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Fur Shaming

February 15, 2015 by Leave a Comment

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2015 has been one of the harshest winters on record. And it’s not because of the record snowfall.

Wearing fur with no shame

Wearing fur with no shame

Fur, it seems, is everywhere — on coats, vests, hats, boots, scarves, collars and hoods. And it’s being worn by not only men and women but also children. For activists, the abundance of fur begs many questions:

  • After decades of anti-fur advocacy, why are people wearing it? Are they unaware of the cruelty, or are they simply indifferent to it?
  • Has a drop in the number of people protesting on the streets from the 1980s and 1990s fostered an environment where people are comfortable wearing fur?
  • Do people wearing fur trim on their collars and hoods know that it’s real? Is it possible that they don’t realize they’re wearing it?
  • Do consumers think fur trim is more acceptable or less cruel than a fur coat?
  • What should the advocacy community do to stop people from wearing – and glamorizing – fur? Does any one approach work better than the others? Street protests? Pamphlets? Billboards? Ad campaigns? Polite interactions?

TheirTurn will explore many of these questions in upcoming articles. In this report, we look at various methods of fur shaming and ask, does it work? And, is it justified, in light of the fact that the discomfort experienced fur consumers is inconsequential relative to the agony endured by the animals they are wearing?

Rob Banks, a NYC-based animal rights activist, regularly takes to the streets to humiliate people wearing fur: “I strongly feel that publicly shaming those who choose to wear fur is one of the most effective ways to target this cruel industry. The goal is to cause extreme embarrassment, in hopes that they’ll rethink wearing the coat in public again. Once the look is off the streets, it then becomes unfashionable to the public eye.”


Rob Banks photographs fellow activists Michelle (left), Jennifer (middle), and Jaime (right) shaming women in fur

Fur shaming video montage:

Using video footage to publicly shame a fur wearer:


“M’am. This is what happened to those who you are wearing.”

Some activists use a more subtle approach to fur shaming – one that doesn’t use direct confrontation:

Anti-fur sticker: "I am an asshole. I wear fur."

Anti-fur sticker: “I am an asshole. I wear fur.”

Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. Lynn says:

    Although i dont wear fur, i think people against fur should not wear down either. What they do to get the down is just as bad, if not worse….so many people say they wont wear fur but they are wearing down coats!

  2. Krystna says:

    Real fur is beautiful, I will never stop wearing it regardless and my friends and there children are all the same, good luck to anyone who wears or doesn’t wear fur, its your choice to be vegan and mine not to be. very simple.

  3. Fulano says:

    Hey everyone, so I don’t know much about the animal/fur stuff but I have an honest question: have you ever had anyone turn around and say “yeah, I know ‘who’ this came from because I raised them, slaughtered them and honored their lives by using every part of them including to make this vest I’m wearing. Our people have been doing this for centuries.” ?

  4. people who wear fur today should be shot with the faux fur they don’t need to have animals kill

  5. Anim says:

    Fur hasnt gone back to the 1980s. The consumer target of fur in the 80s were mainly white women and it was mostly full coats. Thanks to the anti-fur campaigns, the attitude towards it has changed. It is no longer innocent. Now fur is being worn in less amounts, but spread around in collars where they may be fake. And the celebrities that wear it are those that deliberately seek to defy social convention.

