PETA bets Met Gala’s celeb co-chairs to tell designers: ‘Stay away from fur, exotic skins and feathers!’
Anna Wintour and the Met Gala’s other celebrity co-chairs have been urged by PETA to tell designers to stay away from fur, exotic skins and especially feathers after a horror investigation into ostrich slaughtering.
Anna Wintour and the Met Gala’s other celebrity co-chairs have been urged by PETA to tell designers to stay away from fur, exotic skins and especially feathers.
The Vogue editor-in-chief got the plea from the animal welfare organisation along with singer Dua Lipa, actress Penélope Cruz, actress and screenwriter Michaela Coel and tennis icon Roger Federer ahead of the 1 May fashion extravaganza.
PETA said its warning comes after video footage from its recent investigation into the largest ostrich-slaughter companies in the world shows “workers forcibly restrain curious young ostriches, electrically stun them, and then cut their throats”.
Its letter, sent on Tuesday (11.04.23) from the group’s president Ingrid Newkirk, said about the Met Gala – formally called The Costume Institute Gala or The Costume Institute Benefit: “Dear Ms Wintour, Ms Lipa, Ms Cruz, Ms Coel, and Mr Federer, I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to request that you advise people not to wear fur, feathers, or exotic-animal skins while attending The Costume Institute Benefit this year.
“Obviously, the high-profile people in the spotlight at this wonderful event wield enormous influence on the viewing public, so we’re asking that you implement a policy to permit designers only to use vegan feathers, faux fur, and simulated skins, for the good of both animals and the environment.
“We’re particularly concerned about feathers. Video footage from an investigation into the largest ostrich-slaughter companies in the world shows that workers forcibly restrain curious young ostriches, electrically stun them, and then cut their throats.
“Moments later, the feathers are torn from the birds’ still-warm bodies before they’re skinned and dismembered.
“Other birds fare no better – pheasants, turkeys, peacocks, ducks, and other birds all endure miserable lives on factory farms and painful deaths, simply so that their feathers can be used for fashion. The feathers of some are torn out while they’re still conscious.
“The influence of just one celebrity who wears feathers on the famed Met Gala red carpet could lead to immense suffering for thousands of birds – and, of course, in the cases of fur and exotic skins, enormous cruelty to other animals is involved in the procurement. In addition to causing suffering and death, the production of animal-derived materials requires toxic chemicals and contributes to climate change, land devastation, and water contamination on a far, far greater scale than the production of vegan materials.”
The theme of this year’s Met Gala is “In honour of Karl”, a tribute to Karl Lagerfeld, who died in 2019 aged 85 from pancreatic cancer-linked complications.
Even though the designer was famed for using animal skins and products, his brand banned fur the same year he died, and exotic skins in 2020.
PETA added in its letter: “We hope you will honour this progress in your directives to designers who are dressing their clients for this event. We would be very grateful, and you would be doing something that helps both animals and the environment.”
Dua Lipa, 27, prefers faux fur and has been seen wearing vegan brand Stella McCartney while Roger Federer, 41, designed his first vegan trainer with Swiss performance running brand On.
Penélope Cruz, 48, appeared in one of PETA’s anti-fur ads in 2018 and Michaela Coel, 35, is vegan.