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LION Protests Outside of Merrick Furs

(Credit: Julie Cappiello)
(Credit: Julie Cappiello)
Editor's Note: This article was written and submitted by Julie Cappiello.

"How Many Minks Lost Their Coat For Yours?" and "Don't Get Caught in the Fashion Trap" were some signs Long Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION) members held outside of Merrick Furs during their protest on Friday.

"Approximately 50 million animals are killed each year for their fur," stated Julie Cappiello, Vice President of LION. "Many of the animals raised on fur farms die prematurely due to the weather conditions, stress, bad sanitation, heat or cannibalism. Of the 20 percent of foxes that unintentionally die on fur farms, half of those deaths are a result of cannibalism. Over 10 million animals are trapped each year, with the most common trap being the conibear trap."

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"An estimated ten million wild animals are trapped each year for their fur," Cappiello added, "and many are left there for days on end. A fox that is trapped only has three options: to wait for the trapper, be eaten by a predator, or to chew off their own appendages to get free. Some, depending on what part of the body is trapped, slowly suffocate to death. Others, such as beavers, that live their lives underwater, get trapped and drown trying to break free."

LION has been protesting Merrick Furs every week since Black Friday, which is known as "Fur Free Friday" in the animal rights world.

LION members ask that the public buy from designers like Stella McCartney, who was recently crowned Britain's Designer of the Year, who have lines of cruelty-free, non-animal products. Many other designers, like Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, and retailers like J.Crew and Forever 21 refuse to use or sell any fur products. J Brand most recently took fur off their shelves.

"Animals such as foxes, chinchillas, and even dogs and cats are slaughtered in horrific ways, such as bludgeoning, anal electrocution and even skinning alive," stated John Di Leonardo, President of LION. “Unfortunately, China, where many of these skins come from, has no animal welfare laws governing this industry, and those that exist in the United States are incredibly weak as the fur industry is exempt from many animal cruelty laws. This store, and all stores like it, package cruelty as fashion, despite the fact that many leading fashion designers are going faux."

Faux products often last longer, are cheaper to make, and are not chemically preserved in formaldehyde like fur products are.

"There is no reason people can’t look great while still being kind to animals," Di Leonardo stated. "There are now more cruelty-free options than ever before."

Patch left a message at Merrick Furs, but the call has yet to be returned.

Do you agree with LION's ideologies? Tell us in the comments section below.
Zach T January 16, 2013 at 01:02 AM
These idiots cause more violence, traffic jams, and disruption to Merrick than awareness/help. If you walk by on the sidewalk, not even going into Merrick Furs, they get in your face and start yelling at you. And to the "chunky" kid who started heckling me when I told him to get out of my face, watch your back...
Helen January 16, 2013 at 10:16 AM
These people aren't idiots. What do you do to make a difference in this world? They are out there trying to make a difference and spread awareness because a lot of people don't realize what really goes on in the fur industry. When I drove by it made me stop and think about it and I even turned around and spoke with one of the individuals there. They were extremely polite and handed me a flyer and didn't "heckle" me. As far as the rest of your comment, I don't think it's a good thing to threaten someone. You should really consider to stop and think before you write something offensive and rude like that.
Michael Johnson January 16, 2013 at 10:26 AM
I drive by every Friday after work and I always see them out there with signs. They are such a group of dedicated kids! I've never once seen them impede traffic, as they are always on the side of the road, out there in the freezing weather with wind from trucks making it ten times colder, in rain, in snow, in everything. It's really nice to see kids out there for a cause rather than just watching video games or sitting on the couch watching TV all day. Wish my kid would get out there and do something like that.
Diana Di Leonardo January 16, 2013 at 10:25 PM
Keep up the good work.

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