Since forever, animal rights has been hot on the press. As a nation obsessed with pets, we hold animals in very high regard. It is probably why the whole cat in the wheelie bin thing was so outrageous and why Victoria Beckham is receiving no praise for her crocodile handbag.
What intrigues me the most is the ethical debate one undertakes before deciding their position on the matter. If one goes through it at all. Can it really be that wrong to wear an animal, if you would happily eat it anyway? Understandably the logical answer would be that fur is not a necessity, so we should not kill for the sake of fashion. But if I was to wear an animal I knew had died before it was skinned, you would most probably still find that distasteful.
Others opt for a preferential argument, in that they would contentedly wear cows (as they would be eaten anyway), but of course not their beloved animal Mr kangaroo; regardless that kangaroos would also be killed for meat. Can we really feel so strongly about animal cruelty only to selective animals? Should they not all equally have a piece of our sympathy? Of course it would be difficult to care for everything in equal measures; I certainly do not hold that much compassion in me. However on such a broad subject as animal rights, unless you are campaigning for a particular cause, it seems ludicrous to rank your ethics.
It appears individuals rank their ethics quite often, almost unknowingly. I may be obsessive over recycling anything and everything I can get my paws on, but this does not mean I am favouring the environment over the poor child in Asia who spends 18 hours a day sifting through dirt. The consequence of being a do-gooder does not always win all round and I have no qualms admitting that.
Taking us back to the animal rights example, if one was to buy a variation of an animal product for the greater good, one could consequently be condoning exploitation of workers in factories. Surely if such a statement is to be made, one should not give preference to animals over human beings?
Often these are not choices for us to make, it takes too much thinking and research for a normal day. I cannot be sure if I have killed any animals, exploited any workers, caused any heartache or aggro, when I am suckered into the world of consumerism. I can be sure that I will remain impartial, detach myself from the pictures of slaughtered animals to the meat on my plate. The struggling families working for a penny an hour are oceans away, but I will still watch the programmes, screw up my face and feel uneasy by what I see. But then I will get on with my day, save the preaching, because it is not like I give to charity or would actively help anyway.