Written by PETA
A couple of years ago, we went after P. Diddy pretty hard for for his furry ways, and to make a long story short, he wound up meeting with us about the issue. We explained how animals on fur farms are killed by anal or vaginal electrocution, how animals in the wild are often drowned, beaten to death or left to suffer in traps for days on end, we showed him video of all this, the whole nine yards.
Well, I guess it at least had some effect on him because in an interview in the new Blender magazine, he says “PETA has had an effect on me. If you look at a lot of the Sean John stuff, we have gone to faux fur.” Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Sean John, or Diddy, have gone completely fur free, but this is clearly progress. And you can't argue with progress.
I’d show you the whole interview, but alas, our Legal Department won’t let me.
The one from The Dallas Morning News is my favorite, but I must say that the NY Post gets extra credit for including a photo of the fur hag editor of Vogue Anna Wintour with pie on her face.
I really believe the tide has turned on this issue. Prada shows its first fur-free line in decades, other heavy hitters like Calvin Klein, Marc Bouwer, Betsey Johnson, Stella Mccartney, Kenneth Cole, and Ralph Lauren are all fur-free now, and huge retailers like J.Crew, Limited Brands, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, and The Gap refuse to sell real fur.
It's a tough time to be a fur pimp.
The high school I went to was a small Catholic school in DC called St. Anselm's Abbey School, which was run by Benedictine monks. Although it was pretty stressful academically—and kind of traumatizing that there were no girls there—the experience was one of the best of my life, in no small part because of the powerful example of wisdom and kindness that all of the monks provided, both in their teaching and in their daily life. (I also really liked the fact that we had a ping pong table in our senior lounge, but that's a different story.) But the point here is, as those of you who have seen the huge breaking investigation on the front page of our website will have guessed, that my personal experience with the genuine compassion that's a fundamental part of the Catholic monastic tradition has made it even more difficult for me to try to comprehend the tragic blindness to horrifying cruelty that is shown by the monks at the Mepkin Abbey, who run an egg factory farm to fund their South Carolina monastery.
One of the worst parts of this video for me is when a monk compares the process of forced molting to a fast that he and his brethren practice to show their devotion to God. The difference—for the benefit of any Mepkin Abbey monks who happen to be reading this—is that a fast is a voluntary religious practice, while forced molting is an excruciating torture in which chickens who are already crammed together in cages so small that they barely have room to spread their wings are starved for up to two weeks to shock their bodies into another laying cycle.
Before I get too carried away here, the point I want to make is that, while torturing birds is particularly reprehensible when you find out that the people who are doing it should damn well know better (because, for instance, they're monks, for God's sake), the truth is that most of the horrific practices documented in our investigation are industry standard. If you're looking for something to give up this Lent, please think seriously about giving up eggs. You can always give up chocolate next year.
I’ve talked before about my friend Dan Mathews, PETA’s fancypants VP, who spends his life jetting around the world getting celebs on board with our campaigns, disrupting fashion shows, and sometimes ending up in the slammer. Every time Dan gets home from a trip, he has another amazing story to tell.
One of Dan's best qualities is that no matter how serious the issue is that he’s working on, he never lets it get him down. He always finds a way to have fun and make our campaigns accessible to everyone. Dan once told me that the way he’s been able to keep working at his crazy pace for so many years is that his first thought when he wakes up every morning is not about work or politics or animal rights or anything like that—it's “How can I have fun today?” That's some pretty solid advice for anyone, and something I should probably try and remember next time I throw my alarm clock across the room at 6:30 a.m. (I'm not quite the morning person Dan Mathews is).
Anyway, the reason for this whole love fest is that Dan just finished writing his first book, Committed: A Rabble Rouser’s Memoir. The book isn’t out until April, but the buzz is already starting, as the crazy stories in it are starting to get leaked. I just saw this one about Chrissie Hynde getting arrested for protesting The Gap right after the company offered her $100,000 to use one of her songs in a commercial and Pam Anderson shooting this ad ... while she was six months pregnant:
Don’t think she looks six months pregnant? During the shoot, Pam told Dan, "Don’t worry. Nowadays, they can airbrush out a baby as easily as a birthmark." Priceless. The book is out April 17, and I'm actually really looking forward to it. If you're interested, you can pre-order that bad boy here.
OK, so admittedly I’m not the world’s biggest fashionista, but even I know that Prada is a big deal in the fashion world. Like, the biggest deal there is. So this is just beyond incredible.
Not even 24 hours after a PETA Europe member disrupted the Prada fashion show at Milan Fashion Week, and less than a month since PETA reps showed this video to Prada execs in Milan, the mood has swung 180 degrees and founder Miuccia Prada received a bouquet of roses from PETA Europe this morning. The sudden about-face happened because, for the first time in decades—yes, I mean literally decades—there wasn’t a single fur item in Prada’s fall/winter collection. And check this: Miuccia Prada herself said that she is “bored” with real fur. It seems that Prada has finally realized what we’ve been saying for years, that designing with fur is unimaginative as hell, not to mention cruel.
