I love IKEA.

IKEA is fun. It is large, it is creative, it is made for mad designers like me. I love flopping down on their fully decked sofas, opening every glazed cupboard, and walking around the store with one of their huggable plush tigers in my arms. And the great thing is, I only get weird glances when I do the last item — anywhere else, my butt would barely make contact with a sofa before a sales rep would attack me from behind.

Yes, IKEA = <3.

But today, today, I was heartbroken. I was heartbroken when I was walking through the textiles section and saw the LUDDE Sheepskin. Sheepskin? IKEA? Nah, I thought, IKEA can’t possibly sell real sheepskin. They wouldn’t. It’s inhumane.

Nevertheless, I could not help but approach the basket of white, furry rugs. I picked up a rug, running my hand through the woolly fibres and on the back surface of the rug. It felt…so real. But knowing that stores these days usually don’t sell animal hides as home decor, I turned the rug around to read the tag that would surely ease my mind. Of course it would say POLYESTER FIBRES or something like that.

It didn’t. Instead, it simply read, SHEEPSKIN.

One word.

They might’ve just as well written, MURDER.

Okay, perhaps I’m overreacting. Perhaps they just used the hide of sheep that died of natural causes, or of those that were slaughtered for meat. In that case, wouldn’t they be conserving resources?

I suppose you could think of it that way. But, the point is, it’s unethical to use the lovely skin of an animal to carelessly wipe your feet on. How can one even stand having one of those at home? How can you rest your feet on that rug, knowing that it was once part of a living, breathing animal whose existence was important to at least one other creature on this planet?

I dropped the sheepskin back into the pile. How could IKEA do this to me? After all these years of blind devotion, this is what I get in return? Animal hide rugs? I could ignore ill-fitting parts. I could ignore the need to redrill holes a bit deeper in their desk surfaces in order to attach the legs more securely. I could even ignore the cardboard-tasting hot dogs they try to pawn off on us at the checkout for 50 cents. (I mean, do they think their customers are that cheap? I’d rather pay a bit more for a hot dog that tastes something that resembles food.) But this is too low. Too low.

I didn’t even bother checking the tag behind the KOLDBY cowhide rugs I saw later. There was no need. Just one touch was enough to tell me, “Genuine cowhide.”

IKEA, we’ll be seeing a bit less of each other from now on, at least until you explain yourself. (I doubt you’ll ever will.) I’ll finish my search for a new shelving unit elsewhere. You won’t be getting my $149 this time.