“Make it work” is one of fashion designer Tim Gunn’s iconic phrases from “Project Runway.”
And now he’s calling on New York City council members to make the Big Apple, one of the fashion capitals of the world, work without the fur industry.
Gunn showed up Wednesday for an anti-fur rally and to testify at a public hearing in support of the historic NYC fur sales ban bill at City Hall with Friends of Animals and other animal advocacy organizations that joined together to form the Fur Free NYC coalition. The bill was introduced by Speaker Corey Johnson in late March.
“I want to thank everyone who turned out to support a fur free New York. For me this just reaffirms how incredible the population of the city is and our moral and ethical fiber. This is about believing in the right thing,” Gunn said.
At the rally, which attracted more than 300 people, NYC Council Member Fernando Cabrera dispelled some of the myths that the furriers have been spreading for weeks as a distraction because they know they cannot win the animal cruelty argument. Violence towards animals is at the core of the fur industry.
“It does not stop anyone who owns animal fur from wearing it. It does not stop people from buying used and vintage fur. No one is going to confiscate the fur you already own,” Cabrera said.
He did not hold back when expressing his disgust with an industry that raises animals on fur farms and traps wild animals for the sole purpose of skinning them so people can look a certain way.
“We don’t need this,” he said. “The trapping of animals for fashion purposes is cruel and inhumane. It involves millions of rabbits, foxes, minks and other wild animals who are kept lifelong in cages on fur factory farms. These animals die horribly—being gassed, electrocuted or injured in traps where they linger without food or water while they slowly die in excruciating pain. Traps also capture unintended animals, people’s cats, dogs and even endangered species.
“Synthetic fur is a realistic substitute made possible by new technology to provide the same look and feel of fur without the cruelty, suffering and death. New York is the city with a heart, a compassionate city…let’s end cruelty to animals and support Intro 1476.”
During the hearing FoA president Priscilla Feral underscored the sadistic nature of body-crushing traps.
“Not only do they close on animals’ limbs, the real damage to the animal, the real suffering occurs, during their struggle to escape,” she said. “When they are thrashing around in the steel jaws, they rip tendons, they fracture bones, they sometimes chew off their own feet to escape. The conibear traps smashes down on water animals like beavers before they drown in that trap, their pelvises are crushed.
“The fur industry is in a free fall. This is the time you think about moral arguments rather than weighing everything according to economics…To the fur industry, these are throwaway animals whose lives should mean more. It’s important for our humanity to support 1476.”