For many, 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 “” 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 noted. "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.
West Hollywood City Council cast its final vote of approval last week for the controversial ordinance . In response, PETA awarded Weho its Proggy Award as "." The Proggy Award's name is short for "progress."
Speakers at the rally in Beverly Hills Friday included Grammy Award-winning song writer Cynthia Weil and her daughter, radio talk show host and blogger Dr. Jenn Berman, a pediatrician. Both women are vegans, who do not eat animal products or eggs, milk and other products produced from animals.
The protesters reminded shoppers that they can dress with style without wearing leather or 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, who all refuse to work with real fur.
"There is no excuse for wearing any animal’s skin," Bruce said.