It's a huge debate. Is fur okay? Fur has been making a comeback in the last few years as a luxury item. A lot of celebrities have been wearing fur, while others are still adamantly opposed to it. Believe it or not, fur has not been the object of such debate for centuries. It is only in the last few decades that it became so contested.
Fur was one of the earliest forms of clothing. Even Adam and Eve in the Bible wore "clothing of skin" after being banished from the Garden of Eden. Religious examples aside, fur has been a clothing staple for thousands of years. The earliest forms of man wore variations of fur and leather before the introduction of woven materials. Even today, in northern climates, only fur has the insulating properties required to maintain optimum warmth and comfort.
The fur that is so hotly debated has less to do with staying alive comfortably, and more to do with style and fashion. While you can't deny fur is considered incredibly stylish by much of the population and a luxury item, one can argue whether it is really necessary to have it at all.
The Arguments against Fur
Many feel that the process used to make fur items is inhumane and unnecessary. Much of the fur used in jackets, gloves, and accessories is actually farmed, much like the meat we eat. The animals, including fox and mink, are raised in captivity and their fur is used for luxury items. Of course, some fur, such as seal and beaver, can only be had by capturing the animal in the wild. That fur is used for more practical clothing rather than designer jackets.
Many groups argue that fur is a waste of an animal's life and is not necessary. Many places where fur is popular do not reach the Arctic temperatures which might require it, and even those places with freezing temperatures have alternative options to using fur if they choose to. To raise an animal exclusively for its coat without using any other body part is considered extremely wasteful and unjust by these individuals and groups.
The Arguments for Fur
Those who consider fur to be an acceptable fashion item defend their position with the same fervor as those who oppose it. To raise an animal for its fur is wasteful, claim those against it. Those for fur then argue that faux, or fake, fur is actually a petroleum product which can damage the environment. Natural fur is a renewable resource since the animals providing it can be easily bred, but faux fur uses oil products which can not be renewed.
In addition to the environmental arguments, the most obvious arguments are the natural beauty and warmth of the fur. It has become an extremely stylish accessory for many of the celebrities in the same way expensive jewelry has. If one can afford it and there are no laws against it, why shouldn't a person own a fur if they chose to?
While this argument has no obvious solution, it has spurned many a debate and has received a great deal of publicity over the years. Almost everyone has an opinion on the topic, but short of the government stopping all fur products, there will never be a clear answer. Of course, if you ban the fur, will you ban leather, meat, and all other animal products as well? It does make one think...