Just caught a news item today about how some activists doused Lindsay Lohan with a bunch of flour at some club in Paris because she was wearing a fur stole.
People…can we knock this shit off already?
Listen, I‘m the first to admit that I cringe at the sight of someone wearing fur or even leather. Not so much at the person wearing it, but at the item itself. This is mainly because I’m acutely aware of how such a piece of clothing found its way into the world…of the level of violence and ill-regard for life that it represents. And I know many animal advocates who share these feelings. But why in the hell would we want to propagate more “violence and ill-regard” in response to it? Think about it: Someone attacks a human because they’re wearing something that represents the attack of an animal? There is a serious conflict here.
I know this is an emotional subject, and some folk’s instinct is to try to forcefully enlighten the “perpetrator” about the evils of their clothing choice…for the sake of the animals, of course. Well, here’s a newsflash: This doesn’t work! It never has and it never will. It just sets the movement back a generation and makes all of us animal advocates look like a bunch of fucking domestic terrorists.
Voltaire, Gandhi, Dr. King, Jr. and scores of other non-violent activists through the centuries have learned that with every action there is an underlying intention or energy. When we cultivate separation and anger with an action, those energies outlive the act itself. Then – when the smoke clears – all we’re left with is more separation and anger…and a bewildered public who ignores the message as they ridicule the messenger.
Personally speaking, I recognize that someone wearing fur or leather either 1) isn’t fully aware of what’s behind the creation of these products, 2) is aware, but (like so many of us in other areas of our life) is in denial and/or not ready to address it yet, or 3) has a different philosophy about the role of animals in our world. In any case, that’s their journey, that’s their business, and it’s not my place to damage their belongings or humiliate them in public as a way of imposing my belief system on them. Instead, I will use the appropriate forum to make my case and trust that, when and if the time is right for them, they will find my forum (or someone else’s) and proceed from there, just as we all have in any of a number of important life crossroads.
So, please, to all of those well-intentioned knuckleheads out there plotting their next public display of ignorance; let’s update the strategy, okay? Let’s find a more productive platform to channel all that anger. And let’s proceed with a pro-animal energy – as opposed to an anti-fur energy – so that the message will overshadow the messenger. For the sake of the animals…