Happy Birthday Melena Honey!!!! And a super happy birthday to all of my dear, dear friends here whose birthdays I've missed!!! Please forgive me? I try to keep up with them but if I'm away from the computer for a day or two it's really easy for one of you sweetie-pies to slip by me, and I hate that! Although to be fair to myself here, I do try, and very few people even remembered it was my birthday last year so I guess people will forgive me. Anyway Melena is special to me so I wanted to give her a big friendly birthday hug, (and so are all the rest of you)!
Moving on to more serious issues here, I just got the new Bloomingdales By Mail catalogue and opened it, even though I shouldn't have been reading it because what I am really trying to do here is turn the trend around from spending to selling, but I happened to pick it up and was flipping through it, where else, but on the toilet, (no worries, just peeing, I have Interstitial Cystitis so I'm always sitting on the throne or in the tub, anything to bring some relief from the relentless pain.) So, there I was looking at all of these tempting things that I wish I could afford to buy but at the same time I was horrified by the massive, and I do mean massive amount of fur being sold; fur everything, fur capes, sweaters, jackets, stoles, boots, bags, ear muffs, and even little fox fur cuffs to add to anything you might own that just might have missed this awful fur trend. You couldn't turn a page without seeing something trimmed in fur.
I've seen this coming over the last few years, it makes me sick because it creeps in insidiously, bit by bit, and every time my Mom would get another magazine or a catalogue with someone or something in fur I would pick up the phone and complain. But as with the environment and so many other cares that we were all so on top of before, no one has been watching the We Do Give a Shit store and in the meanwhile the furriers have kept up their relentless pressure on the magazine editors who make the decisions, then all the models and actresses and Park Avenue princesses who aren't really as caring as they once pretended to be, (see Cindy Crawford,) get in line to buy the latest trend and it spreads outwards from there.
This is so sad. We have to do something and right away. I know that we have an important election coming up, I watched the debates. I know that there are other concerns that may seem much more important to people right now, I got an ear full of this when I picked up the phone and called Bloomingdales advertising department this morning, (212) 729-5900 and was told that "This is a very small thing to be concerned about in the grand scheme of things," and "What about people?" If I had a dime for every time someone has compared the suffering of humans with the suffering of animals and tried to use this to make this cause of mine seem insignificant and small I would have been able to open my own shelter or lobbying firm. But I don't differentiate or rate charities and causes. I'm not a speciesist who feels that suffering is greater when felt by a human as opposed to an animal, and please don't bring up that old argument about plants because I'll just tell you that I feel sorry for plants as well.
Just because a person cares about an animal's suffering, just because I don't want to see an animal live it's life in a miserable rusted cage or on a plush free range farm while it waits to be electrocuted with prods shoved up it's ass and down it's throat so it can then have it's skin ripped from it's body so some selfish heartless bitch, yes, I did say bitch, can wear it's fur, does not mean that I don't care about people who are being beheaded in the middle east, soldiers who signed up to get a free education and now are caught in this terrible struggle, children whose parents are dying of AIDS in Africa leaving them destitute and starving, women who are being ritually circumcised, people who have spent the last three years in prison because they were randomly deemed a threat to the United States, starving children in our own country, Tibetans who lost their homeland, children who are molested, raped or abused by the very people who are entrusted with their care, our dwindling rights and freedoms, or the threat of nuclear war or the destruction of our environment.
I do care, shit, I really, really, do care, and I do what I can. I swear I do. I belong to Amnesty International and I support the ACLU in the face of mounting opposition. I have never crossed a picket line in my entire life and I have rarely supported less than two entire poverty stricken families by providing them with money, food, shelter and an education. I even sponsor refugee children and donate blood. But picking something to care about that some ignorant person out there deems to be less important than something else because they are feeling defensive while they chew their steak or eat their bacon or are happy to be able to get their old fox fur out of mothballs without having to worry about being spat upon or having red paint thrown at them, does not mean that I care any less about any other cause. It just means that this particular cruelty is closer to my heart than another, and I am choosing to do something about it right now.
This woman on the phone said, "But many of our customers like fur," in this very self satisfied, so-there-take-that, kind of tone so I whipped right back at here with a, "Well, I'm a customer who spends more money than anyone I know at your store, so much that my credit cards are teetering and I'm having to take out loans to pay them off, and I DON'T LIKE FUR! And as a customer I feel that I have a right to call and tell you that I'm really angry and upset and don't like this growing trend wouldn't you agree?" and she actually agreed, with her mean, nasal, angry New York accent, that I would love to imitate for you, but you'll have to just trust me that I can do well, she agreed, and finally gave me the number I had begun the call by asking her for.
So here it is, the number to call to speak with a nice guy at the catalogue who actually agreed to take my concerns to the next meeting and voice them for me. So please be nice to him, and try not to be too emotional or angry because they just don't take us seriously when we go off on them. They need us to be whip smart and counter whatever they say with intelligence, reason, facts and just a hint of passion. He was kind to me and listened and said that he thinks it's just a trend this year that will die off by next year. While I don't agree because I know what's going on behind the scenes, the kind of money marketing machinery that is relentlessly grinding away at the editors, stylists and designers who set the trends that the rest of us follow, at least he was kind and willing to hear me out without getting defensive, so if you feel like making the tiniest ripple in this ocean of sadness go ahead and give them a call and let them know you don't support their pushing animal skins and fur down our throats and that you won't support them or buy from them if they continue to do it. Here's the number (212) 704-1814. But remember Bloomingdales fur laden catalogue is just a small symptom of the disease and it's the people who push the furs on the people who make the editorial decisions at the magazines that we should go after.
In the meantime I registered BitchesInFur.com and I'd like to know what you think. I'm concerned that the bitch part of the name may turn people off and maybe I should go for something a little less offensive and a little more direct. My original idea was that bitches could apply to both men and women and that in fur could apply to people who wear fur as well as people who are in the business of making and marketing it. There's also the tie in with female dogs. But I know that a lot of my women friends find the word bitch derogatory and insulting to women and I want to be taken seriously. On the other hand I like the kind of punch in the gut, slap in the face sound of it. So what do you think? You know I could just dump the whole idea and join forces with the Fur Is Dead people, maybe that would be the best plan.
Okay enough for now, I wish I had the time or energy to scan some of these pictures. I'll have to just run around and steal some off the net instead.
Big loving hugs from your compassionate pal,
PS: And just to show I care when I may not always mention everything I am thinking about, despite the length of my posts here, thank God the Iraquis let the recent hostages go. I was so worried about them and didn't think I could stand another chance encounter with an audio recording of a beheading.
PPS: Here's a great e-card by a decent, kind, compassionate designer who hasn't sold out to the fur economy and probably never will because she had cool parents who cared. Anyone want to tell me that Paul and Linda McCartney ONLY cared about animals because they're vegetarians and championed the cause? I mean how stupid can people be?
Stella McCartney's Anti-Fur E-card.