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Arts and Entertainment

'Diamonds Not Fur' Event in WeHo Well-Intentioned But Poorly Named

Photo by jurvetson via Flickr
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At Voyeur in West Hollywood last night, a red-carpet benefit event was held to raise funds for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles and Fur Free West Hollywood. Founded by actress Katie Cleary, it was called "Diamonds Not Fur." On the event's website, Cleary explains how the idea for the benefit came about. While on a photo shoot in 2010, she says, she was asked to pose wearing diamonds and fur. Being an animal lover, she told her employers that she would wear the diamonds but not the fur, and a benefit was born.

"Diamonds Not Fur" obviously has its heart in the right place, and no doubt raised lots of money for a wonderful cause. But we feel compelled to point out that the name of the event was perhaps a bit ill-conceived -- diamonds are no less controversial than fur, and the industry has come under intense scrutiny for its human rights violations just as fur, obviously, violates the rights of animals.

No doubt Cleary et al didn't mean to imply that wearing baubles that may have been mined under horrific working conditions or whose profits might have gone to fund brutal civil wars would be preferable to wearing the skin of animals -- obviously, neither is a good choice.

That said, might we suggest coming up with a different name? Maybe "Neither Conflict Diamonds Nor Fur," or "If You're Going To Wear Diamonds Instead Of Fur, Try To Make Sure They Are Conflict-Free," or even "The Mistreatment Of Animals And Of Humans Is Equally Reprehensible"?

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You know, something that rolls easily off the tongue.

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