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Anti-Fur Tactics in the Big (Red) Apple During Fashion Week

February 17, 2015 by Leave a Comment

The News

It’s Fashion Week in a frigid NYC, and the streets are covered in blood. And, while nothing short of an army of full time activists could stem the flow, the community is fighting back.

Earlier this week, TheirTurn reported on fur shaming as a tactic to stop people from wearing fur garments. Today, we look at other approaches to transform the Big Apple from red to green.

BILLBOARDS: PETA has erected a 90′ billboard in Times Square on which the musician Pink poses naked and says, “Be comfortable in your own skin, and let others keep theirs.”  Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people will see – and perhaps think about and discuss – this provocative billboard.

PETA's Anti-fur billboard in Times Square (photo:Slobadan Randjelovic)

PETA’s Anti-fur billboard in Times Square (photo: Slobadan Randjelovic)

In December, Friends of Animals erected a “Flip Off” Fur billboard in Times Square and risked arrest with a bold protest inside of the Macy’s “Fur Vault.”

Friends of Animals (FOA) anti-fur billboard in Times Square

Friends of Animals (FOA) anti-fur billboard in Times Square

PROTESTS: Jane Velez-Mitchell of JaneUnchained has reported on several recent fur protests in New York. In this story, Jane covers a Caring Activists Against Fur (CAAF) protest at the Fur Source, a store on which the activist community has declared war.

During fashion week, Viktor Luna, a designer who uses fur, staged a runway show on the backs of NYC’s beleaguered carriage horses. NYCLASS, an activist group working to ban horse-drawn carriages, held a protest in an attempt to disrupt the designer’s show and generate attention for the plight of the carriage horses.

Activists protest Viktor Luna's fashion show in which he used NYC's beleaguered carriage horses (photo: NY Daily News)

Designer Viktor Luna staged a fashion show on the backs of carriage horses. (photo: Daily News)

Caring Activists Against Fur Valentine's Day Protest (photo: Roberto Bonelli)

Caring Activists Against Fur Valentine’s Day Protest (photos: Roberto Bonelli)

ONE-ON-ONE ENGAGEMENT: Some activists shame people wearing fur; some wear anti-fur buttons; and some attempt to start a conversation with people wearing fur.

Sharing the message with a colleague while keeping it friendly

A TheirTurn reader (left) submitted this photo of herself with a fur wearer who was willing to not only listen but also pose for a post-discussion photo.

Your Turn

The winter of 2015 has brought out so much fur that activists are tearing out our own hair in frustration, but we can’t let that stop us. We must create an environment where people no longer feel comfortable wearing fur because they are either educated about the issue or afraid of the consequences. If you live someplace where people wear fur, please use whatever approach works best for you to be a voice for the animals who have every right to keep their skin.

Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. Nice Post! Thanks for your brilliant ideas

  2. Anim says:

    The clothing industry will always be about shallow vain idiots–what is important is that fur is no longer seen as socially acceptable on the street unless it is in small amounts or possibly fake. It is not acceptable for it to be real, except for some who deliberately seek to stand out and be defiant (seems to have an ethnic component as well). A big change from the 80s or 70s when no one questioned it at all.

  3. Natasha Brenner says:

    I am so impressed by the commenters to all your articles. They say what I feel only better!

  4. Monique Constant says:

    I don’t wear fur, nor ever had an inclination to want to wear fur, even when I grew up in the cold winters of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Nowadays, fur is unnecessary with the plethora of non animal fabrics and technology wear, there are options. To add to this, for those who do like wearing fur, it is a personal choice, yet your choice has a direct impact on animals who will continue to suffer. If I were to buy from large corporations like Kelloggs, Dupont, Unilever I would essentially be encouraging these companies to continue their support of GMOs, pesticides and animal experimentation. Since those are against my values I do not buy from these companies because I do not support their agendas.
    Chinese workers are overworked, have little rights in workplaces and cut corners to produce their end targets which are then forced by other companies. Such a sad and hurtful circumstance for many animals who are brutally killed to meet demands, and as such also impacts the workers themselves to be slaves to capitalism. Stores/shops need to know exactly where their products are coming from, who their suppliers are and if their products are ethical. Many stores/shops do not do this kind of auditing therefore it is truly up to consumers to have a buyer beware mantra. If you do not know, or suspect a product or clothing line to be unethical, don’t buy it, it’s not worth giving our money away thereby losing our own power. There are choices, and many ethical ones, be resourceful, mindful, and if neither of those 2 attributes are your forte, no need to fret because there are many animal (& health) supporters out there who would be more than happy to give you guidance. The way of life is becoming less of a consumer and just being ourselves in our skins.

  5. Terry says:

    I still think that one of the best ways to get the message out and have people care about what they’re wearing, is to show the horrific video of animals being skinned in China. It really is horrible and I can’t look at it, but for those still walking around with the skin of animals on their bodies, even if it is just the collar of a jacket, it’s a must see. I’ve been at anti-fur demos where the video is shown, and I’ve never seen anything have as big an impact on people, at least for the moment. I saw people who were casually walking around with fur collars, stop and stand with their jaws dropped. Other reactions are screaming in horror and covering their eyes. Videos seem to make more of an impression on people than the still photos on posters.

  6. Elinor Hawke-Szady says:

    I used to be a fur wearer, though I never paid for anything made from fur. My Dad ran a Mink ranch, and he had a full length Mink coat made for my Mom. My Mom also had a full length Muskrat coat. I wore both in high school on cold winter days – just to be different – but then I stopped wearing them because A. they made me way too hot, B. the fur sheds, and last but not least, C. I started reading up on where fur comes from/how fur coats and other items made from fur are manufactured. I haven’t worn anything made from fur since then (that was over 30 years’ ago). I draw the line at leather, and am seriously considering opting out of that too.

    If ALL fashion designers STOPPED using fur in their collections, more than 1/2 the battle would be won!!! Also, many consumers (whether they wear fur or not) are ignorant to the fact that there are all kinds of designers who use fur that they’re not aware of. For example, many young women (and men) love handbags, jewellery, fragrances, footwear, watches, and non-fur clothing from the likes of Michael Kors, Yves St. Laurent, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Prada, Gucci, Burberry, Chanel, and Giorgio Armani (to name just a few) NOT REALIZING (or perhaps not caring) that every designer I just mentioned uses fur in their fall/winter haute couture collections. It’s the designers who should be shamed really, and the models on the runway wearing creations with fur. I just cancelled my subscription to American “Vogue” magazine because I’m sick of Anna Wintour allowing fashion spreads containing fur items. It’s sad – so, so sad. The only people on this planet who have any right to wear fur are the Indigenous Aboriginal peoples around the Arctic Circle who have done so for thousands of years.

    1. Terry says:

      Excellent point, Elinor. There should be more demos aimed specifically at the designers. They should be called out for the shallow, uncaring people that they are, and for catering to people’s vanity and self-centeredness.

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