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Open Letter to American Figure Skater Johnny Weir

January 20, 2010 | Fur

Dear Johnny Weir,

Johnny Weir
Johnny Weir

A recent New York Times article discussed your quest for the gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics.

The author mentioned your outfit had a "touch of fox" on the shoulders, and, despite your third place showing at the United States Figure Skating Championships on Sunday, you thought your outfit "looked pretty."

Please consider that there's nothing pretty about the fox that suffered and died to trim your outfit. The beautiful fox was likely anally electrocuted, or may have had its head bashed in, only to serve as decoration for someone's performance.

If you buy fur, no matter what size piece, or which animal it comes from, you're supporting an industry that has no respect for animals.

You say that you want to bring an "artistic style" to the Olympics, stating that "everyone can do jumps." But, as past Olympic champions have shown us, style isn't everything. In addition to skill, you must also have a sense of decorum in order to bring home the gold. And projecting a conscientious view of the planet's animals is a starting point.

While you may believe that wearing fur is a "personal choice," kindly know that the animals you wear had no such choice. The fur doesn't magically slide off these beautiful beings. Their nightmare begins in the cramped cages they spend their lives in, where they are forced to lay in their own feces, and ends with first cut in their anuses. Or maybe some animals you wear were caught in leghold traps, and struggled in vain to gnaw off their legs? Either way, there is nothing glamorous or pretty about the cruelty they endured. And it can't be morally justified either.

Friends of Animals urges you, for the sake of humanity, your Olympic ambitions and the hopes of all Americans this winter, to stop wearing the skins of animals. Instead, wow the judges with amazing performances. In the end, nobody cares what a figure skater wears. You will only be judged on your performance and the strength of your character.

Priscilla Feral
President of Friends of Animals


I wanted him so bad to fall flat on his face in the finals... but he did even better all on his own... He did not even place!! One word... KARMA!!! wooohooooo

Dear Johnny, I would love to be able to support you because your skating is fabulous. But when you wear fur, you are not just causing the death of that one animal; you are encouraging others to wear fur and causing more and more pain and terror. Yes, horrible things happen to humans every day - I'm against those too, but that doesn't make it right to deliberately torture and kill animals and wear their skins on your back. When you wear fur, it is as if you are throwing it in the face of every person who has a heart, that this is a horrible cruel world in which there are many people who are prepared to kill their friends and that there is nothing they can do to stop them. I try to put that out of my mind so I can go about my normal life, but whenever I see someone wearing fur, it sends a chill down my spine and puts fear in my heart. Is that the reaction you want?

This has nothing to do with fashion. It is cruel and oldfashioned. Disgusting!

I personally am an animal lover, but I can understand that not everyone is. But most human beings, animal lover or not, still don't want to see animals being abused or tortured. Johnny Weir apparently has no conscience. If he could care less about an innocent animal, then I say we should all care less about him. Right now he is on top,making money and making headlines so he doesn't care. He wont stay that way for long I'm sure. When you see him on T.V. change the channel. Don't buy tickets to any show he is in. Eventually the people at the top will figure it out and get rid of him. FoA comments: The latest news is that Weir says he will only be wearing faux fur on his costumes.

While I do not agree with this person wearing fur, it is not my place. .. If we are supposed to be vegetarian, what would we do to keep from being overrun by the animals we consume? And if we did not satisfy our primal instinct to hunt by killing animals what do you think would happen? And last, how much help are you animal lovers putting forth to help your fellow man? [Blog editors' note: By not breeding cows, sheep, chickens, ducks, pigs and other animals for human consumption, you've removed them from an industry that makes their lives hell from birth until death. So our expanding population of humans won't be outpaced by chickens who cease to be seen as our food. I have no primal instinct to hunt or trap animals for excitement, food or commerce, so the condition you describe sounds like you're making excuses for behavior under your control. Finally, an environmental conscience, and work for animal advocacy doesn't preclude anyone from joining and working in other social justice movements. They're not competing issues. ]

I think that this is a big problem. Maybe he should use his fame to stop this situation. I think that this is a risky issue because what if people follow what he's doing by the next generation we won't have any foxes left! I read the news paper article and he said well it doesn't matter because of all the homeless people with nothing, well just because there is something lower then what your doing, dosen't make what your doing okay. And you can't hide what you doing with killing foxes by hiding what you did under the fact that yes there are worse things out in this world right now but you still have no reason to wear fox fur to make you outfit "pretty". And also in the artical I read he said that everybody wears cow skin skates. But it dose matter because we use most of the cow for food and skin and other body parts, we don't use them strictly for fashion. I am actually 13 years old and we did a journal article about this situation. It drives me mad what those selfish bastards that kill animals for fashion. What if everyone got one of those long fur coats made out of fox, there would be no more foxes. The are altertiantives such as fake fur, there is NO reason for using a real animal to look "fashionable".

I just read of Weir's response to the letter. I realize now his ego is too big for his tasteless costume. As an aspiring athlete myself, not only do I support suffering human beings, but also those of suffering animals. It goes to show you what a small minded person Weir is for not being able to see support can be widespread. I have lost all respect for him. Even as an accomplished athlete.

Johnny Weir shame on you. You should place yourselves in animals and foxes shoes, and face the torture and bloodshed they succumb to just for your pride and ego. Go to a slaughterhouse and see if you don't puke and see all the blood everywhere and souls of animals dying unnecessarily. Think before you speak and wear Johnny Weir.

Thank you for your letter to Mr. Weir. His attitude toward suffering animals is as disappointing as his alleged fashion sense. He is an embrrassment to the United States on every level.

Oh Johnny. I already thought that your skating costume for the Olympic trials was a crime against fashion -- but now I've learned that it's a crime against animals, too! I share disgust with the countless skating fans who are disappointed not just by your callousness and selfishness, but by your meager attempts to imitate high culture at the expense of helpless little foxes. Further, that vacuous response to animal rights groups only convinces me that you're soulless and devoid of politics. Avant garde? Honey please. Style without substance is mechanical, manufactured. And thus, you belong more among the ranks of Old Navy shoppers than those visionaries of the runway. Good luck at the Olympics. I'll be laughing when you trip on your fur collar!


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