Photo by Alessandro Musicorio
Why waste it when you can wear it? For Michael Massimi, the invasive-species coordinator at the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Progream (BTNEP), morphing nutria fur into a fashion “must-have” was a natural response to the invading critters. A semi-aquatic rodent indigenous to South America, nutria (Myocastor coypus) was imported to Louisiana in the 1930s for the fur-farming industry. After being released—whether intentionally or accidentally—into the wild, they’ve damaged coastal wetlands with their voracious appetites. Massimi’s role under the BTNEP, one of 28 programs established by Congress through the Clean Water Act, is to preserve Louisiana’s coastal vegetation and ecosystem. His No. 1 priority? Culling the nutria.
So, is nutria fur haute or not?
- 371 Votes Hell no! Fur is wrong. Period. It belongs on animals, not people.
- 59 Votes Hell yes! The critters are going to be killed anyway, so why waste their fuzzy pelts?
- 21 Votes Don't know. Who's to say the "good" fur won't pave the way for "bad" fur farms?
Total Voters: 451