The Dumbest Animal Rights Take Ever

I have read a lot of bizarre and outrageous claims from animal rights activists over the years, but Chas Newkey-Burden has published what may be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read by an activist. Writing in The Guardian, Newkey-Burden’s piece is headlined,

If you wear fake fur, you are dressing up as an animal killer

The article largely rehashes various animal rights claims and then ponders whether or not activists should push for a ban on fake fur,

But what about the fake stuff? Banning fake fur would seem an over-reaction (though it would certainly avoid any future confusion for well-meaning shoppers). More sensible than a ban might be a boycott. Wearing fake fur endorses a place for fur of any kind in the fashion industry, and given that we now know some “fake” fur is in fact real, and the product of great suffering, the vain hope that it could be separated from that cruelty in our minds has probably been extinguished.

So leave fur, real or imagined, on the shelf and build your look on something other than animal cruelty. There’s nothing beautiful about pretending to be wearing an abused animal.

Newkey-Burden is a British author who specializes in cranking out pseudonymous celebrity biographies, including scintillating entries such as Simon Cowell: The Unauthorized Biography and Paris Hilton: Life on the Edge, so perhaps asking him to actually think carefully through an argument may be a bit much to ask at this point.

Peter Daniel Young — I’d Break Into Mink Farm Again

In interview with the Associated Press, animal rights extremist Peter Daniel Young said that although he faces up to two years in jail for breaking into fur farms, “I would do it all again.”

Young, 28, told the Associated Press,

As bad as it could get [in prison], it will never be as bad as it was for those mink. I would do it all over again.

. . .

If saving thousands of [mink] lives makes a terrorist, then I certainly embrace the label. I would have been just as fast to act if those cages had been filled with human beings.

Young is scheduled to be sentenced November 8.


Animal activist faces prison term. Todd Richmond, Associated Press, October 6, 2005.

Yet Another Wife Beater for Animal Rights

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals seems to have a soft spot for men who beat their wives, as it is featuring yet another wife beater as a spokesman for the group.

Earlier this year, of course, Dennis Rodman appeared in an anti-fur ad. Rodman apparently does not want furry animals hurt, but he had no problem assaulting his then-wife, Carmen Electra, during a 1999 incident.

Now, PETA has announced that Tommy Lee is appearing in one of its anti-fur ads.

According to a press release,

Tommy Lee first learned about PETA through longtime animal advocate Pamela Anderson. Says Lee in an interview with PETA, “I have actually been looking forward to getting involved. I get the PETA magazine, and what the fur trade does to animals is absolutely terrifying. A lot of hip-hop artists wear fur, and they think it’s a status symbol. That doesn’t register; I just see dead animals.

Now when it comes to human beings, all Tommy Lee sees is punching bags.

In 1998, Lee plead no contest to spousal abuse in Malibu Municipal Court and was sentenced to six months in jail. On February 24, 1998, his then-wife Pamela Anderson Lee called 911 saying that Lee assaulted her while she was holding the couple’s seven-week old infant.

Wearing fur or eating meat is apparently just like the Holocaust or slavery, but beating your wife apparently just elicits yawns from PETA.

On its web site, PETA warns that kids who are violent to animals might grow up to be violent to people. It forgets to add that adult who are violent to people are then eligible to become PETA spokesmen.


Naked Tommy Lee Declares, ‘Ink, Not Mink,’ In New Ad for PETA. Press Release, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Undated.

USDA Reports Increase in Mink Pelt Production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released its annual report on mink pelt production in the United States.

In 2004, total mink production increased by 1 percent over 2003, while the cash value of all mink pelts produced in 2004 increased by 21 percent to $124 million, up from $102 million in 2003. Average pelt price increased from $40.10 in 2003 to $48.40 in 2004. That was the highest average pelt price sinced 1995 when mink pelts averaged $53.10.

In all, 2,563,100 mink pelts were produced in the United States in 2004, and 642,100 females were bred to produce kits.

The total number of mink farms in the United States declined by 3 percent in 2004, down to 296 compared to 305 in 2003.

The USDA’s complete report on mink pelt production can be read here.

Alicia Silverstone’s Cruel Garments

In April, an article at Female First noted that anti-fur, vegan activist Alicia Silverstone donned a silk dress designed by J Mendel when she appeared at the premier of “Beauty Shop.”

Mendel, of course, designs and manufacturers fur clothing.

Moreover, Silverstone refused to wear silk on her canceled television show “Miss Match.” For a look at the cruelty involved in silk production, lets turn to the pro-AR Animal Rights FAQ,

What’s wrong with silk? It is the practice to boil the cocoons that still
contain the living moth larvae in order to obtain the silk. This produces
longer silk threads than if the moth was allowed to emerge. The silkworm can
certainly feel pain and will recoil and writhe when injured.

Presumably Silverstone’s just been too busy curing cancer to keep up on these things.


Alicia Silverstone Clueless About Mendels Fur Links. Female First, 2005.

PETA Cries Wolf Over J. Lo Cancelled Billboard Ad

In a classic example of its hypocrisy, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals whined to anyone who would listen in March that Jennifer Lopez had bullied Billboard into rejecting a PETA ad attacking the fur-loving actor/singer/tabloid item.

The ad featured a picture of a skinned animal accompanied by an open letter attacking Lopez for her continued wearing and use of fur in her clothing line. The letter asked for a meeting between Lopez and PETA representatives.

On March 28, however, Billboard told PETA it was cancelling the $5,000 ad, and PETA’s Lisa Lange accused Billboard of caving to pressure from Loepz’s record label, Epic.

Lopez’s publicist, Nanci Ryder, told the San Francisco Chronicle,

I’m doing my job which is protecting my client. I don’t understand why PETA wants to meet with Jennifer.

In my opinion, there would be nothing worse than a meeting, unless in the meting we could commit to not wearing fur and using fur in fashion. Unless we could do that, I didn’t quite understand where the meeting would go.

And Lopez so far is standing her ground.

Its more than a little odd to see a group that encourages animal rights terrorism and goes so far as to celebrate the murder of those with whom they disagree to turn around and complain that it was wrong for Billboard to field a concerned call from Lopez’s publicist.

Apparently in PETA’s world, only they are allowed to speak and their targets must just sit there and take the punishment from the animal rights nut cases. Good for Lopez for fighting back.


Did J. Lo force Billboard to pull PETA ad? San Francisco Chronicle, March 29, 2005.