For many, Black Friday was a day of frantic shopping. But for members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the day was a chance for shoppers and retailers to think before they buy or sell products made from animals.
PETA members and supporters gathered at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and North Rodeo Drive Friday for the organization’s annual “Fur Free Friday” event.
“PETA is asking people to remember animals on the busiest shopping day of the year by leaving fur off their lists,” said Matt Bruce, who organized the rally. “Every day is 'Black Friday' for foxes, raccoons, rabbits and other animals who are trapped, drowned, beaten to death, strangled, electrocuted and even skinned alive in order to produce fur coats and collars."
There are no federal laws that protect animals on fur farms, Bruce said.
“If this kind of abuse were brought upon a dog or a cat it would warrant felony cruelty to animal charges,” he said.
PETA believes that selling and buying clothes and products made from animal fur, feathers and hides creates a market that fosters the abuse of animals. Saving animals is as simple as choosing alternatives like faux or synthetic material, Bruce said.
Protesters reminded shoppers that they can dress with style without wearing fur. Clothing made from synthetic materials is now available in every price range from most retailers—even top fashion designers such as Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein refuse to work with real fur.
"There is no excuse for wearing any animal’s skin," Bruce said.