Back in November, animal activist group PETA staged a protest in Downtown Crossing against winter jackets that use bird feathers for insulation. Tomorrow the group will be at it again, this time picketing in front of the 351 Newbury St. location of women’s clothing and apparel store bebe. The charge, according to a group leader, is bebe’s use of fur despite previously having a “fur-free” policy.
The protesters plan to stand in front of the bebe store from noon until around 1:30 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, January 25, a time slot and day they hope will attract attention from area businesses and the downtown lunch crowd.
Similar to a protest in December, PETA members and local activists will hold signs reading “bebe Ditch the fur”, “bebe Bunny Butchers” and “Fur is Dead.” There may also be somebody dressed in a white bunny costume, suffering from an apparent head wound of some sort.
“Half of the fur sold in the U.S. comes from China,” Boston resident and protest leader Laura Ray told me. “bebe outsources it’s fur from China where there are no laws to protect animals. China uses dogs and cats for their fur. People could be wearing dog or cat fur without even knowing it because it can be mislabeled. Also, undercover investigations from China have shown rabbits kicking and screaming as they are hung upside down. They are forced to watch those ahead of them have their throats slit, paws cut off, and oftentimes skinned alive.”
A cursory look through the bebe website doesn’t yield any immediate results for fur products, but Ray said that while the company used to have a fur-free policy, it has since “gone back on their promise.”
Ray hopes the protest will bring awareness to the practice of killing animals for their fur. “If people see how animals used for fur are killed,” she said, “perhaps they would think twice before wearing it.”
A spokesperson at bebe’s Newbury location declined to comment.