Meagan Duhamel Says Olympic Uniforms Should Stay Fur-Free

PETA Supporter Warns of 'Huge Step Backward' if Olympic Committee Adds Animal Fur to Beijing 2022 Uniforms

For Immediate Release:
April 4, 2019

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Toronto – The Canadian Olympic Committee has been asked to add animal fur to Team Canada’s uniforms, so three-time Olympic medalist Meagan Duhamel, who currently resides in Montreal, sent the committee a letter on PETA’s behalf this morning urging against this “huge step backward for our country.”

“There is no need—or excuse—for using animal fur on Team Canada’s uniforms,” writes the world champion pairs figure skater. “Canada is a forward-thinking, compassionate country. Please, ensure that our Olympians’ uniforms reflect this when the athletes take the world stage at Beijing 2022 by making them fur-free.”

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat,” and the group opposes speciesism, a supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

Duhamel’s letter to the Canadian Olympic Committee follows.

Tricia Smith

President

Canadian Olympic Committee

Dear Ms. Smith,

I hope you’re well. As a proud Canadian and multiple Olympic medalist, I was alarmed to hear from my friends at PETA that senators and members of Parliament are being pressured to use real fur on Team Canada’s Olympic uniforms for Beijing 2022. This would be a huge step backward for our country.

The person making this request may be from an indigenous community, but the company that makes the Olympic uniforms—Hudson’s Bay—is not. The vast majority of fur that’s sold today comes from animals who live and die on massive industrial fur farms.

Animals on these farms are deprived of the opportunity to engage in any type of natural behavior—including foraging, swimming, exploring, and choosing mates—because they’re forced to spend their entire lives confined to cramped, barren wire cages. Some even mutilate themselves, chewing on their own limbs or tails, because of the constant psychological and physical torment of such intensive confinement. Then they’re killed using crude and painful methods such as gassing, poisoning, neck-breaking, and anal electrocution.

Animals who are trapped in their natural habitats for fur can suffer for days without any food or water—and with no way to escape attacks by predators—before trappers return to strangle, shoot, or bludgeon them to death. Mothers who are desperate to return to their young have even chewed or twisted off their own legs in an attempt to free themselves.

Fur is an environmental nightmare, too—from the millions of pounds of feces produced by animals on fur farms every year to the toxic chemicals used to keep animal skins from decomposing to the massive amounts of fuel, electricity, water, and other resources used at every stage of fur production. Studies have shown that it can be three to 10 times more environmentally harmful to produce a real fur garment than a faux-fur one.

There’s no need—or excuse—for using animal fur on Team Canada’s uniforms. Recent advances have made faux fur nearly indistinguishable from animal pelts—as well as far more sustainable and infinitely customizable. Designers are now using fur made from recycled plastic bottles, and this year, faux fur that’s biodegradable will be available.

Canada is a forward-thinking, compassionate country. Please, ensure that our Olympians’ uniforms reflect this when the athletes take the world stage at Beijing 2022 by making them fur-free. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Meagan Duhamel

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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

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