On June 1st, over 1,000 activists took to the streets of San Francisco to participate in the second annual Animal Liberation March. Viewed by thousands of people around the world on Facebook livestreams, the march sent onlookers a message that animals exist for their own purposes and should not be exploited for food, clothing, entertainment or experimentation.
Over 1,000 animal liberation activists took to the streets of San Francisco to participate in Direct Action Everywhere’s Second Annual Animal Liberation March
Along the parade route, TheirTurn spoke to onlookers to get their reactions:
The Animal Liberation March was one of several mass demonstrations organized by the grassroots animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) as part of its annual Animal Liberation Conference in Berkeley, California.
Animal rights activists with the group “Protest Canada Goose NYC” staged their first demonstration at the home Zach Blank, the Chief Operating Officer of his family’s company Paragon Sports. Paragon, which is located in the Flatiron district of Manhattan, sells several brands of clothing that contain fur, including Canada Goose. Activists have demonstrated at Paragon for the past several years, but, after their protests and letters were ignored, they decided to take their message to Blank’s home in Brooklyn.
The protest was held just days after both New York City and New York State lawmakers introduced bills to ban the sale of fur.
Animal rights activists protest the sale of Canada Goose fur coats at Paragon Sports in New York City.
On March 19th, NY State Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal introduced a bill to ban the manufacture and sale of fur at the state level. “Increasingly, consumers are looking to make ethical and sustainable purchases — fur is neither of those,” Rosenthal said. “The fur trade has at its core a violence toward animals that is antithetical with our modern views on animals as human companions and sentient beings.”
On March 19, 2019, NY State Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal introduced a statewide bill to ban the production and sale of fur products.
Just one week later, Council Speaker Corey Johnson, the most powerful lawmaker in New York City, introduced the bill to ban the sale of fur at the city level. “I believe it is cruel to kill an animal just for the purpose of people buying and wearing a fur coat. There is really no need for this,” said Johnson.”In a progressive and modern city like New York, banning the sale of fur clothing and accessories is long overdue.”
Both anti-fur activists and fur industry supporters descended on City Hall to show their support for or opposition to the bill, an indication of the battle of that lies ahead as the legislation works its way through public hearings and onto the City Council floor for a vote. If the bill passes, New York City will join San Francisco and Los Angeles in outlawing the sale of fur.
On March 28th, 2019, NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson introduced a bill to ban the sale of fur.
In 2015, fashion designer Anna Tagliabue integrated her passion for fashion and protecting animals by launching a company called Pelush that designs luxury faux fur coats and accessories. During 2019 Fashion Week, Ms. Tagliabue debuted her newest designs during a cruelty-free fashion show in Manhattan:
“We don’t have to harm animals to wear fur because new technology enables us to reproduce it perfectly, often with recycled materials,” said Tagliabue.”Our fabrics are virtually indistinguishable from chinchilla, mink, fox and even Broadtail Astrakhan, which is the most difficult fur to reproduce.”
Pelush Faux-Fur Runway Show During 2019 Fashion Week in NYC
As wearing fur becomes less socially acceptable, many of the world’s top luxury fashion houses, including Gucci, Chanel and Burberry, have committed to eliminating it from their collections. Several companies, however, have dug in their heels. Canada Goose, which defends its use of fur by claiming that it’s “ethically sourced,” has been a target of animal rights activists in recent years because it has normalized the use of fur trim hoods, which are pervasive in big cities during the winter months.
Animal rights activists in New York City protest at the Canada Goose store in Soho
In 2018, two California cities, Berkeley and San Francisco, banned the sale of fur. In January, 2019, Los Angeles followed suit. Animal rights activists in California are now working to achieve a statewide ban. In 2019, London Fashion Week became the first to go fur-free.
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.”
Susan Adriensen prepares to deliver her fur coats to a wild animal rescue facility in New Jersey.
“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.
Orphaned wild animals find comfort in fur coats donated to rescue centers and sanctuaries
“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.