The handbag: Fashionably cruel?

Fashion is always a statement. Carrying a US$6,000 Hermes “Birkin” bag could be intended to say “I am rich and special, and have discerning taste”.

Animal rights activists, however, are attempting to deconstruct this image. If they succeed, people who own Hermes bags will no longer be perceived as those “lucky enough to have gotten onto the waiting list to purchase one [a process that can take up to two years because of demand]”, but a “cruel slayer of snakes/lizards/crocodiles” instead.

Ten years ago the People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ran a campaign against wearing furs, in which supermodels — some of whom have since reverted to wearing fur again — stated their preference of nudity.

The same organization is now aiming to tell the fashion world that fashion items using animal skins not only cost thousands of dollars, but also the heads of reptiles sacrificed to support the trend.

PETA’s campaign against fur fashion had significant success, with people associating fur with trapped minks and blood and guts of chinchillas. But even this has not been able to keep fur completely off catwalks. And with snake, lizard and crocodile skin, PETA may still have work to do to convince the public to take pity on these less-cute animals.

Read full story HERE.


About Candace M Hansen

Wildlife advocate, conservationist and environmentalist.
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