On Columbus Day, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, dozens of animal rights activists in New York City staged a provocative anti-fur demonstration at the department store Macy’s, which sells fur garments in a section of the store called “The Fur Vault.”
Activist confronts fur salesman at Macy’s
The protest and educational outreach event, which was organized by the grassroots group Caring Activists Against Fur (CAAF), attracted the attention of thousands of pedestrians in midtown Manhattan.
Please boycott Macy’s and cancel your Macy’s credit card, if you have one. If you submit a photo of yourself holding a torn Macy’s card, TheirTurn will share it on social media to inspire others to boycott the store.
“The Fur Vault” at Macy’s sells hundreds of fur garments
Activists with Friends of Animals (FOA) staged a bold, in-store protest in the Fur Vault at New York City’s Macy’s, the world’s largest department store. Edita Birnkrant, FOA’s Campaign Director, said, “We entered the Fur Vault and, while chanting into the megaphone, I unraveled the crime scene tape and laid it across the coats. At that point, the manager yelled, ‘Call 911’ and another employee answered ‘I already did.'”
Birnkrant and her three partners in crime (compassion, really) took their anti-fur, pro-kindess message inside the store because “people wake up and think in a more heightened way when they encounter a protest where they don’t expect it and where it’s not supposed to happen — on private property.”
During their seven minutes at the Fur Salon, Birnkrant asked shoppers to make the connection between the fur coats and the animals who were skinned to make them. And, of course, she and her fellow activists chanted: “Hey, Macy’s, what do you say? How did you get your fur today? Gassing, trapping, anal electrocution.” Shortly after they arrived, Macy’s security ushered customers out of the Fur Vault and shut the doors, temporarily halting business on one of the business shopping days of the year.
FOA’s Edita Birnkrant pays her respects to the victims (video screen grab)
The response from shoppers who gathered to watch was mixed. Some applauded, and others challenged them: “As I was chanting ‘Please reject the violence of fur,’ one woman angrily asked “How about the violence to human beings? In response, I said, ‘We can have compassion for people and animals. How we treat each other, how we treat animals, and how we treat the planet are all connected.” As expected, one shopper shouted, “Plants feel pain too.” There’s one in every crowd.
Angry shopper tells protesters to help people instead (video screen grab)
Birnkrant knew that she and the others might be arrested and wrote the name of a lawyer on her arm just in case: “I honestly had no idea what to expect. Would we be jumped by cops, thrown to the ground and hauled to jail for doing this?” Fortunately, luck was on their side that day: “We were able to pull off a 7-minute in-store protest with a megaphone without getting arrested, and I’m happy about that.”
Asked why she took the risk, Birnkrant said, “Non-violent civil disobedience has been used by other social justice movements that we all admire. Direct action is needed for the animals who have no voice. We need to be loud, aggressive and disruptive to get peoples’ attention, but we should always be respectful. We’re trying to reach people with a message of compassion, so it can’t come across as simply rage.”
FOA organized the protest in Macy’s Fur Salon, or “Chamber of Horrors,” as Birnkrant refers to it, to coincide with the unveiling of their gigantic “Flip off Fur” billboard in Times Square.
If only this fox could jump off the billboard and bite the people who are wearing his friends
Jane Velez-Mitchell reports on the billboard and the protest on Jane Unchained:
An anti-fur petition created just three days ago has already amassed over 90,000 signatures. Gap Inc.’s Intermix stores sell garments made from raccoon dogs, foxes, rabbits, mink, and kangaroos. Please sign the Change.org petition asking Gap Inc. to make all of its stores fur fur-free.
Just seconds after two women climbed into a bathtub, naked, on a busy sidewalk in midtown Manhattan, dozens of reporters and hundreds of pedestrians descended upon them to snap photos and take video of their bold (and cold) protest against Macy’s.
Photo: Donny Moss
PETA organized the street spectacle to protest Macy’s inclusion of a SeaWorld float in its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. TV host Jane Velez-Mitchell posted this report from the protest:
When asked by Jane why she was protesting in the frigid weather, one of the naked orcas said, “This is just an hour of our time. Orcas spend their entire lives in the equivalent of a bathtub.”
Activists protest SeaWorld float at Rose Bowl Parade
On its website, SeaWorld of Hurt, PETA says, “SeaWorld enslaves animals in small tanks at marine parks around the country, where they are forced to perform unnecessary tricks for “entertainment.” It’s a business built on the suffering of intelligent, social animals who are denied everything that is natural and important to them.”