PETA Aims to End Injustice With a Surprise Auction Bid on RBG’s Old Fur Coat

Published by Danny Prater.

PETA aims to transform a black mink coat—something that was once a symbol of success for a woman but now is a sign of an earlier time when most of us were unaware of the awful suffering involved for the animals killed for fur production—formerly owned by late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg into a powerful symbol of her progressive vision. That’s why we’re asking the Washington National Opera to pull RBG’s fur coat from the lineup of its upcoming benefit auction and instead donate it to PETA for use in a traveling educational exhibit—perhaps taking it to schools to show children how many animals go into such garments and pointing out how times have changed, as most designers and retailers are turning their backs on fur.

RBG fur coat for auction

RBG’s fur coat could also work as a gift to our fur donation program, which sends furs to humans in need as well as to wildlife rehabilitation facilities, which turn them into bedding for orphaned wildlife. In return, we’d donate $500 to the opera in RBG’s memory.

Either option would be a far more honorable fate for the coat than being claimed by the lowest kind of bidder: someone who still finds cruelly obtained fur “fashionable.”

We can’t bring back the animals killed for fur, but we can use this coat to advocate for equality and justice for all—principles that RBG cared deeply about.

If the Washington National Opera accepts our offer, the justice will posthumously join the long list of public figures who have donated unwanted fur coats to PETA, including Anjelica Huston, Mariah Carey, Kim Cattrall, Mary Tyler Moore, and Sharon Osbourne.

Killing methods for minks and other animals at fur factory farms are gruesome.

Although fur coats were common in previous generations, people now know that wearing fur is notoriously cruel.

Minks on fur farms are packed into small cages, in which they pace frantically and mutilate themselves—biting their own feet and tails—to try to cope with the intense stress of confinement and out of their desperation to escape. Many are electrocuted, poisoned, gassed, or even skinned while they’re still alive.

minks in cage on fur farms could cause the next global pandemic

RBG’s mink coat is a relic of a bygone era.

Thanks to decades of PETA campaigns, designers, brands, and stores are dropping fur as quickly as consumers are shunning it. As faux fur and other innovative vegan materials take over, real animal fur can still be of important use.

RBG’s fur coat could be used to teach the next generation how speciesism—a human supremacist worldview responsible for massive global suffering—affects billions of animals every year.

We all have a part to play in ending injustice. PETA makes it easy to take action for animals suffering for fur.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind