In the cheeky Charles A. Coulombe’s latest at the even cheekier site Takimag, he notes with amused detachment that on Sept. 21st, West Hollywood initiated a no-fur commerce policy within its limits. Having grown up in Southern California (though I find myself having to hide those memories more frequently as Ms. Mississippi proves to be a jealous mistress–and I like that!), the antics of my former region continue to entertain, especially in regard to the hypocrisy that lies beneath the botox and silicone.
I, like Mr. Coulombe, grew up with animals and love animals.
Also, animal cruelty of any sort disgusts me, and if the truth be known, I have met a good many more people that I dislike than dogs, cats, guppies, squirrels, turtles, pigeons, etc. that I dislike. At the same time, I also realize that animals should not be valued as highly as people (eh, usually…) and that I live in such a manner that requires the frequent death of certain animals, namely cows, pigs, and chickens. In addition, as Mr. Coulombe points out, a society that abandoned its carnivorous ways (both in food and in dress) might actually then be tempted to arrange a wholesale slaughter of domestic animals. This, however, is only a peripheral point to his column.
The thesis, if you will, of his column is that in lieu of truly moral living, people will direct their natural tendencies for good (remember: humanity is fallen but not totally depraved and without redeeming qualities) towards compensatory ends. One example: the push against cigarettes. How much easier is it for society to wax pious about the dangers of smoking than for society to admit that two people should not be having sex–“protection” notwithstanding, unless they are married, male and female, to each other? Likewise, what a wildly romantic–if not charmingly quixotic–romp to take a stand for our furry companions! Spray paint those dastardly fur coats! Eat the rich (for only the rich could be so callous)! Yet, as Mr. Coulumbe points out, “[i]n saving defenseless animals, we are compensating for the fact that as a society we bathe in the blood of the unborn.”