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Designer Karl Lagerfeld defends his use of fur

Karl Lagerfeld of design house Chanel is in trouble with PETA Designer Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel is incurring the wrath of animal activists once again with his statements to the Telegraph defending his use of fur in his designs. 

Although Lagerfeld said he doesn't personally wear fur, he told the Telegraph:

"In a meat-eating world, wearing leather for shoes and clothes and even handbags, the discussion of fur is childish."

The designer was quoted as saying that hunters who have learned no other skills depend on the fur industry to make a living and that they are "killing those beasts who would kill us if they could."

A PETA spokesperson responded to Lagerfeld's statements:

"The vast majority of fur these days comes not from hunters as he suggests, but from Chinese fur farms, where no law protects the millions of animals who are routinely beaten and skinned alive.

"Lagerfeld’s childish refusal to acknowledge the needless suffering behind every piece of fur and listen to public opinion means that he is being overtaken in the style stakes by an increasing number of designers who believe that cruelty has no place in fashion."

(PETA's "Fur Is Dead" campaign quotes a 2006 International Fur Federation article that stated that 85% of animals killed for their fur are raised on factory farms.)

Our colleague Elizabeth Snead at the Dish Rag blog ponders:

Maybe he's just mad about that fur-industry expose video that Stella McCartney sent to him.  The designer, who narrates the video, says Lagerfeld "felt he needed to return" it to her. Click here to see the video. But we warn you, it's very hard to watch. Wanna bet Karl didn't?

--Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Christophe Morin / European Pressphoto Assn.

Comments () | Archives (18)

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Lagerfeld and Chanel earn millions of dollars thanks to fur. So why would they care? not everybody has a great sense of compassion like Stella...Unfortuynately.

Fur really isn't much different from eating meat. That's why we should stop eating meat.

They're treated the same - kept in tiny cages for their entire lives, so the become diseased, injured, with not medical care, and then killed painfully and terrifyingly.

And for what? A passing pleasure? We don't need meat for nutrition any more than we need fur for warmth.

Let us humans start moving beyond torturing other species for pleasure.

PETA's site about meat:


Karl says: "...the discussion of fur is childish."

The use of the word "childish" from someone who works in one
of the most vaccuous and pointless "industries" the human mind
has conceived, is amusing in itself.

So trying to stop creatures being tortured to death is childish
is it Karl?

You've lost all sense of reality. And a quick look in the mirror
would confirm that to yourself.

really, the man should mentally evolve, cant he see how sick the fur industry is, animals are not machines, they are sentient beings, all that matters to this freak is money!!
your a shameful human being karl who lacks compassion and thats one thing money cant buy!!!

I can't choose between these options. It's wrong to eat meat, wrong to wear leather and wrong to wear fur.

Such an ugly person could not be compassionate about anything. Why won't these stupid people learn that fur only looks good on animals.


He's a jerk.

Like others, I can't vote since the options reveal a patent confusion: Lagerfeld is right in claiming that fur is not different than meat but he is wrong in making sound as if it is morally acceptable to use animal products. First, the use of animal for our ends is generally not necessary and, second, it is never justifiable. We need to stop animal (human and nonhuman) exploitation completely.

I hear there's a rival organization that also calls itself PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals.

Seriously, check out PETA's own ethics before taking it too seriously. It is not your average humane society.

Yes, there is cruel treatment in China in some markets (such as beating or boiling alive) for some animals used as food. The oriental superstition behind it is that it makes the food better or makes the eater (not wearer) more sexy. While it's a despicable practice, there would be no reason to do this with furs farmed for export, and it would not apply to fur animals farmed in other countries.

Lagerfeld's puerile comments hide a facile argument for - guess what - greed. He simply wants to put more money in his pocket by using another "material". His argument comparing the wearing of fur to eating meat is specious on two counts. First, eating is a survival mechanism while wearing fur is a vaccuous ego-booster. We're long past the time when wilderness men and women wore fur to survive. Second, he seems enamored of the idea that if you can't do it all, you shouldn't do anything. This, of course, is nothing more than self-rationalizing drivel in pursuit of the almighty dollar. Using this same logic he undoubtedly refuses to donate to charity for, say, hungry children, with the rationalization that it won't eliminate all child suffering and hunger, so it's pointless to bother doing anything at all. Lagerfeld is a fatuous man who needs to get over himself and join the 21st Century.

