Wearing fur made Susan Adriensen feel glamorous, but a 2005 trip to Holland, where she received unwanted stares for wearing fur, changed that. When she returned home, Adriensen tucked her two furs in her closet and forgot about them — until she saw a video about fur industry on social media. “I knew my coats were made out of animals, but I never thought about how the fur got from the animal onto my coat,” said Adriensen. “When I finally learned about the violence, I felt I decided to say ‘furwell’ to my coats and to make amends.”
Over the course of several months in 2017 and 2018, Adriensen, who became an animal rights activist, decided to put her fur coats to good use. In Hoboken, a suburb of NYC, Adriensen and her fellow activists with the group E.A.R.T.H. (Environmentalist Animal Rights Team of Hoboken), laid the fur coats on top of makeshift tombstones and used peoples’ interest in the provocative display to educate them about the horrors of the fur industry.”
“We saw very few full length fur coats, but we encountered hundreds of people wearing fur trim,” said Michal Klein, an activist with E.A.R.T.H. “While we can’t change the hearts and minds of everyone who saw us, we do feel like our advocacy compelled some people to remove the trim and to consider animals when buying clothes in the future.”
When winter ended, Adriensen, Klein and other E.A.R.T.H. activists, delivered the fur coats to a wildlife rehabilitation facility for orphaned animals. Within minutes of their arrival, baby squirrels and opossums were nuzzling in the fur.
“I wish their mothers were alive so that these babies didn’t need to seek comfort in discarded fur, but I’m happy that my furs have been repurposed to give them some comfort,” said Adriensen.