I was watching a dog walking with its owner...I'm a total dog lover, so I shamelessly stared. I watched its muscles work to propel its body forward, its tail swinging in tune with its legs, its tongue out in a happy pant as it walked with its beloved owner. When I got home, I looked at my wolf pelt, Kalik. His eyes weren't his own and they certainly didn't look at me with love and loyalty, his tongue didn't loll out happily dripping with saliva, his tail didn't sway and his legs didn't bring him to me. But I still saw the same beauty as I did the dog. The life may have been lost to this wonderful creature, but its beauty still shows. Looking at Kalik, I can still imagine him laying there not as a pelt, but as a wolf. He was a proud, beautiful animal who lived to full adulthood simply surviving. Now I could see him up-close, unlike I ever could with a wild animal before. The colors of his pelt still show perfectly, and in a way I can sense the animal he once was.
Yet, at the same time, I only saw the lump of fur and skin and man-made parts in front of me. I know it was an animal at one time, a wonderful animal who had once been so full of life as that dog. Yet, it's like looking at a flower given to you by a lover. In reality, when someone gives you a flower, they've given you part of a plant that they might have even gone and killed themselves. Yet people are always so delighted to be given flowers, and see them as beautiful things. We try to preserve these flowers by keeping them in water and sunlight, so that they may live a while longer even though they have been ripped away from the rest of their plant.
It's the same thing as a preserved pelt. It's something that's dead, but still beautiful. Just like that flower has been put in water, these pelts have been tanned...making them last a while longer than they would have before. Eventually one day both will wither away and be gone for good, but we enjoy them while they're here.
People who don't like fur don't look at what is in front of them. They look at what once was, or could have been. It's like looking at a flower and remembering that it was once part of a bush or other plant, but has been ruthlessly torn away, and is now just a dead or dying thing held in human hands. They see that that animal was a living creature, whose life had been taken just like that flower-too soon, by nature's standards (flowers wither or fall, animals can starve/dehydrate, be preyed upon by other predators by tooth and claw, be exposed to extreme elements, or die of old age or disease). They remember that it was something else, and think it still should be...like thinking that that beautiful flower belongs on that bush, or stem, where it came from.
There isn't a problem with this thinking, but it's not my own. Sure, I know that my pelts were once animals, and that they have been killed one way or another...I'll never not know that. But for now I can enjoy them in their preserved state. Just like my flowers that I bring in the house. I never picked a single one of these flowers, and I haven't killed a single one of these animals. Nature or other people have done that for me, but I'm not just going to sit there and watch them fade into nothingness by themselves.
I like pelts, I like flowers, I like seashells and the wood that makes up my furniture or even right now, my home. As humans we enjoy dead things all the time, either for their beauty or the convince. I always find it funny that someone can bother me about having furs, yet go pluck daisies from their stems to make a daisy chain the next day.
Don't bother making a fuss. Life is short, and there's so much beauty in everything around us...whether it be a blade of grass, a single butterfly, a sweet-smelling flower, a pristine forest, a clean beach, or a flock of geese or pack of wolves....there's so much out there in nature that's wonderful to admire. Dead or alive, I see the beauty in both. Just because a flower has been killed doesn't mean I can't still enjoy it. Just because an animal has passed away doesn't mean I can't admire it.
This is why I will never change my ways.