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Confronting a Fur-Wearer

I like making people feel comfortable and am the sort of person who will wake up at 6 a.m. to cook a surprise breakfast for a friend despite the fact that I don’t like waking up early. Doing things to make others feel welcome and comfortable just feels right to me. And confronting people to make them feel uncomfortable is not something that comes naturally to me, but I am an animal rights activist, and sometimes you need to be a voice in defense of those who cannot speak for themselves.

For example, when I see someone standing next to me in line at a coffee shop in a fur coat, I immediately think, “Oh no, I am so not in the mood to talk to anyone, but I must.” I then feel so outraged while staring at their coat that I think I might explode. When I open my mouth to speak, however, it ends up just being a polite, innocent, and quiet, “Excuse me. Is your coat a real fur?” If the wearer actually fesses up and admits that it is, I usually invoke a surprised look that is on the verge of tears and say something like, “Oh no! If it were fake, I was going to tell you just how awesome you were for making such a compassionate choice, but yikes! That’s a lot of little bunnies!”

Depending on the way the conversation goes, I either politely yet firmly mention that the animals who are bred in the fur industry are kept in deplorable conditions and are anally electrocuted and then encourage them to donate their coat to homeless people (who are the only people who have an excuse to use a fur to keep warm, as they are unable to purchase coats for themselves), or if the fur-wearer storms off when I start to explain all of this, I just yell something like, “THERE’S NO EXCUSE!” or “FUR IS DEAD!”

Throughout the winter season, I also keep stickers and leaflets in my coat pockets. Often when on the go and just briefly whisking by someone in a fur, you only have time enough to hand them a leaflet. Do be sure to fold the leaflet so that an image of a skinned animal is not the first thing they see, as they will be unlikely to take it from you. There are plenty of beautiful and warm alternatives to fur.

Search for cruelty-free clothing.

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  • Monika says:

    Thank you so much for the tips! I thought I saw a woman in fur the other day at the mall, and I had no idea what to say.. I didn’t want to say anything negative right off the bat because with my luck, it would be faux fur! But this really does help!

  • Jessica says:

    I think that this was a fantastic story and your courage is something to be admired. Recently a co-worker of mine came into work wearing a rabbit fur coat. I asked politely if it was real, she told me it was. I looked at her weird, unable to think of what to say seeing as she knows I don’t eat meat, when she shrugged and wlaked away. I can’t confront her because I work with her I did tell her that I don’t support fur because of all the cruelty and she took it but still wears the coat. I have no idea what to do!

  • jen says:

    I think thats great that you have the courage to express your views. However I would be more cautious in the future in coffee shops,if you approach the wrong person they may not be so easy,you can enrage them to the point(and I’ve seen it happen) were that individual will throw piping hot coffee in your face.Now if that is a risk your willing to take,more power to you! But for others like teens that could be very dangerous.We live in very very hostile times, I think leaving a quick flyer or bumper sticker would be a safer alternative. Do it quickly.Ask the coffee shop manager if you could leave flyers .Or gather your money and rent a billboard, in these economic times you might be surprised on the deals you could get.

  • Kristy says:

    Mylie I have to applaud you for being so brave! Since I live in south Texas, I rarely see women wearing fur thank God! When I do, I usually do something a bit more passive-agressive…like getting on the cell phone and saying something loud like, “Some hag is wearing a dead animal and actually thinks she looks good”. Immature I know, but it brings me some sick satisfaction.

  • Lianne says:

    Thanks for the tips, Mylie! It’s a little awkward confronting fur-wearers, but it has to be done. We don’t want them just prancing around thinking they’re fashionable or anything. :( Gross.

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