Sneak Preview: THINK MINK

March 11th, 2009

img031When I started Cluttercast as my New Year’s resolution, I did something  I often do: speak without thinking.  I do this a lot in real life and it’s complicated enough.  In cyberspace, words live forever.

Look over a couple inches to the right sidebar– you’ll see what I mean.  It’s still there—where I mention the mink coat.

I tossed off the mink as an example of “clutter”.   Hardly.

Yet reading this, it certainly sounds as if I’m going to cluttercast a mink coat.   Am I?  Those words have been sitting there; I’ve had time to think about them.  And after two months of cluttercasting, it’s time to THINK MINK.

Because nothing in my life is simple, in order to think mink,  I had to think about some other stuff.  Before the fur starts to fly.   

#1.  THINK FUR:  The mink coat comes from farm-raised animals but it’s still fur, and politically incorrect in many eyes.  Including mine.  That’s why the coat is sitting in my closet, not being worn.  For me, even cluttercasting a fur coat is a political statement of sorts—and I had to decide whether this means I’m supporting something I don’t believe in doing myself.  As I said, nothing is simple.

#2.  THINK FAMILY:  Also not simple.  Family to me includes my former family.  Namely my ex-husband H, who gave me the coat.  Even though I don’t wear it, we’re still friendly and I’d like to stay that way.

The most obvious recipient is my daughter Alli.  A vegetarian since age 12, you’d think I could safely assume she would never wear fur.  Because she says she won’t. 

But I also believed her when she refused to wear leather shoes all through high school.  7 years later, she owns enough UGGS to open a factory outlet.  So if she changed her mind about sheepskin, how do I know she won’t change her mind on mink?   Plus she currently lives in a warm climate; but the army could send her soldier husband to Alaska,  where she could become more fur friendly.

My son could clue her in on the cold, since he’s in college in Wisconsin.  But he says he doesn’t want the mink either.   Which leads me to…

#3.  THINK FRIENDS:  I have lots of friends.  Many of them live in cold climates.  Many of them are not opposed to wearing fur, as I am.  One friend even offered to loan me her mink coat to wear to the inauguration—I didn’t mention I had one sitting in my closet.   

Not only will some friends think I’m crazy to be giving it; they will want a shot at getting it.  Some of my friends don’t even know about Cluttercast yet.  They will now– and I’m sure I’ll hear from them in the days to come.

I’ll be posting the coat soon, and allow plenty of time for comments.  This is just a heads up.    To be sure you stay informed, click here to subscribe.    And THINK MINK.

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  1. March 12th, 2009 at 05:42 | #1

    Quite a bit to think about.


  2. March 12th, 2009 at 07:10 | #2

    What about your own pseudo-auction? And then give the proceeds (after shipping costs-that will be expensive!) to a favorite charity?


  3. March 12th, 2009 at 09:38 | #3

    I would donate the mink to the Alzheimer’s Association, as they collect furs to make them into stuffed teddy bears as a fundraiser. While real fur isn’t popular today due to the public knowing more about the raising/slaughtering of animals whose pelts are used, leaving the coat in your closet isn’t going to bring the animals that were used in making it back to life. Also, if someone else wears the coat, even in a cold climate, wouldn’t that still be a public statement of support for the fur industry?

    If you donate the coat for good, H, Alli, and your friends will likely be more supportive and understanding about your decision than if you gave it away. And here’s an Obama related – reason to donate the coat to the AA: his stem cell use in research policy change and your donation can both help find a cure for a terrible disease.


  4. Sandy
    March 12th, 2009 at 14:13 | #4

    I really like Mary’s suggestion and go along with her about it not even being worn by anyone. I have a short rabbit fur jacket from my younger days that I refuse to wear and it just hangs in my closet. I’ve often thought of donating it to PETA to use during their demonstrations! But I like Mary’s idea better. I now will donate it to AA. I like the idea that they make teddy bears as fund raisers. Mary, do you have any information as to where AA collects them? If not, I guess I’ll just Google AA. Thanks for your comments.


  5. March 12th, 2009 at 14:38 | #5

    March 12th, 2009 at 14:36 | #5 Reply | Quote Alas, farmed fur isn’t a lot better if you are worried about ethical treatment of animals.

    I eat meat so I don’t any principled compunction against either fur or leather — and the two don’t seem very different to me.

    But I don’t like to eat meat that was first tortured or wear skins from a mistreated animal, wild or domestic.

    Minks raised for fur on the whole live in tiny, squalid cages. Their environmental inpact is not what you might think: in the UK farm raised minks have escaped and devastated local wildlife. Apparently they are voracious killers.

    I would happily wear a mink coat if mink farmers raised their animals in ethical, environmentally friendly and humane conditions. (And if I could afford one!)

    Alas they don’t. So it is just as well that I don’t have the money. Or the ability to spin a yarn on clutterclast. But good luck to the one who does. No new mink was harmed in this blog post.

    I don’t have fur coats to tempt my long time vegetarian daughter. She is tempted by leather shoes, including UGGs, but so far, other than borrowing mine (no UGGs, alas), she resists.

    Donate it to charity, or give it away to someone needing some luxury (who will, of course, immediately sell it for good cold cash). It sounds like you are ready to cast it away.

    If you gave it to me I would wear it. Hell, I’d say, I’m just a part time Brit schicksa trying to find shelter from the storm. That Darryle holds all the karma.

    Sorry, no way you are going to shed all that fur without suffering metaphor and more.



  6. PL
    March 12th, 2009 at 19:09 | #6

    give it back to H and let him deal with it – or ask him what he would like you to do – or (my mother always used to suggest this) turn it into a lining of a raincoat – or maybe your cat could use it :)


  7. March 13th, 2009 at 11:06 | #7

    Several AA groups make fur teddys, one is in Tucson & in N. CA & N. NV, you can contact ; perhaps more if you google; don’t know if one in your area does.

    If not, the Coats to Cubs program @ the Humane Society of the US also accepts fur donations, using them to comfort injured and abandoned wildlife. Seems like this this would be a way to make up for the fur industry. More info & cute photos @ (

    Thanks for doing good with your donation!



  8. March 13th, 2009 at 11:49 | #8

    Just want to toss a comment in here that you are incredibly thoughtful and creative people—and great resources for information.


  9. Sandy
    March 21st, 2009 at 07:11 | #9

    Mary and all,
    I did contact AA in Monterey and all I have to do is get a “fair market value”, send the coat to AA in Monterey and they will send me a receipt for the donation. (I’m planning on contacting a consignment shop for a value amount.) They make stuffed bears, cats and pillows.
    Darryle, they also will make one of the above for you! So you can still have a part of the coat, and the rest of it will benefit alot of others!
    But now I think I will also check Coats to Cubs which really sounds like a neat program. No matter what, this coat is “out of here”!


  10. Greg
    January 8th, 2014 at 08:31 | #10

    Gorgeous coat!!! Too bad you won’t wear it!! My wife and I love real fur and she wears fur on really cold days, even to work.


  11. February 1st, 2014 at 13:08 | #11

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  1. March 11th, 2009 at 23:32 | #1