Home » anti-fur » OUT OF GRANNY’S CUPBOARD – when you inherit a fur item

OUT OF GRANNY’S CUPBOARD – when you inherit a fur item




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Emy Will

Emy Will

Greetings from Johannesburg, South Africa. Although I have a doctorate in psychotherapy, my main passion is advocating for nonhuman animal rights. I condemn all cruelty to nonhuman animals and therefore follow a vegan lifestyle. I would like to connect with other animal activists from all over the world. The fur trade is one of the most abhorrent practices on this planet. Innocent animals are subjected to prolonged suffering for a trivial fashion item. As the chairperson of Fur Free SA. we campaign towards ending the global fur industry. This might not happen in my lifetime, but even if I leave one footprint behind, that is one step closer to the goal. This blog is a forum to discuss all aspects of the fur industry. It also raises issues around animal activism in general. Johannesburg is a crazy city and I need to escape from time to time. This photo was taken next to the magnificent Zambezi river.

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 fox with its own fur    MY FUR BELONGS TO ME

I would never describe myself as pushy. In fact I would make a terrible salesperson. In a desperate attempt to make money I once tried to sell hats at Stutterfords Store. Yes, younger generation, there was a time when people other than the Queen of England wore hats (see link below showing the Queen in a fur hat). This venture into the wild world of hats only lasted a day, as I could not be sycophantic enough. I liked the word sycophantic from the first time I heard it. Sycophantic is what cats are NOT but at times what cat lovers become when trying to please their feline masters.

That aside, in order to pursue my anti-fur campaign I had to approach all sorts of people. I think what I considered a bold expression might have been interpreted as a fanatical, mad fur-lady look, as people started to avoid me. What was more interesting, though, was the sheepish response I got from certain women in their 50s when discussing their attitudes to fur. I learnt that this look said,  “I have a fur in my closet, even though I am appalled by the fur trade. Surprisingly, this group is fairly large and faces a dilemma as to what to do with this inherited item. One woman even told me she was keeping her granny’s fur in the deep freeze – I kid you not!

But what does one do?  Here are some options:

    1) Bury it in the garden and say a prayer.

     2) Donate it to a film/dramatic company to use for costumes.

     3) Give it to the homeless.

     4) Give it to an anti-fur organisation to spray with red paint for demonstrations.

     5) Shift the decision and leave it to the next generation.

Please everyone this is a serious issue that faces many people and might even be one that I will have to face. I know for a fact that my ex mother-in-law has a fur coat in her closet.  My fear is that in an irrational  moment she might leave it to me. Please help!!

Article on the Queen who wore a fur hat and mitts on Christmas day!




  1. Chris says:

    Perhaps the fur should be sold and the proceeds donated to an animal charity


  2. Emy Wilhelm says:

    Good idea Chris.
    SAINTs (Supporting Animals in Needy Times) has a charity shop in Johannesburg where second-hand items are sold for charities. Please nominate Cat Village SA as your charity if you do drop off anything there:) Irma who runs CV is a saint herself.


  3. Alana Potter says:

    Hi M, love your blog, love the title, love the mission! .. was that sycophantic? or is it “over-solicitous”? ;-).
    Im friendly with a dedicated dog behaviourist who does work for CLAW (Community Led Animal Welfare) who has given her inherited fur to her many adopted and fostered dogs. They all sit on it in a row. Hey, it beats the deep freeze!


  4. Emy Wilhelm says:

    Thanks Alana. Wow! The dogs must love the experience of lying on a fur. “Granny” would probably disapprove, but hopefully the younger generation will NEVER buy anything with real fur on it.

    What is the definition of sycophantic in any case??


  5. Emy Wilhelm says:

    Winnie shmaryahu
    JULY 30, 2013 AT 11:32 (EDIT)
    Where is Saints? I don’t see any tel number or address. Thanks


  6. Emy Wilhelm says:

    Thanks Winnie.
    SAINTs Animal Charity Shop, http://www.saintsshop.co.za, Shop 22, Northriding Square, Bellairs Drive, Northriding, same venue as the Famous SAINTs Book Sales.


  7. Janet Wilhelm says:

    Still remember the fox stole and even as a child the paws gave me the creeps.


  8. Emy Wilhelm says:

    Poor creature. A life stolen to make a useless stole.


  9. Hey there! You started following my blog so I wanted to check out your blog and say, “Hi”. What a wonderful campaign you’ve got going here and I love this post. I was one of those people who inherited a fur coat. I left it in my closet for a while and then donated it to Goodwill. It’s wonderful to e-meet you and I look forward to more of your posts! Celeste 🙂


    • Emy Wilhelm says:

      Thank you Celeste. Good to connect with you. I am new to the blogging world, but hope to learn from others. The fur industry is one of the most abhorrent industries on this planet. There are many other sites where people can find the brutal facts of fur-farms and trapping, so I am trying to keep my posts fairly light, but I think I will include a “fur fact” from now on.