  6. Larry Trepel says:

    As an anti-fur activist in the ’90’s I was thrilled to see the use of fur coats drop dramatically. To address your questions, I would say that this happened largely because of social pressure, not because fur coat wearers somehow acquired a conscience. It became a dynamic that only an older generation would wear fur, and young people saw themselves as rejecting an outmoded symbol of arrogant cruelty. I think the return of fur is partly because of the decline in activist opposition, and partly because a younger generation has adopted it in typical “retro-chic” fashion mode. That’s the most troubling trend, because fur has been positioned again as a symbol of wealth and high society. Some older people may also now feel safer to bring their furs back out of the closet.
    What approach works best? I’m a bit conflicted on this. Aggressive confrontation can often work in making the fur wearer uncomfortable, but I wonder if it polarizes the public and causes some people to look at anti-fur people as too extreme, resulting in sympathy for fur-wearers. Regardless, I think we need much more confrontation with fur wearers, whether one favors being aggressive or feels more comfortable that a calm, non-hostile approach is more effective.
    The fur collar explosion is the most disturbing aspect of increased fur use. It shows how many people are basically ether ignorant, or just don’t care. Think there is a need to publicize and focus on the trendsetters, primarily Canada Goose, but there are so many fur collar coats produced that it’s hard to see how it can be stopped to any large degree until it just becomes seen as a little bit too much of yesterday’s fashion.

    1. Itunu says:

      I agree. A calm non hostile approach is still the key. About publicity shaming and humiliating people, I understand that the torture the animals go through is a lot and shaming people seems very miniature to the suffering of the animals. The thing I sense is Roberts want to create fear in fur wearers, so that they would be scared to be humiliated. As Ive seen his videos. He said it’s an effective method. I really wish he based it on scientific facts as of the 90s. Why did you stop wearing fur? Empathy for the animals, I can’t do without it, I’m too scared to wear it out, I saw graphic videos of animals being tortured and in agony, I read through leaflets I was given during campaigns, protests etc… Then he would be able to calculate from truly whether shaming is an effective method? Is it statistically significant. Or just a mere sentiment. My main concern is with all the animal right activists in the U.S, the government has not seemed close to banning the importation of fur from China or Do something concrete. Two things, America has a large population and since it is democratic, I do not think they have raised enough petitions convincing of a bill in that regard. I think people fear that after fur, some vegans would come after then for eating meat, and it would be a simple disaster. As I’ve researched that no everyone against fur is against eating meat. The type of shaming and humiliation that would come would be so terrible and people would be forced against their own will and cannot see and have a ham burger on the open restaurants. Also, is it not assault to touch someone’s else clothing and put leaflets. Also, is it proper or can a person be sued for filming him or her without their consent? Thank you.

  7. jayme hess says:

    You guys definitely have guts! I give you credit. I would never wear fur. I have seen firsthand what these poor creatures endure. I am completely disgusted with the fur industry. This is 2015 are there not other cheaper non violent options to fur? Like cotton etc. I applaud you all for all that you do.

  8. Jo Ardell says:

    Donny In the very apathetic world that we live in today, Ppl seem to have lost touch with Animals and Nature, and further have lost touch with empathy for the terrible suffering of Animals in traps and snares, and also the horrific Dog and Cat ‘meat and skins’ trade, also the wretched Seal Hunt. Ban traps and snares,[legislation to Ban Trapping and use of cruel snares on Animals], and work for an End, to the atrocious torture and slaughter of Innocent Dogs and Cats, and a Final End to the cruel Seal Hunt! Also Fur Farms: this is where fur is coming from, and they need to be hit where it will hurt them most, in the pocket book. There is nothing wrong with leaflets, but how many Ppl actually read them. I do not wear fur, because I know the depth of suffering these poor Animals are forced to endure, but many other Ppl do not,and sadly, there are those, who do not care, about Animal suffering. Here in the U.S., Ppl must be made aware that if they purchase anything that has any Animal in it to wear, they may be wearing a Dog or Cat, who suffered greatly, for the trim on their collar, coat sleeve, or gloves or boots! And if it was a poor Farm Animal, the suffering was not, any less. It might be good, to advertize more, about the many alternative choices for wearing apparel, than to continually show the gross cruelty that Animals endure, but at the same time, I am not suggesting that Animal Suffering just be swept under the rug, for it is a serious fact of life, and Animals desperately need those of us who care about them, to continue to fight for their rights and freedoms in a world which enslaves them and condemns them, to misery.

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