Charlotte Gill

PETA’s Warhammer ban reveals the hypocrisy of its fake fur policy

There are lots of problems with Warhammer fans. Bad haircuts, terrible dress sense, to name just two. These aren’t even stereotypes; as a little girl I went to the Games Workshop multiple times with my brothers, so have first-hand experience.

Still, I feel strangely defensive over Warhammer because it has been the victim of a vicious smear campaign. PETA has launched the most bemusing of attacks on the brand after spotting that some of its characters wear fur clothing. The Viking-style ‘space wolves’ have caused particular offence.

I should emphasise at this stage that the fur isn’t actually real. Warhammer, as its disciples will know, is made out of plastic, which fans lovingly glue together before painting on the finer details – like fur. Warhammer types are, in fact, probably some of the most artistic people on the planet. But I digress; the point is, they are not animal killers.

So why is PETA so angry? According to its CEO,

“Draping [Warhammer characters] in what looks to be a replica of a dead animal sends the message that wearing fur is acceptable… Indeed, nothing on the bloody battlefields of Warhammer’s war-torn world could match the horrible reality that foxes, minks, rabbits and other living beings experience at the hands of the fur trade”.

It seems that for PETA, seeing is believing; even a replica of fur is sufficient to promote animal cruelty. This position is strange enough on its own, and that’s even before you listen to PETA’s campaign coordinator Kirsty Henderson, defending fake fur on a Spectator podcast last month. When asked by Isabel Hardman whether it’s ethical to wear such clothing, Henderson said:

“We all have a choice when we go out and buy a coat or a scarf, and we can choose whether to buy one that has been made from a dead animal or not… as long as we’re choosing the one that isn’t causing the death and the suffering for an animal, that’s the only thing really that matters”.

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