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80's Time Magazine Article


JGalanos
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You know, something like this almost makes me wonder just for curiosity sake...just how old is the anti-fur campaign? Does it go back before the late 1960's protest era?

Just sort of idle speculation, but my guess would be that one would not find much before this time. Those would have been the true glory days...no potential for anyone to feel guilty about life's greatest pleasure.

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Anti-fur activities weren't very prominent until the mid to late 70's and not very much even then. Anti-fur didn't exist prior to the 60's. Quite the opposite.

 

They didn't get cranked up until the late 80's and hit their stride in the 90's. They have been in a slow fade since 2000 in North America. I think the British Isles and The Netherlands are the only strong area left.

 

I'm not even sure they actually had that much real impact on fur sales. Things were changing with styles and a broader eco consciousness that had many folks questioning everything they did.

 

Unfortunately the Hummer and other gross consumer activities blew that to hell.

 

Fortunately furs have begun to recover from the style doldrums.

 

OFF

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As I recall, the primary concerns of activists in the 60's and 70's were what they considered to be "barbaric" practices like the clubbing of baby seals in the artic region.

 

As OFF stated above, I don't think what we now know as the "animal rights movement" was organized until the latter half of the 80's. I'm not sure I agree with OFF that they had minimal impact on fur sales, however. Something impacted fur sales in the late 80's/early 90's, and I'm not sure all of it can be attributed to the economic malaise that followed the '87 market crash. The animal rights movement became very vocal in the early 90's, vilifying both fur buyers and fur sellers. Upscale department stores Nordstrom and Harrods closed their fur departments in the early 90's and furriers such as Evans, Inc. and The Fur Vault experienced financial difficulties and closed multiple locations. I believe even Canada's (Hudson) Bay department store which began its life as a fur operation closed its salons.

 

Fortunately, the pendulum has begun swinging the other way. I think that a lot of folks got tired of the animal rights groups, the Moral Majority (which was neither moral nor the majority), and other bossy organizations telling them what they should think and do and wear. Nordstrom and Harrods and The Bay have all re-entered the fur business.

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What I was getting at is the complexity of the political and economic issues of the period and the disillusionment of the 60's more optimistic beliefs.

 

Between the economic catastrophes and Volker's policies PeTA was a shallow voice which did bolster the already PC attitudes of the overall sociological scene but compared to Volker's impact on the market place PeTA could only fantasize over such power.

 

Witness the current shift in attitudes toward PeTA. It's wholly market, designer and buyer driven by a world wide market. PC is no longer so powerful in the subtitles of every day life as it once was.

 

When the ELF, for instance, had to resort to terrorism you know the 'cause' is lost. The forces they are bucking are way too powerful for them to prevail in the most modest ways. The society and culture simply flows around them and they quickly become outcasts. The same is true of PeTA now.

 

OFF

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Peter Singer's book "Animal Liberation" was first published in 1975, and it is considered essentially the bible of the so-called animal-rights movement. PeTA was founded in 1980, and it was essentially the first anti-fur protest group, although its scope is of utopian breadth, with anti-fur rhetoric merely being that most conducive to raising funds, based essentially on class envy. PeTA and its ilk were given much more than their due credit when fur sales took a sharp downturn beginning in the late 1980s. The bulk of that downturn was actually due to the confluence of an economic recession and a string of unusually warm winters.

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  • 2 weeks later...

http://www.dailymail.com/story/Business/2007101264/First-ever-fur-sales-event-offers-customers-feel-taste-of-luxury/

 

Cheryl Austin said she had some vintage furs in her closet but had not worn them for years because of her apprehension about animal rights activists. "I've been advised not to wear any of them when I visit New York City," she said. "For that reason alone, I've not worn any of my furs."

 

This quote made me think of this thread. While I agree that the anti-fur activists probably took more than their fair share of credit for the downturn in fur sales that began in the late 80's and extended into the 90's ... I think for a period of time the activists' terrorist-like tactics worked pretty well for them. There were stories in the popular media of coats being ruined by activists throwing paint or blood on them and of women being taunted on the street for their "cruelty". Given these attacks against personal property and personal integrity (real or imagined) for a time many women not only stopped buying furs, they stopped bothering to take them out of storage (why bother if they were afraid to wear them). I think public opinion gradually turned against the activists and their outrageous antics and after they began (semi) behaving themselves women (and men) began daring to buy and/or wear fur again.

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