How is our freedom of choice attacked without us noticing it?
It can be said that the anti-fur movement is making a step towards a higher ethic, based on the premise of the sanctity of an animal’s life. But what happens when this premise is overlapping with an inalienable right? – the freedom of choice. The main problem is that nobody sees it as an attack on this right. Our ancestors fought and died so that we can be able to choose. We should be able to choose what we want to do with our body, to choose our political view, to choose how we want to live, what we want to eat or wear. The anti-fur movement is attacking this right in the virtue of an ethic principle, but nobody seems to care.
Why there isn’t a “pro-fur” movement?
It is easy to point out an industry as being somehow “cruel” or “unethical”. But what happens when the population starts to make a concession about one of those “industries”? The main problem here is that the anti-fur movement is very vocal. They might go and protest on the street against fur, and there isn’t an opposition that can thwart it. There are lots of people that are pro fur, but they won’t go on the street to shout their opinion on the issue, because this is how human nature works. We rant against something that we don’t agree with, or against something we hate, but we wouldn’t publicly support a positive opinion – especially if it is a controversial one. This can be applied to fur lovers. No one would make a movement to support their love for fur, in the same way you don’t make a protest to express your love for any other article, object or habit. If the anti-fur movement are vocal about their beliefs, the public opinion would turn towards them, because there is no other side of the debate that people can see. In this way, they have the support of a majority that do not see this as an infringement of a right. The anti-fur movement is violating the customer’s freedom of choice, by trying to ban fur farming and retailing, by attacking (verbally and physically) the ones who wear fur, or by shaming them, as this is an immoral thing.
What happens when a concession becomes a general rule?
When the public opinion starts supporting the antis, they receive more power. Farms are closing in some countries, fur bans are being pushed to the council of some big cities, and brands are joining the fur free alliance. With every step ahead that they make, the freedom of choice is one step behind. For many, the fur bans won’t mean anything. But it is not only about stopping an “industry” that a minority doesn’t agree with. It is about urging someone to align to a principle that they don’t support. Now it can be about fur. But like I said, there are many industries that can be pointed out as “unpleasant” for some some, and when you are setting a precedent, other areas can be easily taken down. After they succeed with the fur bans, they can prohibit the cattle breeding, or the poultry farming. The anti-fur movement is aligning to other ethic principles that would ban leather, meat consumption or owning a pet (a thing that they consider as a form of slavery).
The problem with people that are not standing against the ones that are trying to alienate an innate right is that they are not able to see past this kind of movement. This precedent is very dangerous for our rights, because it can be extended in other areas. After the “antis” are done with fur and leather, the alimentary industry is going to be next. They would change their objectives in order to achieve their “noble” goals, because, from a non-critical point of view, these objectives may truly seem right.
It may look like a dystopia, but losing ground in the front of the anti-fur movement only means one step towards a future in which you ought to consume things allowed by the activists. Because with their funding, they can campaign against anything they want, to gain even more power and more support. The ones that are not supporting fur, or those that are neutral about the topic shouldn’t let the antis persecute the “industry” because this will only be the first step in a chain of bans that are attacking our freedom of choice. We shouldn’t count on politicians for defending our rights in these kind of sensitive issues, because their activity revolves around the number of voters they can attract or lose. In our case, regarding that the antis are vocal, the politicians would tend to support their opinions – this way they are silently supporting a violation of a right.
It is up to customers to defend their right in subjects like this, involving activities that can easily be shut down just because some are standing for their negative opinions, while others are silently watching.
Written by Bianca Margarit