So here's the thing. Unlike many of you, I'm not what you would call a particularly smart person. I have the beginnings of well-formed thoughts but they typically get lost in a flash of thoughts about wanting to get with various dudes, statistics from the 1993 Blue Jays season, quotes from the Wire and miscellany.

So, occasionally, I may turn to all of you to help me form my thoughts on a subject. Today, that subject is fur. Ever since watching the episode of Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" set in Quebec, wherein he takes part in the trapping, cooking and eating of a beaver, I've wanted to buy some beaver fur*.

(Note: it's at this point that I will point out that I, being a gentleman, will refrain from any obvious and easy jokes equating the noble Canadian Beaver with a part of the female anatomy. However, you know, feel free below.)

Now, I don't want to wear any beaver fur. I am fully formed in my thoughts that people who wear fur coats and hats tend to look pretty silly. But I do want a beaver pelt blanket. This desire has left me trapped in a conflictanator.

Pros: I'm from a farming community where huntin' and fishin' were common (g's were, apparently, in short supply) so I'm well aware it's a proud Canadian tradition, important to our economy, and provides genuine employment to thousands of Canadians, First Nations people in particular. I, as a unapologetic omnivore, have no problem with the killing of animals for my benefit so why would I draw the line at their warm pelts but not their delicious body parts? Beavers are genuine pests, their killing occasionally government mandated so, you know, fuck 'em.


Cons: I really, genuinely, don't want to see animals suffer on my account and while I try to be a conscious and ethical meat-buyer but I'm pretty sure that some of the chickens and pigs I've, uh, celebrated in the past weren't treated as well as I might like. I have been unable to find someone who sells the sort of thing I want who also says, you know, "these beavers were killed as painlessly as possible". I feel as though buying these furs would contribute to the idea that an industry should spring up providing furs to people like me and that would result in badness for animals. I feel like furs are sort of an easy stand-in for a symbol of ostentatious and hypocritical wealth and, well, I have enough of those in my life.

Neither pro, nor con: The blanket would probably annoy several of my friends.

So what say you, folk? Where are we on fur? Where should I be? Should I, a man of some years with a job and a mortgage and 5 pairs of shoes be able to make my own decisions without soliciting strangers on the internet for help and stand by the courage of his convictions rather than take a mushy middle ground staked out in an effort to not feel guilty over the results of his choices?


PS The answer to the last question is a resounding "Shut up".