Fur is wonderful - on the animals it was meant to be on! ONLY!

There is NO EXCUSE for killing animals for their fur - and with so many excellent faux products available nowadays, NO NEED to do so.

It's an archaic practice. Cavemen needed to. I hope modern man can be much more civilised. Pity Mr Lagerfeld feels the need to be a savage.

Anal elecrocution= hot rods poked repeatedly into small animals, poison injections in tiny hearts so animals writhe in agony in slow, tortuous death...this is "elegance"?

Look at photos of foxes chewing their own legs in half to escape brutal metal traps. It's horrifying to see the fear & agony in their eyes, as they freeze & bleed to death in the snow. So glamourous, Karl.

Look at photos of acres and acres of bloody ice with thousands of corpses of pummeled tiny seals. The genitalia are cut off and laid on drying racks in the sun. It's absolutely nauseating. Then, the penises are sent to Asia, ground into powder & sold as phony aphrodisiac. What barbarians.

Chinese raccoon dogs are SKINNED ALIVE for "faux" fur-trimmed hoodies sold in Target. There is video proof of this. You see girls in SoCal wearing dog fur everywhere, and I'm sure they don't realize it, because the Chinese, Rocawear & Jay-Z & Kimora Simmons don't label their products truthfully.

The heinous cruelty used to torture to death small rodents to trim a cuff is ludicrous and barbaric. People who think fur infers higher status are completely delusional. It shows ignorance, spiritual bankruptcy &
sociopathic lack of empathy for living things.

There is no sane reason to wear animal fur in this day & age. There are synthetics fabrics that are warmer, lighter, and easier to clean. Scientists that go to Antarctica don't bring fur. It's too archaic.

Karl Lagerfeld looks like a vampire that exhales dust. I imagine if he was forced to attend an anal electrocution, he'd change his tune.

Fur is for glamor and ego - not utility as seems to be the argument by Mr. Lagerfeld.
Plus animals sought for their fur are not also used for food. - its strictly to steal the animal's coat.
Leather is one of the essential ways to keep warm not just for show - tho cotton and other non-lethal clothing options are preferable.
Mind you I am no radical - as I AM a hunter - NOT over bait, NOT in fenced-in property, NOT in a blind - just sitting on a stump in the middle of the Michigan Northwoods.
But in this day and age to kill an animal just because you think you would look better in its fur seems a tab egotistical and barbaric.
I believe in letting deer under 8 points grow bigger.
I admit I enjoy deer season but the reasons go far beyond bagging a buck - like sitting for hours and hours in nature - this year I saw a huge bear and last year a pack of wolves.
Plus friendship at deer camp (Alcohol is not part of my deer camp).
One more note - and yes I am guilty - Americans are nearly the only peoples who go hunting on a full stomach.
Please Mr. Lagerfeld, explain why killing an animal just to look glitzy and supposedly sheik is the act of a caring human being.
What do you have against promoting fake furs - synthetic furs.
We should all be happy that animals don't think they'd look good wearing human skin - and use the same means on us (that we use on them) to gather human hides.

Killing animals for whatever purpose is murder. Using them for whatever purpose is wrong, it amounts to slavery.
Other species have the same right to freedom that we have.

Human Rights - give up meat/ fur etc save the non-human animal - save the human ... etc etc, win win situation.
Karl is clearly poorly informed or selfish.

Schluß mit dem Morden und der Eitelkeit
Das Fell gehört nicht den Menschen

My all means be against fur.... if you dont eat meat, and wear leather!

If your against fur, but eat meat and wear leather your the idiot! all three are as bad as each other and even bi-products come at the cost of an animals natural way of life!

I cant stand people who slate the fur industry but eat meat.....

Using fur humane? I think so after seeing what animals endure either captured from the wild or breed in fur facilities is wrong. When are people going to realize fur is out right theft? Some people might say vermin. Foxes, Wolves, Beavers, baby harp seals, minks, chinchillas, are all vermin? This practice is inhumane, outdated, and goes against "going green."

Not to mention Lagerfield talks of eating meat, so why shouldn't we use there own fur. Well, I don't see human skin making it down the cat walk. Would that be inhumane using a dead corpses skin? Wouldn't it make it fashionable to say the least. Since Fashion Designers have so much power to create a statement?

Absolutely not why bc as buyers we have a choice to make in supporting any fashion designer. Remember when they begin to loose money you will see change in their habits for design.


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