DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Let them eat cake? In this case it’s let them wear fur.
With winter temperatures quickly dropping and many Detroit residents suffering during the city’s economic crisis, ardent animal rescue organization PETA joined Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries and Bethlehem House to distribute 100 fur coats to the homeless on Monday.
“PETA can’t bring the animals who were slaughtered to make these coats back to life, but we can send a message that only people truly struggling to survive have any excuse for wearing fur,” says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk.
They also delivered leather jackets, wool scarves, and angora sweaters—donated by those who have moved on to garments whose production didn’t involve cruelty to animals—to some of Detroit’s neediest residents on Monday.
“Animals killed for their fur are often gassed, poisoned, beaten to death or even skinned alive,” a PETA spokeswoman said as the coats were being handed out.
Would they rather go naked than wear fur? Not so much in this case.
Cheryl Willis, who lives in one of the homeless shelters of Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, was delighted to pick one of the fur coats.
“I got me a short, black mink jacket and it’s beautiful,” Willis said. “I’m blessed to have it, it’s really beautiful. I did need a nice coat. I don’t have nothing but an everyday coat. It was a blessing.”
Annette Anderson chose a brown fur coat.
“I needed a fur, I ain’t never had one, it was a nice gift, a nice surprise,” Anderson said.
On the other hand, recipient Luquious Wooten knows a fur coat may not be safe for her to wear everywhere.
“Yes, this is really going to help keep me warm, but I’m not going to be wearing it out on the street or like on the buses,” Wootens said. “The only time I’m going to be wearing it is when I’m going to church or if we have a function, that’s the only time I’ll wear it.”
For every cuff, collar, piece of trim, or coat made from real fur, animals were electrocuted, bludgeoned, strangled, or even skinned alive, a PETA spokesperson said.
So that’s why they’ve urged owner to donate their coats — so they can be used in “educational displays” or recycled by being given to the needy.