Animal Activists Protest Fur Use
By Bae Ji-sook
International animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) protested against fur use in front of a fur company in downtown Seoul Friday.
Three PETA members, most well known for a campaign using naked celebrities brandishing the slogan ``I'd rather go naked than wear fur,'' wore imitation fur coats spattered in fake blood and sprawled on the street in front of Jindo Fur in a giant steel trap. The protestors urged the crowd to stop wearing fur coats to protect animals.
``We have collected video information of minks being killed brutally for making fur coats,'' Park Kyung-dam, one of the performers, said. ``They were strangled, killed by electric shock to their anus and their furs were stripped while they were still alive. The hunters then piled them up and left them there,'' he said.
This is the first time the group has held such performance for a protest. In 2005, the members held ``naked protests'' in which they covered themselves with a single apron. Last year, they wore bikinis made from lettuce and strolled down Gwanghwamun Boulevard to promote a vegetarian lifestyle.
PETA has constantly held campaigns and protests in other parts of the world too. In the United States and elsewhere, members gatecrash fashion shows exhibiting fur and throw eggs, tofu or paint on the garments. It also writes open letters to celebrities known to wear furs.
Despite their effort, the world is still seeing an increase in fur use. The British Fur Trade Association said trade has been growing every year.
Korea is one of the largest fur processors in the world ― domestic production is declining but the amount of processing is on a steady increase.
In a KBS documentary program last year, a Chinese fur merchant said the majority of fur in his country goes to Korea. ``There are thousands of animals killed without mercy and respect,'' PETA said.