2015 has been one of the harshest winters on record. And it’s not because of the record snowfall.
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.”
Fur shaming video montage:
Using video footage to publicly shame a fur wearer:
Some activists use a more subtle approach to fur shaming – one that doesn’t use direct confrontation: