Little Timmy is going to need deep psychological counselling
If you think that's funny, you should look up posts on Apartment Therapy that happen to contain pictures of a hide/skin rug or wall hanging. I have seen maybe three posts that didn't have some vitriolic comment along the lines of FUR IS MURDER OKTHXBAI. And of those three posts, one hastened to assure the reader that the rug was 'rescued at the last moment from the garbage!'
Strangely enough, when leather sofas are mentioned, it's rare for there to be an actual mention of anything to do with animal cruelty. Apparently the closer to the animal in the rendering process corresponds with the amount of cruelty that the producer/seller/buyer is accused of.
I am opposed to trophy hunting or hunting solely for skins/teeth/gall bladders. However, I am not opposed to hunting for meat or to rid an area of a dangerous animal. I am also not opposed to humane meat production. As Marshall Saunders said in the book Beautiful Joe, "It's a possible thing to raise healthy stock, treat it kindly, kill it mercifully, eat it decently."
However, this brings to light some things that we North Americans often find shocking and abhorrent. I speak of using companion animals as food animals - dogs and cats. Now I am an avid dog lover. Avid? More like obsessive. Cruelty towards dogs, of all the companion animals, makes me tense up and fantasize all manner of scenarios that end with animal abusers begging me to kill them because it hurts so much and me saying, "Ha ha! Fuck you! No." The practice of eating dogs just doesn't do it for me.
But is it my right to condemn people who raise dogs for the purposes of food if I'm okay with pigs being raised for consumption? An adult pig is easily as smart and trainable as an adult dog, only less aesthetically appealing. What about cows? Sure, they don't seem as smart as the pigs, but then again, I've had dogs that weren't too brilliant in the brain department and I wouldn't have heard of dumping them because of it.
Our attitudes towards animals and what is cruelty and what is not seem really skewed when I look at them this way. I won't get over my abhorrence of dogs being eaten, but I don't think I can condemn it unless I condemn the killing and eating of other animals.
I can't wait until the AT house tour with a dog skin rug featured on the living room floor. The mogg blogg came close with the taxidermied former Fido, but not quite.