About Pelting Out

Family. Farming. Fashion. Philosophical differences. Fur.

I love origin stories. My own in this telling began with the unceremonious arrival in Boston of my Scandinavian ancestors in the early 1880s. Thanks to the Homestead Act and through decades of work, these hard-working folks caught an especially unique wave that rolled and crashed and eventually evolved into a small but significant piece of the modern fur industry. Over time, the animals raised by the generations before me changed, activists in opposition fashioned a movement that shattered long-standing images, and, eventually, the world formed an impression of this industry that in few ways reflects what I knew of it while growing up.

Two years ago, I embarked upon an extensive search for what I might learn about the full range of this industry. Pelting Out: Finding Fur In Our History and Culture brings readers on a funny, narrative-driven, Garrison Keillor-meets-Eric Schlosser mash-up journey.  Along the way, I unveil a world some might think had long ago disappeared. My pursuits in this “investigative memoir” continue with a open-minded passion. To do so, I continue to draw upon what I learn from the animals, the ranchers, the activists, the scientists, the designers and manufacturers, the merchants, the politicians, the consumers and a (still growing) list of others. Trust me, it’s all in there.