I’ve noticed that a lot of Pagans like to wear fur. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Pagan in a fur coat, but I’ve seen hundreds of Pagans wear fur-trimmed items, fur animal tails, fur-lined items, and fully fur accessories. There are Pagans that exist that are vegetarian or vegans (I’ve met them, so I know they’re real), but they seem to be few and far between. When you start talking to the fur wearing Pagans about where their fur came from, only a small percentage (like two in my case) have said that they trapped the animal or they knew the person who trapped the animal. So, that leads me to believe that a majority of the fur that I’ve seen on Pagans either comes from nameless trappers or fur farms. When your fur comes from those places, you usually have no idea how the animal was treated before it died.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals–aka PETA–doesn’t like you to wear fur. They don’t like you to wear wool, eat meat, own pets, visit zoos, animal parks, or the circus, or do just about anything except wear plant-based clothes, eat plant-based foods, and avoid breathing. I don’t like PETA. I think they’re stupid idiots and ecoterrorists that have no concept of the natural order of things. I also have no respect for the celebrities that join PETA and act as spokes people. I think that celebrities often use PETA as an excuse to pose in socially acceptable pornographic photos. This is PETA’s official stance on the nudity: http://www.peta.org/about/faq/Why-does-PETA-sometimes-use-nudity-in-its-campaigns.aspx
There are many people out there that feel the same way I do about PETA. I don’t know that everything on the following website can be verified, but if even a quarter of it is true, PETA’s not who they want everyone to think they are: http://www.petakillsanimals.com/.
Why do Pagans wear fur (especially tails)? My automatic response is, “Who the hell knows.” However, it’s really more complicated than that. Some Pagans wear it because “it’s cool.” Many Pagans do it as a way to reconnect with their ancestral past (whether real or imaginary), and this reasoning often seeps over into shamanistic practices dealing with animal spirits, path walking, and shape shifting. There’s nothing wrong with wearing animal skins and feeling a certain sense of “connectedness” with the animal, but if the animal starts talking to you (and you’re not taking a hallucinogen or in a deep meditative state), then you should seek psychiatric help.
Lupa has some thoughts on wearing animal skins. I agree with a little of it, but…..well, you can read it for yourself: http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usor&c=words&id=14618
From time to time, I do wear fur. Sometimes it’s as a Pagan, but sometimes it’s just because I like the way fur feels. It’s sexy to me. I like the way it feels against my skin, and I’m particularly proud if it’s an animal I had a hand in killing or I know who did. My favorite fur is rabbit fur. It’s like stroking a cloud.
If you wear fur and are a Pagan, consider the these things: 1) Is it more in keeping with the Rede or other ethical teachings to wear farm fur, trapped fur, or vintage fur? 2) If you wear fur, is the karmic price more or less if you do the hunting/trapping yourself or if you buy it from someone else?
The furry movement is a somewhat related area of interest. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furry_fandom. I don’t know a lot about furries, and as far as I know, I don’t know any furries. I had one furry contact me, but after she emailed me, she declined any interview questions.
I’m curious to know how Furry Pagans blend the two together. If you’re a furry and a Pagan, and you don’t mind being interviewed, please email me at email@example.com. I can see a lot of possibilities for blending a desire to be in a furry costume with a ritual about totem animals.
These folks enjoy PETA porn:
Quadrivium Supplies http://www.quadrivium-supplies.com
Erotic Sensations http://eroticsensations.us/
Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com