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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 think the animals who suffered and died for your little piece of fox deserved a life and not to be worn. It is ridiculous to think it made you look nice, it makes a person look like a barbaric, uncivilized being to wear the skin or fur of an animal. This is unconscionable and you should rethink your priorities and remember compassion.

Fur should be worn on those it was born on. It's a barbaric practice & no matter how little is used, the animal was tortured brutally & probably skinned alive. You're a great skater, Johnny. Show us you have a good heart too. Drop the fur.

What a beautiful letter, Priscilla! Concise, with a starkness that is razor-sharp. If this doesn't touch the most indifferent, egotistical fur-wearer, I don't know what will.

I am dismayed to think that I did not notice he was wearing fur. I am a big Johnny Weir fan but I am going to have to rethink that. Part of the problem is that he now trains with a Russian trainer and in Russia (and Russians who live here), the people don't believe there is a problem with killing animals to wear. Johnny, I am ashamed of you and hope you will change. Please do not wear fur!

Anybody that wears fur, please stop for a second and think what the animal goes through, shame on the person that wears it, believe me you are making a big statement like you don't give a #### for animals, it's clear to say this skater feels this way. SO WRONG!!!!!!!

I think this is awful!.That is abuse to an animal...There should be laws to protect ALL animals on this earth from such cruelty!

Please, cruelty is never in fashion OR a fashion statement. Please leave fur where it rightfully belongs...on our non-human friends and family members. Thank you kindly. Please be the voice for the voiceless victims of human cruelty and set an example for our young people to learn and grow from.

When are people going to realize that wearing fur is primitive and so outdated? We don't live in a day and age anymore where people rely on animals for food and clothing. We now have plenty of options made out of synthetic materials and non-animal products. Anyone who still thinks fur is classy needs a reality check. It isn't classy to cause the death of innocent animals, it's sad; and people really show their ignorance when they choose to wear fur.

I'd love to see this letter published in every major newspaper across the company. 'Too many are "forgetting" and/or choosing to ignore the fact that animals are sentient beings. Feral highlights this fact, along with the unbearable and unconscionable suffering they must endure so that we can dress with some sort of sick "ornation"; and she does so with heartbreaking acuity. I am going to forward this to as many editors as I possibly can...the NATION needs to read this, hopefully before the Olympics commence. Well done, Priscilla. I am proud to be a member of FOA. p.s. 'Will forward also to major department stores like Nordstom, which, despite protests on behalf of so many animal rights groups and intelligent, caring citizens, still insist on carrying "fashion" that requires dire and unthinkable suffering.

Thank you for bringing this to everyone's attention. There is nothing stylish about wearing the pain, suffering and murder of living creatures. Murdering animals is not a personal choice and animal lovers will no longer sit by while others use that as an excuse to butcher millions of living creatures for their own selfishness! Thank you, Diane Gallagher


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