• Jon Tunnell/Creative Commons

Fur in fashion is a controversial subject, but as reported in this National Public Radio piece yesterday, various organizations are positioning fur from the nutria, a rodent native to South America, as a choice that can improve the environment. Nutria, which were introduced into areas beyond their native habitat by fur traders, do a lot of ecological damage to wetlands by feeding on the roots of water plants. Environmental groups such as Righteous Fur put on fashion shows and encourage designers to use the animal pelts to help rid those areas of this invasive species.

If they really want to sell this, I suggest using the other name for the animal, coypu. Nutria sounds too much like something you’d put on your cereal for health reasons, like wheat germ.