Letter: No need to be fanatical about fur coats

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The Independent Online
SO GERALDINE Bedell was surprised to see Princess Margaret wearing a fur coat (6 February). It is more surprising that a newspaper columnist is not aware that the princess - as well as her sister, for that matter - is often seen in fur.

What does Ms Bedell find so 'odd' about women who wear fur coats? Surely it is odder for intelligent people to leave good-quality, warm, expensive articles of clothing in the closet simply because a few fanatics have been allowed to ram their views down everyone else's throats, without engaging in rational debate.

A film that stuck in my mind for many years was Compulsion, partly because a leading (male) character owned a full-length raccoon-skin coat. From then on I wanted a coat just like it. About five years ago this ambition was fulfilled. I am neither a woman, nor a foreigner, nor is my life built around spending money that someone else has earned - would that it were.

Last August I drove from Toronto to Montreal. There were enough dead raccoons on the road to make several fur coats. As a regular contributor to various animal charities, I am horrified at the senseless slaughter of endangered species or the use of cruel traps against beautiful wild animals. However, there is nothing wrong with making coats from vermin or wearing coats made before the current public sensitivity about fur.

Roy Lee-Faulkner

Stalybridge, Cheshire