Wondering What Happened to Peta

Yes, I’m from Rhode Island. No, I’m not wondering about what happened to a guy named Peter. I’m wondering where the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have gone along with Lynx. As I wandered around my home state over the holidays and trudge into my job in the city, I am surrounded by fur trimmed collars. Yes, some of them are not real fur, but a lot of them are. All those red and black parkas with the red and white arm patch are trimmed with coyote. Now I realize that most people aren’t fans of coyote, but are they all that different from mink or fox, chinchilla or beaver?

A quick Google search and it’s clear that PETA is still around. Interested? You can check them out at peta.org where you’ll discover that they are concerned about the coyote but you’ll need to scroll down past the buttons to join, publicity about their successes, suggestions that you choose a vegetarian lifestyle, and a plea for you to end “speciesism” – just when you thought you knew all the isms. But you will have the opportunity to urge a number of companies to stop selling fur.

Still a far cry from the 80’s where we were bombarded with television ads and media stories. Am I the only one who remembers red paint throwing fanatics, celebrities exposing their naked bodies and the horrific ad campaigns created by Lynx. Lynx has been replaced by Respect for Animals, respect for animals.org, who is still focused on anti-fur efforts but maybe not as effectively as its predecessor.

My friends and I would have found it unconscionable to wear an inherited fur let alone go out and buy a new one. Closets full of mink, fox, raccoon, beaver and chinchilla were turned into teddy bears, hidden in the backs of closets or even slipped into the bottom of bags for donation. There was a time that you couldn’t give them away let alone sell them. Yes, there was always one “glamorous” woman who said to hell with us all as they strolled around the market in their full length fox, but for the most part fur disappeared.

Maybe it’s the fact that it’s trim rather than large pelts. Did it start with those pompom hats? No one seemed to be bothered, so let’s see if they can tolerate a little more. Well PETA was bothered and at least as early as 2016 was encouraging us to discontinue this trend, but it doesn’t appear that we were listening.

Maybe a new generation needs to take over the fight. Why aren’t PETA and Respect for Animals Insta accounts making an impact? Is there not a way to create an anti-fur TikTok that could go viral and impact Millennials and Gen Zer’s in the way David Bailey’s Dumb Animals video affected me and fellow Gen Xer’s.

Am I angry that people are wearing fur or am I angry that I missed out on wearing fur for the last thirty years? Is it time to pull the mink stole out from the back of the closet to be refashioned or is it time to question this resurgence? And yes, I eat meat and have plenty of leather shoes, coats, and purses so is it hypocritical to even begin to question fur? Maybe, but we all draw our lines differently and I guess I’m just not ready to cross this one yet.

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