THE IMMORALITY OF WEARING FUR...
Buying, selling or wearing fur manages to violate three of the ten
The following article is excerpted from "GOD'S COVENANT WITH ANIMALS: A
Biblical Basis For The Humane Treatment Of All Creatures" by J.R. Hyland, published
by LANTERN BOOKS, New York, copyright 2000 and is used by permission of the publisher and
THOU SHALT NOT KILL, COVET. OR STEAL
The contempt for God's creation that is manifested in the Christian support of
recreational killing is further revealed in the wearing of furs. At a time when synthetic
materials are easily available and are more durable and warmer than animal skins, there is
no excuse to slaughter animals for their fur. And in these circumstances, it becomes
obvious that people are willing to have animals trapped, clubbed to death, or raised as
commodities, simply to satisfy their vanity and their greed.
Although greed and avarice are not popular subjects for sermons in a consumer
culture, when that greed becomes the impetus for the slaughter of millions of animals it
represents a serious, moral evil. The willingness to have animals killed because people
lust after the covering given to them by God, should be challenged by every religious
leader. But it is not.
While churches denounce the violence of television and films, of computer games
and websites, as detrimental to their children's moral development, the violence
perpetrated by adults on helpless animals is ignored. It is gratuitous violence and those
young people who have not yet sold their souls to the status quo, know it for what it is.
They, more than their complacent parents, react to the sight of infant seals beaten to
death because their snow-white bodies are such a valuable commodity.
They are more likely than their parents to remember a news item that shows
ranch-raised animals being anally electrocuted in order to preserve the fur for which they
have been bred. And they are usually more troubled than their parents by reports of the
slow and agonizing deaths of those creatures who are caught in steel traps.
Yet when it comes to trying to understand why some teenagers refuse to accept the
family religion, both parents and Pastors ignore any suggestion that this refusal may
arise from an unspoken judgement on the part of the young person: a judgment of the
immorality of those who easily accept any cruelty that has not been defined as such by
their church. Church members would rather believe that the rejection of religion can be
traced to a teenage rebellion against restrictive rules and regulations, than consider
that there are adolescents, as well as adults, who reject a religion because its followers
do not maintain a high enough standard of morality.....
....Among the most gratuitous cruelties in our culture is the wearing of fur. The
same people who are scandalized by reports of youngsters who will kill another child
because they covet his sneakers, covet the skins of animals and are willing to have them
killed in order to steal their fur. They sit in churches, wearing the evidence of their
covetousness and their theft, and no minister or priest challenges this sin of the
Although the clergy have no direct control over the actions of their congregants,
they do have some control over church policy. Drinking and smoking are outlawed within the
sanctuaries of churches and there is no reason why the wearing of fur cannot also be
forbidden. There is certainly a precedent. Although ministers usually do not speak out
against hunting, neither do they allow the trophies of recreational killing to be hung in
their churches. The heads of deer and other slain creatures are not allowed to adorn the
sanctuary walls. Neither should the fur of dead animals adorn the bodies of worshippers.
Instead of treating immorality as if it were primarily a sexual transgression,
church leaders need to exercise the kind of leadership that goes beyond such circumscribed
In our own time, many who profess to be followers of Christ would be incensed if
their Pastors told them that worshipping God, clothed in the bodies of His dead creatures,
was sinful. Immoral. Church leaders will preach against sexual sins even if this brings a
negative reaction from the congregation; they hope that such preaching will keep their
listeners from the spiritual and physical dangers of promiscuity. However they do not
speak out against nonsexual sins that enjoy a high degree of acceptance among their church
members; they are afraid of offending them. But they ought to be concerned about the
spiritual dangers of greed and covetousness that are inherent in the supplying and wearing
of furs. They ought to be concerned about the sin of self-righteousness, which is always a
temptation for the religiously observant.
Unless these ministers of the Gospel look beyond the narrow circle of
traditionally defined sinfulness, they will be like the religious leaders of whom Jesus
warned. He said that although these men refused to see the truth themselves, they insisted
on trying to lead others in the paths of righteousness and this could only lead to
disaster. [The Pharisees] are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will
fall into a ditch." (Matt 15:14)
Unfortunately, the spirit of the Pharisees is alive and well among those ministers
who do not challenge the wearing of fur, and among those church members who would never
miss a Sunday service but have no qualms about praising God with outstretched arms that
are covered with the remains of His dead animals.