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Ire d'Ivoire

From the continuing annals of faux ethics comes an email from "Kim" -- no further signature provided -- objecting to Counterfeit Chic's notes on Jessica Kagan Cushman's clever scrimshaw bracelets, Chanel's alleged copies, and Forever 21's reported copies of the copies

Jessica Kagan Cushman's resin scrimshaw reproductions

Kim, who is either a real person or a PETA spambot, writes:

...It sickens me that anyone would buy her Mammoth Tusk bracelets!  Those tusks belong on the animals they came from not on some debutante's arm walking down fith [sic] avenue.  Shame on you!

Quite apart from the image of an arm walking down 5th Avenue, Kim's concern for Jessica's "victims" is extremely amusing.  Jessica's website notes that "mammoth ivory comes from animals that died of natural causes over 10,000 years ago and are now extinct."  In other words, they don't really need their tusks at the moment -- and the ban on international trade in elephant ivory does not apply.  (Interestingly, while outlawing trade in elephant ivory has successfully restored elephant populations, wildlife refuges have found themselves guarding stores of the forbidden ivory.  A recent decision allowed a one-time sale by several African nations, with profits earmarked for future conservation efforts.) 

There are, of course, somewhat more savvy animal rights activists who object to re-use of animal products (e.g. recycled furs) or imitation products (e.g. pleather) because, it is argued, they may stimulate demand for the real thing.  Kim, however, actually expresses a preference for the alleged copies of Jessica's bracelets, and thus is not a purist with respect to animal-like products.  She might even like Jessica's new, lower-priced resin reproduction line.  And Messrs. Dolce & Gabbana, the reigning princes of leopard print, can rest easy. 

Principles are generally admirable -- on principle -- even if one disagrees with them.  Ill-informed  ranting, however, is an easy target for ridicule.  With friends like Kim, elephants don't need enemies.