      • I think you are wise to keep your posts light. I know that a lot of people get turned off with the “in your face” kind of animal rights posts. Before I became vegan, I used to ignore stuff like that too. Anyway, you’re off to a great start! I’ve only been blogging for 6 months myself, so I’m pretty new too. Still, if you’ve got any blogging questions, feel free to ask. Have a great weekend! Celeste 🙂


      • Emy Wilhelm says:

        Thanks so much for the feedback. I am vegetarian in transition towards a vegan lifestyle, so will be looking forward to your posts. Go well.


      • I still remember how hard it was for me to give up cheese and ice cream. Trust me – it gets easier! I love eating this way now and would never consider going back. Celeste 🙂


  10. I especially like the idea to bury and say a prayer. Or give to anti fur. 🙂


    • Emy Wilhelm says:

      Thank you Violet Veg. I just hope the younger generation will never buy fur garments. All these creatures tortured for nothing other than vanity and greed.


  11. Nancy says:

    When my mother died I was cleaning out all her clothes, I came across the coat that she had with a white fox collar and cuffs on it, I brought it home and I laid it on the bed in the guest bedroom, all attention of removing the fur and give the coat away that night as I was making dinner are Siberian Husky who was 4 months old and all white, prance through the kitchen, I turned around and looked at her and she looked like she had white beard I walked into the dining room where she was laying and she was playing around and having a fun time here she took off the collar and she was playing with the fur, I thought the coat was ripped to shreds, but I guess the way they were attached on there so you could remove to clean the coat she never touched the coat, so Misty inherit the fur she really enjoyed playing with them. I guess it wasn’t the best thing to do with them but I didn’t want anybody else to have them,so she got to enjoy and I think my mother would have been laughing at what happened to the fur 🙂


    • Emy Wilhelm says:

      What a lovely story Nancy – thanks for sharing:) At least Misty got some pleasure. There is not much else we can do with fur trim. A whole coat can at least be used for a dog’s blanket. How old is Misty now? Is she your only furry companion?
      Hopefully real fur will become a thing of the past. Thanks for the reblog and all the best.


      • Nancy says:

        Are sweet Misty past away in 2000 she was 11 and a half, Holly who Misty found was a 5 week old kitten, died this February she was 17 and Amber a husky mix who I brought home from the shelter died this June she was 16 we still have Teddy who I brought home from the shelter when he was seven and a half and abused he’s 18 now and of course the newest addition is Rascal who showed up and was hanging out in our backyard 2 years ago, we figure him to be about 6 years old. There have been many and they all adopted me, I had no intentions of having a pet they just sort of fell into my lap 🙂


  12. Emy Wilhelm says:

    It is always so sad when our companions die. Each and every one of them is special.
    We have an open door policy about cats. So many have arrived and moved in. Usually they have been abandoned by other people, which makes me mad. As a result we have 15 rescued cats and I adore every one.


  13. sonmicloud says:

    I have just recently thought through all the possibilities above after finding out that a coat I beleived to be fake fur was real. Urghh. I’ve had it for over twenty years and used to wear it a lot. I’m normally good at being able to tell real from fake just by touching it, and this coat really does feel fake, but it turns out to be a kind of lamb skin that was sold as fake beaver skin in the fifties. My horror abounded. I purchased it from a charity shop all those years ago and was looking into selling it on eBay when I saw identical ones that made me aware of its origins. So, what to do with it? I wouldn’t sell it for any reason because then someone would wear it and I’d be helping them to do so. The kind of people who wear fur coats are not my kind of people at all. I considered a homeless charity but it’s actually incredibly heavy, and almost ankle length, so impractical for day to day use. It moved around the house as I deliberated and I noticed my dog kept leaving her usual sleeping spot and would go and sleep on the coat if she could, so I’ve made her a new bed out of it, which she seems to love. Having said that I still find the sight of it extremely unpleasant, so it may well get buried or taken to the tip at some point. Great post and thank you for the work you do for animals in educating people about such a diverse range of topics on their well being. I’ve been vegan for over fifteen years now,Mir was a natural progression from vegetarian for me logically. *smiles*

    – sonmi upon the Cloud

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Emy Will says:

    What wonderful thoughts Sonmicloud and so lovely to get to know you better 😀 It is always good to connect with others who care about the planet and all who share it.

    At least your dog is getting some pleasure out of the coat – probably because it smells like you after all those years of wearing it 😉
    Your comment also made me revisit this post – written over a year ago.
    Now I am totally a vegan with NO doubts about my life choice.
    I also can’t believe that I have sustained an anti-fur blog for over a year – although I do diverge from time to time.

    So much to say, so little time.
    Warm wishes,


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