The Anchorage Fur Rendezvous (Rondy) is a festival designed to drive PETA mad. There is the running of the reindeer, safer than running with the bulls. There are horse drawn carriages. They’re bad, just ask New York’s new mayor. There is a fur auction, “Where it all began” according to the banner over the auction stage. Trappers, many of them kids, have their caches auctioned off. A red tagged fur was trapped by someone under 15 earning pocket money or funds for school. Along the street you can buy fur items, hats, coats, stoles, or pelts. The streets are lined with fur.
I have mixed feelings about all of this fur. I like fur, it’s feel, it’s warmth, it’s tie to our history. I’m an Alaskan. I like the fact that kids can earn money while keeping ties to the land. I like the fact that they understand the balance between consumption, life and death through hunting, fishing and trapping. But I’m the kid who cried at zoos because I don’t like to see caged animals while wearing a Davy Crockett coonskin cap.