Faux Faux Fur
So the word is out that your $1,895 faux fur-trimmed coat from Neiman Marcus might not really be faux. In fact, the faux might be actual mink fur–or else raccoon, rabbit, or something called a raccoon dog (above). Interestingly, none of the numerous reports I saw on this story actually pictured a raccoon dog. A raccoon dog is a member of the wolf-dog-fox family, native to East Asia, where it is listed as a species of “least concern” and is even considered an “invasive species.”
So what are we to think of this latest revelation from DNA screening? The same pesky DNA that set free wrongly convicted prisoners, showed that female chimps hook up more with marginal males than with alpha, and revealed the false labeling of sushi fish in a high school girl’s science project.
On the bright side, haven’t we come a long way since the days when a woman’s greatest dream was a mink coat. When baby seals were skinned, and Greenpeace threw paint over them to prevent it. Now, enough people avoid animal skins to make plastic fluff more expensive.
But what if certain animals–the “least concerning” kind–have lives so cheap they are cheaper than fake fur?
A chance to think about the meaning of real and faux. Videogame violence isn’t “real,” is it. But does it encourage violence in the real world? Does wearing faux fur encourage the pursuit of faux faux? Is there something to be said for shaping our fantasies to support our reality?