Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 12.05.34 PMThe fashion world is abuzz over fashion writer Jenni Avins’ account of killing and skinning her own foxes for a fox fur vest.

Walk around in Soho on any afternoon, and you’ll see parades of girls wearing fur vests in every color and texture, from shaggy and black to cropped and striped. Yet the online community is up in arms.

On Ecouterre, 222 readers voted for “Hell no! Murder is murder,” when asked if trapping and skinning your own fur made it OK to wear it, while the other two options, “Hell yes,” and “Meh, I have no problem with fur,” got a collective 57 votes.

Meanwhile, on Refinery29, the comments exploded into a maelstrom of judge-y, catty comments, like one raising the superb philosophical question of whether it’s OK to kill a baby if it’s “free range” instead of sticking it in a cage. Come on now, people.

You would think going through all that trouble to skin your own pelts would give you some sort of dispensation from the usual screeching over killing animals.

Fur seems to strike a special cord in us. Why? Because we can almost recognize the animal in the fur coat as we pull it on? And yet, we wear leather boots, purses and belts. And we eat meat of all kinds.

Look, when it comes to fur, I treat it like I do any meat–with careful consideration. Call it being a conscious fur wearer. In my mind, if you judge your fur the same way you judge your meat, that gives you three options:

1. Get yourself a used or vintage fur coat. They can be found in almost any consignment shop for a steal.

2. Go with the environmentally friendly nutria fur, which I wrote about for Huffington Post Green.

3. Go free range. Now, I don’t think it’s necessary to participate in the actual skinning of the animal, a la Jenni Avins, but if it were possible to secure a fur vest from the Greenmarket the way you can currently pick up a pork loin or sheepskin rug, I would be all over that option. As of right now, I’m not sure there is a way to do that, unfortunately.

As for myself, I have two faux fur vests, which I’m a little ill-at-ease with because they are synthetic. I have a fur coat I inherited from my mother (with mixed feelings). And I have a yummy, warm fur head piece I got as a gift that I believe is rabbit. I’m not chucking anything, but I don’t have plans to pick up anything new anytime soon.

What are your thoughts on killing your own fur? Would you ever do it for the sake of owning a conscious fur vest?