Anti-Fur Tactics in the Big (Red) Apple During Fashion Week
An Animal Rights Article from


Their Turn
February 2015

It’s Fashion Week in a frigid NYC, and the streets are covered in blood. And, while nothing short of an army of full time activists could stem the flow, the community is fighting back.

Earlier this week, TheirTurn reported on fur shaming as a tactic (see below) to stop people from wearing fur garments. Today, we look at other approaches to transform the Big Apple from red to green.

BILLBOARDS: PETA has erected a 90′ billboard in Times Square on which the musician Pink poses naked and says, “Be comfortable in your own skin, and let others keep theirs.” Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people will see – and perhaps think about and discuss – this provocative billboard.

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PETA’s Anti-fur billboard in Times Square
(photo: Slobadan Randjelovic)

In December, Friends of Animals erected a “Flip Off” Fur billboard in Times Square and risked arrest with a bold protest inside of the Macy’s “Fur Vault.”

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Friends of Animals erected a “Flip Off” Fur billboard in Times Square

PROTESTS: Jane Velez-Mitchell of JaneUnchained has reported on several recent fur protests in New York. In this story, Jane covers a Caring Activists Against Fur (CAAF) protest at the Fur Source, a store on which the activist community has declared war.

During fashion week, Viktor Luna, a designer who uses fur, staged a runway show on the backs of NYC’s beleaguered carriage horses.

7NYCLASS, an activist group working to ban horse-drawn carriages, held a protest in an attempt to disrupt the designer’s show and generate attention for the plight of the carriage horses.

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Activists protest Viktor Luna's fashion show in which he used NYC's beleaguered carriage horses
(photo: NY Daily News)

ONE-ON-ONE ENGAGEMENT: Some activists shame people wearing fur; some wear anti-fur buttons; and some attempt to start a conversation with people wearing fur.

Sharing the message with a colleague while keeping it friendly.

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A TheirTurn reader (left) submitted this photo of herself with a fur wearer who was willing to not only listen but also pose for a post-discussion photo.

The winter of 2015 has brought out so much fur that activists are tearing out our own hair in frustration, but we can’t let that stop us. We must create an environment where people no longer feel comfortable wearing fur because they are either educated about the issue or afraid of the consequences. If you live someplace where people wear fur, please use whatever approach works best for you to be a voice for the animals who have every right to keep their skin.


2015 has been one of the harshest winters on record. And it’s not because of the record snowfall.

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Wearing fur with no shame

Fur, it seems, is everywhere — on coats, vests, hats, boots, scarves, collars and hoods. And it’s being worn by not only men and women but also children. For activists, the abundance of fur begs many questions:

After decades of anti-fur advocacy, why are people wearing it? Are they unaware of the cruelty, or are they simply indifferent to it?

Has a drop in the number of people protesting on the streets from the 1980s and 1990s fostered an environment where people are comfortable wearing fur?

Do people wearing fur trim on their collars and hoods know that it’s real? Is it possible that they don’t realize they’re wearing it?

Do consumers think fur trim is more acceptable or less cruel than a fur coat?

What should the advocacy community do to stop people from wearing – and glamorizing – fur? Does any one approach work better than the others? Street protests? Pamphlets? Billboards? Ad campaigns? Polite interactions?

TheirTurn will explore many of these questions in upcoming articles. In this report, we look at various methods of fur shaming and ask, does it work? And, is it justified, in light of the fact that the discomfort experienced fur consumers is inconsequential relative to the agony endured by the animals they are wearing?

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Rob Banks, a NYC-based animal rights activist, regularly takes to the streets to humiliate people wearing fur: “I strongly feel that publicly shaming those who choose to wear fur is one of the most effective ways to target this cruel industry. The goal is to cause extreme embarrassment, in hopes that they’ll rethink wearing the coat in public again. Once the look is off the streets, it then becomes unfashionable to the public eye.”

Using video footage to publicly shame a fur wearer:

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“M’am. This is what happened to those who you are wearing.”

Some activists use a more subtle approach to fur shaming – one that doesn’t use direct confrontation:

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Anti-fur sticker: “I am an asshole. I wear fur.”

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