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We’ve Rejected Our Own Ad

A man leaps out, clubs the poor thing unconscious, and then rips off her fur. No, she isn’t a baby harp seal—she’s a woman wearing a fur coat in a shocking new commercial that PETA has decided is too violent to air in the aftermath of September 11.

The TV ad, which asks, “What if you were killed for your coat?,” was produced by the Philadelphia advertising agency of Earle Palmer Brown and was shot just a week before the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The commercial was originally intended to air in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., on “Fur-Free Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving and busiest shopping day of the year.

But PETA has now rejected its own ad, fearing that the message will be lost on an already shell-shocked public. For now, the only place to see PETA’s shelved PSA is at

“We’re hopeful that Americans’ new sensitivity to violence will ruin fur sales this season without our having to resort to showing shocking images,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk.

PETA’s ad isn’t pretty, but neither is the fur industry. PETA undercover investigations of fur farms in Illinois, Indiana, and California reveal fur farmers killing foxes and chinchillas via anal and genital electrocution. Animals suffered exposed broken bones, upper respiratory tract infections, and cancerous tumors without veterinary care. PETA investigators in Maryland found fur farmers killing minks by injecting them with lethal weed-killer. Because fur farmers care only about preserving pelts—not humane slaughter—they also kill animals via gassing, strangling, and neck-breaking. Trapped animals don’t fare much better, often suffering for days and slowly dying of disease or thirst or by starvation before trappers return to stomp or club them to death.