Prada’s new line is called “Fake Classic”—I love it. Check out this incredible orange faux-fur coat. I guess this is what “Fake Classic” means.
Prada’s announcement is making headlines worldwide, but my favorite one so far is from a huge paper in Australia: “Animal liberationists scored a victory today when Milan's style matron, Miuccia Prada, proclaimed she was bored with fur.” Are we on a roll or what? We finished up last year with heavyweights Kenneth Cole, J.Crew, Ann Taylor, and Ralph Lauren going fur free, started this year off with a bang with the Marc Bouwer show, and now this amazing news from Prada.
It all just makes Burberry seem that much more out of touch.
Check this ish out—this piece in our local paper brought a smile to my face today, since all of us here at PETA are gonna be out in the freezing cold tomorrow night protesting opening night of the Ringling Bros. Circus.
And they included this beautiful photo of some local kids at an anti-Ringling demonstration. Love it.
I'm kicking myself today because I ended up deciding not to watch the Daytona 500 this weekend after everyone I invited told me they'd rather watch paint dry. The only other person I know of here at work who's into car racing is Ingrid Newkirk, but you don't exactly call the big boss up on a Sunday morning and invite her round for a couple of sixers, some vegan bratwurst, and four hours of restrictor plate racing. Besides, Ingrid's big thing is Formula 1 (click here for more on that)—I don't know how she feels about stock cars. Anyway, it turns out that not only did I miss one of the most exciting races in NASCAR history, but a few of my colleagues actually got to go! Admittedly, they had to attend the event wearing nothing but skimpy yellow bikinis and spend the entire time holding signs and passing out faux chicken and anti-KFC leaflets to surprised NASCAR fans, but I totally would have done all that for a free ticket. OK, maybe not. Check it out though—the girls were a huge hit with everyone except the police.
Jennifer Lopez just had a screening of her new film, Bordertown, at the Berlin Film Festival, but she started crying when the crowd responded with loud boos. If Lopez wasn’t such a total fur hag, I just might feel sorry for her. But I really can’t believe just how warped her mind is—she cries because a few people boo her latest hideous movie, but she's totally unfazed by what she saw in this movie.
What I don’t understand is why the wannabe diva got so upset this time. She should certainly be used to bad reviews by now, and until she drops the fur, she may as well get used to her events not quite turning out the way she wants . . .
Man, so this year’s Oscar race for Best Actor is going to be a good one, and all of us at PETA are extra excited since two of the nominees have been active in our campaigns.
First off, we’ve got Ryan Gosling, who is nominated for his role as Dan Dunne in Half Nelson. Ryan helped us out with our KFC campaign by penning a letter urging the company to implement basic animal-welfare standards.
But I think the smart money is on Forest Whitaker for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. The experience gained while shooting this pro-vegetarian PSA may just give him the edge he needs.
While writing this entry, I started thinking about some past Oscar winners who have helped PETA with our work over the years, and the ones I came up with were:
Charlize Theron, who got her statue in 2003 for her leading role in Monster. Charlize has helped PETA in numerous ways over the years, most notably by narrating a puppy mill exposé and posing for this beautiful anti-fur ad.
Kim Basinger, who won in 1997 for her role in L.A. Confidential. Kim shot an amazing “Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” ad for us a while back, and has pitched in with numerous other campaigns over the years.
And last but not least is Jack Lemmon, who won in 1955 for his role in Mister Rogers and in 1973 for Save the Tiger. Jack was against animal testing and before his death in 2001, he wrote to Congress on PETA’s behalf to protest cruel cigarette smoking experiments on animals.
I know I just said “last but not least” but my celeb-obsessed cubicle-pod-mate Stephanie just told me that four of the last eight winners for best picture starred PETA pals as well. Judi Dench in Shakespeare in Love, Sexiest Vegetarian nominee Thora Birch in American Beauty, long-time PETA supporter Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator and Dominic Monaghan in Lord of the Rings.
Damn, that’s a lot, huh?
Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always been oddly fascinated with mannequins in store windows. As a kid I would wonder what they were thinking about, if they were looking at me, and what they do when the store closes and the lights go out . . . As an adult, however, I’ve always been much more fond of human mannequins, particularly when they are smearing “blood” on the front window of stores.
So imagine my surprise when I found out that just a little while ago that in Milan, Italy, three PETA Europe activists took over the Burberry store window there, to let the world know that Burberry tortures animals.
Did I mention that the entire fashion industry is in town for Milan Fashion Week and that this is Burberry’s flagship store? Oh man, I bet Burberry is bumming, especially after all the attention they’ve been getting worldwide . . .
***We now pause to satisfy the lawyers***
The suits upstairs want me to make a couple of things abundantly clear to you, dear reader. Firstly, please note that I am merely reporting that this event happened in Europe, and secondly, just in case it isn’t clear, let me state for the record that I do not support such activities.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.