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Anti-Fur Activists Protest at Home of Paragon Sports Executive

April 2, 2019 by Leave a Comment


The News

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.


A Glaring Omission at the Student Climate Strike

March 18, 2019 by 1 comment


The News

During the 2019 Climate Strike in NYC, hundreds of students took to the streets to demand that world leaders reverse climate change, but the absence of posters and remarks about the impact of animal agriculture suggested that these students were largely unaware of one of leading causes. During the rally and the march, TheirTurn asked several student participants if they knew about the connection between eating animal products and climate change:

“The student activists aren’t addressing the leading cause of climate change, animal agriculture, and perhaps that is because the advocacy groups for the environment haven’t made it a priority,” said Edita Birnkrant, the Executive Director of the animal advocacy group NYCLASS. “If climate activists aren’t taking the most obvious step to curb climate change, which is adopting a plant-based diet, then how can they expect the mainstream public to take action?”

Climate Strike in NYC, March 15th, 2019

During the rally before the march, Birnkrant asked Jay Inslee, the presidential candidate running on a climate change platform, if he would promote the consumption of less meat. Inslee would not make that commitment. “I’m willing to promote making sure everybody understands this connection,” he said.

Edita Birnkrant asks Jay Inslee, the 2020 presidential candidate running on a climate change platform, if he will encourage Americans to consume less meat.

While most of the Climate Strike attendees were NYC students “on strike” to demand climate action, many adults participated, some of whom were eager to help the students make the connection between animal agriculture and climate change. Among them was Paul Watson, the founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, who spoke to TheirTurn the impact of animal agriculture on the oceans:

“We’re overfishing the oceans. Forty percent of all the fish caught in the ocean is fed to pigs, chicken and domestic salmon. If we put an end to industrialized fishing, that would go a long way in allowing the ocean to repair itself. If the ocean repairs itself, we can solve this [climate change] problem because the oceans is the regulator of climate – single greatest absorption of CO2. Seventy percent of the production of the oxygen we breathe comes from phytoplankton, and we’ve diminished phytoplankton populations by about 40% since 1950. All of these issues should be addressed, but they’re not getting the attention they deserve.”

The New York Chapter of the Climate Save Movement, which advocates for an end to animal agriculture, participated in the Climate Strike

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year old climate change activist whose activism inspired the global Climate Strikes on March 15th, is vegan.  Ms. Birnkrant is hopeful that she will use her global platform to promote climate-friendly plant-based eating. 


Struggling to Make the Switch from Animals to Plants

February 21, 2019 by 1 comment


The News

While cooking and sampling vegan comfort food, four friends spoke honestly about why they haven’t stopped eating animals, in spite of their best intentions.  Shecky Beagleman, Danny Cohen, Jodie Wasserman and Rena Zager met in New York City almost 20 years ago when they started doing stand up comedy. Over the years, as they have learned about the impact of eating animals on their health, the planet and the animals, they talked many times about making the transition to a plant-based diet.  But all of them have struggled.  Will a frank discussion about the challenges coupled with “tuna” sushi, a vegan Caesar Salad and rigatoni with an “unreal” ricotta cheese move them further along?  


Luxury Faux Furs Hit the Runway During 2019 Fashion Week in NYC

February 12, 2019 by 1 comment


The News

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. 


World-Renowned UltraRunner and Former Supermodel Goes Vegan

January 25, 2019 by 1 comment


The News

In 2007 at the age of 24, Michele Graglia moved to Miami Beach from Italy in order to expand his family’s floral business in the United States, but, within a week of his arrival, a modeling agent discovered him on the street and convinced him to pursue a career in modeling. Enriched but unsatisfied by the profession, Michele walked off of the runway in 2012, shortly after stumbling upon a book about ultra-running  – a book that dramatically changed his life. 

Michele Graglia gave up his modeling career to pursue ultra-running. Today, he is one of the top ultra-runners in the world.

In this interview with TheirTurn, Michele recounts his journey from a small-town salesman to international supermodel and world-renowned vegan ultra-runner.

Michele’s book, Ultra, was published in Italy in 2017 and is scheduled to be released in the United States in 2019.

Michele Graglia documents his journey as an ultra-runner in his new book, Ultra.