On The Prowl News from our NICK MAYS
Our News & Features Editor
Rock singer joins anti-fur crusade
THE CULT Scottish rock singer Shirley Manson is to become the latest celebrity recruit in the rearguard action against the re-emergence of fur on the catwalk and on the backs of the world’s wealthiest and most famous women.
Manson, who fronted the band Garbage before embarking on a solo career, will be pictured in a hard-hitting ad campaign launched today by the animal rights organisation PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
Wearing a simple Stella McCartney evening gown, Manson holds up a skinned fox over the caption, ‘Here’s the rest of your fur coat’. (Stella McCartney, like her father, musician Paul, is a fervent anti-fur campaigner).
It is a campaign which last month saw the R&B singer Jamelia pictured naked with a white rabbit on her back and which promises many more celebrity shock adverts, according to PETA.
‘For every celebrity who wears a fur coat, we have 100 lining up who want to use their fame to raise people’s awareness,’ said Anita Singh, of PETA.
In December Madonna appeared in a £35,000 coat made from the skins of 40 Chinchillas and in February Naomi Campbell, who once appeared in a PETA advert claiming she’d rather go naked than wear fur, took to the catwalk wearing a fur-trimmed parker.
Designers such as Julien MacDonald, Dior and Gucci are also using fur and Harrods and high-street store Joseph are selling fur again.
All have contributed to making the fur wearing steadily more acceptable since the last time the controversy raged a decade ago.
In November it was revealed that sales of fur clothing had hit £500 million for the first time, up 30 per cent on the previous two years, with £40 million of new fur products being imported every year.
Figures compiled by HM Customs and Revenue showed that almost one million tons of fur is being imported each year - and that the global market for fur has hit almost £7 billion pounds.
Shirley Manson, whose image was shot in Los Angeles where she now lives, said: ‘A lot of my fans are very pro-animal rights and have often, when I have been wearing fake fur, said, “Is that real?” and gotten upset, and I have to reassure them, “No, it’s cool, it’s fake, don’t worry.”’
‘They have made me very conscious of it and I’m really grateful they have made me pay attention. I believe very strongly in the ethical treatment of animals.’
Frank Zilberkweit, a director of the British Fur Trade Association and owner of London’s biggest furrier, Hockley Furs, responded: ‘PETA is using a cheap stunt by using a fox carcass. It’s a cowardly and shameful attempt to try to condemn a real industry that provides employment while regulating standards in animal welfare.’
Paris Hilton buys ‘dwarf cat’
THE ‘FAMOUS’ socialite Paris Hilton, who owns a menagerie of pets, was seen clutching a miniature grey cat as she was getting out of her car recently, prompting condemnation from animal rights campaigners that she had acquired a so-called ‘Munchkin’ cat.
She has been slammed for purchasing the unusual cat because the specialist breed has numerous health problems.
The cats are said not to be able to function like normal sized animals, and cannot jump properly because their bowlegs are too short. It is also claimed that they can also break the bones in their limbs when landing because their legs aren’t long enough to absorb the shock.
Hollywood gossip writer Janet Charlton wrote on her website: ‘She’s way off base with her mini-cat. She’s got a cat that was bred to be a tiny dwarf and like most dwarves it has short bowed legs.
Singer Shirley Manson features in PETA’s hard-hitting anti-fur campaign.
‘Breeding animals to be dwarfs or midgets is unethical and they usually have numerous health problems because of it. They’re cute, but not healthy or able to function like a regular cat.
‘But as long as wealthy people like Paris buy these pets, they will be produced by unscrupulous breeders. Paris should think about adopting her cats at a shelter.’
As well as her new cat, Paris also owns two Chihuahuas, a goat, a ferret and a kinkajou.