It was a mix of serious outreach and lively protesting this Saturday at Schumacher Furs as we held signs, passed out literature, chanted, showed video of animals on fur farms, jumped on pogo sticks, used hula hoops, blew gigantic bubbles, danced, and ate cookies. Anti-fur cheerleaders periodically performed cheers for smiling on-lookers. While Schumacher Furs provides just one deathly item to those callous enough to enter their store, there's something for everyone at our protests outside.
Many people stopped and thanked us for being there. An older couple said they had read news reports about our protest and were pleased that we were continuing to protest for the animals. This gives us encouragement that, even though reports seldom focus on the actual issue (the cruel treatment of animals), some people are still able to see through to the issue that we are protesting. In contrast, a woman who said she was one of Schumacher's long-time customers said that she "loved fur" and "didn't care" about what happened to the animals; it was never in doubt that the Schumachers and their loyal customers cannot be reached by compassion.
This week we wondered: what's a merchant to do when his product is found to be cruel and unethical and his sales drop? History shows that when no kind, thinking adult wants your product, you might turn your efforts to appeal to innocent children. Like the cigarette industry with Joe Camel, Schumacher Furs is now displaying a large rack of little pink furry coats for preschoolers, or junior fur hags in training. Of course every little girl must have an expensive powder pink fur coat. No (rich) kid left behind.
Meanwhile, recent news reports show that a bank called the Co-operative Bank in the UK turned down the business of a bootmaker because they use fur lining in their boots. This bank has turned away 1.8 million pounds in business in the last year because of ethical concerns related to animal welfare - such as caged egg production and the fur industry. It is possible to run a business, and to do it ethically. Schumacher might consider fake fur or non-animal outerwear.
People may not realize the immense amount of suffering that goes into just one fur coat. All the misery that has been previously described in the production of a fur coat must be multiplied by the number of animals it takes to make that coat. For example, it can take up to 65 minks to make just one fur coat; 20-30 raccoons; 16-20 beavers; 130-200 chinchillas; 10-24 foxes; 16-22 bobcats; 100-400 squirrels; and 8 seals. For info and videos about how animals are made into fur, see http://www.furisdead.com and http://www.furkills.org
Last Saturday was a lovely day spent with compassionate people. Join us next Saturday as we let Schumacher know that a full-service fur salon is not a welcome resident in an animal-loving and progressive city like Portland.
Feel free to protest Schumacher Furs (811 SW Morrison) on other days of the week as well. Even an hour or two of your time can make a difference.