By guest blogger, Carrie Wheeler
President of Carrie Wheeler Entertainment Group
As a licensed agent for professional actors and international models, and having been in the fashion and entertainment industries professionally for the last 23 years, I have seen a lot of trends come and go and a lot of scandals hit the tabloids. Yet from Naomi Campbell falling on the runway at Vivienne Westwood, to Kate Moss’ Calvin Klein waif/heroin chic ads, even the tragic shooting death of Gianni Versace outside of his mansion in Miami Beach, nothing has persisted to be as controversial as the continued use of fur in the fashion industry.
I haven’t always been against the use of fur, not that I was ever “for” it, rather, like many, I went through life not thinking about it. I loved animals, I used to horseback ride competitively, I had pets. How, then, I continue to ask myself, could I have ever considered owning a fur jacket? Unbelievably to me now, as a 13 year old know-it-all, I absolutely *had* to have this ultra glamourous rabbit fur bomber jacket. I also had a perm and braces and wore green eye shadow at the time, so perhaps my judgement was a little off in more than just ethics. While I can blame the cosmetic blunders as being fashionable at the time, I am still very disappointed in myself for not making the connection. Sincerely, I thought that fur jackets were made from the fur of rabbits/foxes/wolves/minks/beavers/etc that had somehow peacefully passed away and their fur was collected and put toward good use.
The same lack of connection that lets you believe that meat comes from the supermarket, I was blinded and fooled and not thinking for myself. I may have continued on in this way of thinking if I hadn’t seen for myself the truth of humanity’s treatment and use of animals for food, fashion, vivisection and entertainment. A friend had emailed me the link to the movie “Earthlings“, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix. After the tears and the horror and the nightmares, I was angry. I had been duped. I like to think that I’m a pretty smart person, successful businesswoman, wittier than most, yet, up to that point in my life, I had been completely ignorant.
I believe that there are a lot of people out there who are living the same existence that I did. Uneducated about the torture and abuse that animals endure in the name of fashion and beauty. These people are not stupid, they are not “for” animal cruelty, they are simply not making the connection. Not going back to their roots, thinking of where food, skin care and beauty products, fashion and entertainment come from. You just have it, and it’s beautiful, and luxurious, and makes a statement of success. Capitalism and marketing is great for that!
But peel back the “pretty department” and you will quickly come to realize that we must always choose compassion over cruelty. Torturing and killing animals for no reason is simply put; not right. The mountain of animal advocacy issues seems insurmountable at times, how can one person make a difference? Every single day you have a vote. For every meal that you eat, every skin care and beauty product that you buy, every shoe, handbag, jacket and hat that you purchase, make the connection and please, choose compassion over cruelty.