Animal rights activists have criticized figure skater Johnny Weir for wearing fur during his performance at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Weir told his critics to shove it. I'm with the anti-fur people on this one.
In an open letter to Weir, Friends of Animals reacted to the skater boasting how he looked "pretty" in his costume that included white fox fur trim:
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.
Weir was defiant in his wearing of real fur, telling the Tacoma News-Tribune:
"PETA has been up my butt since the 2006 Olympic Games," Weir said on Friday of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. "I get postcards and nasty hate mail and videotapes of animals being skinned."
He says he takes the cards, draws chipmunks with X's for eyes on them and then mails them back.
"Don't attack me for a personal choice," Weir said. "You're protecting animals (while) we have soldiers dying all around the world. Choose your battles. Don't pick on me."
To which Friends of Animals replied:
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 cruelty they endured. And, it can't be morally justified either. ... In the end, nobody cares what a figure skater wears. You will only be judged on your performance and the strength of your character.
Wearing real fur helps support a cruel and unnecessary business (the Humane Society estimates that the fur industry kills 50 million animals a year), and don't understand how fake fur is less of a fashion statement. Weir probably thinks he's being edgy with his defiance, but his taunting of the animal rights people on this one brings to mind an animal whose fur he would never wear -- a jackass.