imagine: it is the year 2025 and fur is dead. Really dead. People who once wore
items made from animals hold their heads in shame for once flaunting such cruelty.
Companies that some time ago sold fur products recover from the negative public
image they gained by selling animal skins for fashion. Trapping for wildlife
management and fur trapping is a dusty memory. History books
now narrate a dark legend of a wicked industry that massacred animals for fur.
remarkable change in history, but is it possible? Right now it is just a vision.
is now 2003 and the fight against the fur trade is one of the oldest campaigns
in the animal rights movement. The rage against fur intensified in 1980 and carried
on successfully for many years. By the late 80s, fur campaigns were diluted
for a variety of reasons. The campaigns strengthened yet again in the mid 90s
and assisted in building the momentum until recent time. At present, anti-fur
campaigns are dead.
What happened to the spirit of our anti-fur campaigns?
Fewer organizations are implementing concrete anti-fur projects if any at all.
Groups are moving towards campaigns that are fresh and sexier than the
norm. This transformation has caused a devastating impact on the anti-fur movement
and helped the fur industry gain back a force of fur fashion. The fur industry
is well-financed and employs that advantage against our efforts. The AR movement
cannot afford to allow the fur industry the lead on convincing the public that
fur is a fabric or that animals are not harmed for their skins. If
the AR movement does not rebuild our anti-fur efforts rapidly, then we can just
prepare to give up this struggle to defend the animals killed for their skins.
have made progress in the past, and we can continue to do so. Fifteen years ago,
most every department store sold real animal fur. It was common to walk into these
stores and see racks and racks of mink, fox, beaver, and raccoon. Fortunately,
times have changed. Because the animal rights movement successfully educated the
public that fur farms and trapping inflict unnecessary suffering, many major retailers
such as Bonwit Teller, Robinson-May Co., Bon Marche, and others have vacated the
fur business. Then there are the notable, prestigious department stores that still
sell fur and, in fact, many of them are major proponents of the fur industry.
like Nordstrom, Hudsons, and Lazarus have closed dozens of fur departments,
but have not gone entirely fur-free. Of course, there is Macys West that
closed all its fur departments west of the Mississippi, but its sister company,
Macys East, continues to operate full-scale fur shops in over thirty locations.
efforts are best utilized when targeting large department store chains. Substantial
efforts in multiple cities have the best chance of generating national, and international
news coverage. Over the last few years, the three main anti-fur campaigns have
been Burlington Coat Factory, Federated Dept. Stores (Macys East, etc.),
and Neiman Marcus.
Anti-fur campaigns can and will come alive again, but
organizations will need to re-energize activists. During the peak of the anti-fur
movement, groups organized regional meetings and conferences for the grassroots
activists. This provided a retreat for grassroots activists to share and cross-train
skills, tactics, and strategies. It also offered an opportunity for activists
to network with others working on similar issues. Many of these events were effective
for recruitment of newcomers and supplied them with excitement and energy to join
the movement. A good solid activist base is crucial to making our campaigns effective
If every organization selected an effective and well designed
anti-fur campaign, the fur industry would feel our labors and we would make substantial
progress. These campaigns need to be built on a solid foundation based on truth,
reason, and a high-quality strategy. It is imperative that groups develop a solid
campaign strategy formulated in advance to achieve specific goals and objectives.
The result will shower us with victories. Implementing an anti-fur strategy that
prepares organizers to utilize volunteers, staff, money, equipment, and other
resources will save valuable time and lives.
The anti-fur movement needs
to expand and become more effective and more powerful than any of our opposition.
It is fantastic news that national groups are taking on more serious fur campaigns
this year. However, the grassroots movement plays a key role in obtaining our
victory. Over the years, activists have committed to campaigns and vowed to not
stop until a victory was achieved. Some activists surrendered the fight, but others
have continued their dedication and stood by their vows. Long-term campaigns can
be strenuous, dreary, agonizing, and disheartening, but the dedicated keep fighting
because they have no choice. These are the champions in the movement. It takes
patience, determination, innovative ideas, and a good solid commitment to make
Everyone who is concerned about animal rights has
a place in the movement. Everyone has the ability to make a positive contribution
to anti-fur campaigns. Everyone has they key to success to make our goals a reality
once and for all.
Ability is what youre capable of doing.
Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
- Lou Holtz