PETAÂ’'s Take on Fur

The 1998 award for poorly timed
press releases goes to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which
had strangely disjointed press releases on successive days at the end
of December.

In a December 29 press release,
PETA announced it was donating fur coats to homeless people in Chicago.
PETA received the furs as donations from celebrities and others who converted
to the animal rights cause and no longer wanted to wear fur. PETA president
Ingrid Newkirk summed up the groupÂ’s motivation in giving away the coats
by saying, “only people struggling to survive have any excuse for
wearing fur.” Newkirk didnÂ’t address why, if struggling to survive
allows one to use animals, medical researchers canÂ’t use animals to try
to find treatments for terminally ill patients “struggling to survive.”

In any event, on December
30 PETA released yet another press release on fur announcing that “only
cave people wear fur.” So are homeless people “struggling to
survive” or are they stone aged Neanderthals? You be the judge, but
PETA did announce an anti-fur demonstration that would include “members
of PETA and Animal Action wielding clubs and draped in animal skins.”

The image of PETA members
dressed up as Fred Flintstone is certainly a compelling one, but at least
PETA did everyone a favor by highlighting how long animal use has been
a central part of human societies.

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