ABC News posted this photo to their Facebook last night. ABC didn’t blatantly promote the fur coat, but other news sources described the coat as “amazing” (as did this article) and that he “killed it,” “nailed it,” “rocked it.”
Fur is cruelty – plain and simple. Please refer to my recent post on the inherent cruelty of fur.
Fur is also unnecessary — not only can synthetics keep you just as warm, it was not even that cold outside during the Superbowl. There was absolutely no reason to wear a fur coat other than that apparently Joe Namath used to wear fur coats decades ago and wore one again so people would talk about him.
I got involved in a discussion on the Facebook photo in which someone claimed that it was okay for Joe to wear fur because “early settlers” did so when they were trying to survive in America. Those sort of justifications – almost always extreme situations – commonly make an appearance when attempting to discuss the exploitation of animals. The problem with using an example like that is relevancy: why are we comparing someone in contemporary American society against someone faced in an extremely unlikely situation (or a historical setting from centuries ago)? Joe Namath is not someone faced with the dilemma of “Do I kill this animal or do I let myself die?” He is an affluent person in contemporary, Western culture who bought a coat made from dozens (or even possibly hundreds) of animals, animals that were kept in little cages and then ultimately skinned alive, processed, and then shipped back to America with a price mark-up, all so that people like Joe Namath can boost their ego and get themselves talked about in the media. No, we are not talking about a life-or-death situation. We’re talking about materialistic and shallow pleasures being prioritized over the well-being of animals.
And the media mostly ate it up, declaring his gaudy attire an accomplishment, further promoting the notion that fur is stylish and a status symbol.
Shame on Joe, and shame on them.