Coats For Cubs

Ashley Owen of Bethesda, Md., arrives with her dog 'Bubbles' to donate a fur coat to the Humane Society of the United States 'Coats For Cubs' program during their annual 'Fur-Free Friday' event outside outside a Neiman Marcus department store in the Friendship Heights section of Washington Friday, Nov. 25, 20005. The collected furs are distributed to wildlife rehabilitators who use the furs as bedding and nesting material for animals in their care.

Andie Summers, left, of Germantown, Md., and Lori Beth Johnson, right, of Walkersville, Md., members of the Humane Society of the United States, demonstrate against the use of fur during their annual 'Fur-Free' Friday event, outside a Neiman Marcus department store in the Friendship Heights section of Washington, Friday, Nov. 25, 20005.

Massachusetts Animal Rights Coalition rallied protesters to urge shoppers to avoid clothing using animal fur.

Animal activists push Copley shoppers to shun fur
By Kristin Erekson and Jessica Fargen

November 26, 2005

The fur didnít fly at Copley Place Mall yesterday, but strong words did as Bay State animal rights activists marked Black Friday by protesting the fusion of fur and high fashion.

"We are not cavemen anymore," said protester Caroline Haigh, 21, of Milton. "We have alternatives. We are supposed to be progressing, not moving backward."

Added Jackie Squeglia, 24, a protester from Woburn: "There is no excuse for fur. Itís insanely cruel."

Yesterdayís demonstration, staged by the Massachusetts Animal Rights Coalition, was a far cry from the scene last month in Paris, when an anti-fur fanatic pelted a pro-fur fashion editor with a cream pie.

"We are not there to be angry," the coalitionís head Helen Rashick said on the eve of the Boston protest. "We are (going to be) out there asking people to reconsider buying fur and to do the right thing."

Rashick worried most shoppers donít realize they are buying real fur. "They have good hearts and they donít want to hurt animals. They donít know whether itís faux or real," she said, adding that manufacturers arenít required to label clothing as fur unless it costs more than $150.

Demonstrators outside the mall at Dartmouth and Stuart streets appeared to be preaching to the choir, as most bystanders echoed their sentiments.

"I would never wear fur because Iím a vegetarian, and I would never eat or wear an animal," said Deanna Withrow, 45, of Cambridge.

But one touristbegged to differ.

"I think (fur) is beautiful," said Patty Battese, 55, of Lawrence, Kan. "I think the accessory trims are just fine, and I donít see anything wrong with it."