Fur- Free Friday: A Historical Perspective
Although sporadic fur protests against department stores were carried out in the early 1980’s, none employed coordinated campaigns or strategies against the cruelties of the fur industry, and, as a result, failed to create the intensity needed for successful protests.
In 1985, two activist groups, Trans Species Unlimited (TSU) and the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade (CAFT), coordinated the first, non-violent civil disobedience activities protesting fur at Macy’s in New York and in Sacramento, California. Although the protests were non-violent, there were several dozen arrests.
The following year, George Cave and Cres Vellucci of TSU repeated the activities on the Friday after Thanksgiving, widely known as the busiest shopping day of the year, and "Fur-Free Friday" was officially created. Fur-Free Friday provides grassroots activists with an opportunity to participate in coordinated non-violent direct action campaigns, similar to the sit-ins of the civil rights movement, against department stores selling fur.
Fur sales slumped in the late 80’s-early 90’s as Fur-Free Friday heightened awareness about the cruelties of the fur trade. However, as a result of recent fur fashion trends starting in the mid 90’s, fur sales have been increasing and topped over $13 billion worldwide in 2009.
Fur-Free Friday is one of the few nationally recognized days in the animal rights movement and involves numerous animal activist groups nationwide. Since 1985 LCA has been demonstrating in Beverly Hills, California, marching down Rodeo Drive to Neiman Marcus, educating retailers and consumers about the horrors of the fur trade, and encouraging them to seek out viable alternatives to fur. In 2012 LCA moved the Fur-Free Friday protest to Fashion Island in Newport Beach, CA.
Fur-Free Friday celebrates empowerment and offers animal activists the opportunity to make a difference against a cruel industry!