three that had to be completed over the two semesters, my last was supposed to be due today but a computer glitch caused a delay, it now has to be presented after Easter. This is the only damn subject I have had no feedback for at all.

 

Entertaining delivery as The history of Fur was & important to a degree for the background work, would like to have seen you expand some more on the challengers & dilemmas that a designer faces when choosing fur at the expense of some of the history. Maybe put forward your personnel views & how you would deal with the issue when summing up although the analogy to Basil Brush was pretty good. That would have nailed a Distinction for me as opposed to a "highly commendable" piece.

 

Yes agreed. I would liked to have written much more and in more depth. I might redo the piece as my third year dissertation (20,000 words) We have to start planning it in our second semester of our second year. At least this time I will have access to the British Library and other academic sources and more time to write. And folk on the den might want to chip in this time. I was an unknown last time I asked. The work presented was the result of six days typing and nearly two months reading and researching, and lots of editing.

 

Strike the above, have read it a couple of times now, the more I think about it the harder the question becomes. I like you would have mentioned the evil influence of PETA & more about the Political wills (that cannot be named!) that oppose the environment but maybe that's jus on the fringes of the subject matter as opposed to the crux of it. It does come across as you being very Pro-Fur though - Am I missing the point or was that the intention?

 

When I first presented my working title I had a very clear direction I was going to take, but research got in the way. I produced 1500 words and realised I was ranting on and not dealing with the topic so I started again. Then figured I would have to deal with the rise and use of fur in Britain, because if couldn't establish a cultural significance there was no ethical or moral argument for its presence being maintained. It's ok for people to say well the Inuit wear it, or the Aboriginals don't, but their culture isn't ours.

 

The more I read on the subject the more I learned but just ended up with more questions and realised my black and white question was a shades of grey answer. So I tried not to answer the question and just set out some points, trying instead to offer argument and counter argument as openly as possible. But it's not easy to be balanced when there are biases involved.

 

I was pro fur when I started and pro fur when i finished, but a much wiser and more knowledgeable pro furer.

 

 

Tryxie

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Again Tryxie thanks for some of your thoughts, but can I ask you, in public, what reason you felt for being pro fur to begin with? Was it a gut feeling, a considered opinion, or an attraction to it in fashion terms, or something else?

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I was pro fur when I started and pro fur when i finished, but a much wiser and more knowledgeable pro furer.

 

Tryxie

 

Allways nice to hear!

 

Thx Tryxie, sound answers & reasoning, the more you think about it the more angles there are for the topic such as

 

Morality & views of the Models themselves (ie Naomi swapping sides as to whatever is in Vogue & gets her on the front page!)

 

The Ethical Use of Fur as a fashion accessories (Handbag, scrunchie et al) as opposed to a practical item of clothing like a coat or a hat?

 

The fact that some fashion houses continued to use fur but disguised the product for fear of detrimental public opinion?

 

Most importantly the sexual allure of Fur, soft to the touch but the skin of a predator all the same?

 

Just a few more thoughts for the pot?

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Tryxie..at what point did I contradict myself?

 

I was considering, not arguing, Jerome's framework....and how it could be interpreted in different ways by different people (perhaps thats why you read contradiction).

On a welfare issue, poison is apallingly cruel. That doesnt mean I am against using animals in the way nature intended us to, or having some understanding of suffering. These are not contradictory. Its just that if we kill animals, we should do it as humanely as possible. Also that they are looked after well. Chasing/racing the animal involves adrenalin so the animal doesnt suffer....but those unfamiliar with animals may not understand that.

 

So I for example am pro fur irf the animal does not suffer needlessly. When they do they tend to produce rubbish fur anyway....hence my crit of China.

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