In recent days there has been a massive outcry in the vegan community and "animal people" in general over Super Bowl performer Lady Gaga wearing fur. We should start by stating the obvious, we are anti-fur. We are also anti-leather, anti-silk, anti-dairy, anti-eggs and anti-all other uses of other animals.

The reality is often vegans are seen as an authority on animal rights ethics, yet here we are pandering to the vast majority of non vegans who don't purchase this niche product. Nurturing the suggestion that fur is uniquely abhorrent.

This is a perfect opportunity for vegans to talk to people who are obviously compassionate and care about other animals to some extent (enough to get upset by this)
, to ask them to extend this compassion to all other species. To point out their current state of hypocrisy and confusion. Instead we see vegan after vegan acting as if fur is an especially bad animal use and avoiding it is somehow commendable.

It's arrogant and anthropocentric for us to create and draw up a hierarchy of imagined suffering. Causing unnecessary suffering is wrong full stop. Many other farmed animals are thrown under the bus whenever we suggest otherwise and put a disproportionate emphasis on single issue campaigns.

Various campaigns encourage shouting abuse at fur wearers. Since when did intimidating someone (often women) make them think of you and your campaign in a positive light?  Will it encourage people to stop exploiting other animals or will it just create a confusing bullying stigma and leave non vegans who agree fur is awful can feeling smug about "doing their bit"? Why not do the same over bikers in leather or people with milkshakes?

It's impossible to deny that fur receives more attention from vegans than more commonly used animal products and this constitutes speciesism. We should know better. If we instead spend the time that's currently being used on this very niche issue performing grassroots vegan education we would not only be stopping the exploitation of animals for fur (as vegans don't wear fur) but for eggs, silk, dairy, animal testing and all other forms of exploitation. One example of this approach in practice
is the Vegan Information Project in Dublin, Ireland.

On a larger scale there's the wonderful Go Vegan World advertising campaign that can be seen on billboards and in newspapers across the UK and in Ireland. It looks at all animal use as exploitation and the website provides a free vegan guide and mentoring. They're having 500 guides downloaded a day and 2000 new individual visitors to the website, this is fantastic and they promote nothing but veganism, no confusing people with the same old single issues.