August 2012: PETA in a letter to Lady Gaga after she was seen leaving a hotel in Bulgaria, all decked out in fur (and during a heat wave): “These recent photos of you in fox and rabbit and with a wolf carcass make it appear that you have amnesia. What happened? Are your stylists telling you that it’s fake, or are you a turncoat?”
In response, on her LittleMonsters blog, she writes:
To the fans. I care deeply about your feelings and views, and I will always support your philosophies about life. … I do not however support violent, abusive, and childish campaigns for ANY CAUSE. Particularly one that I respect. “Animal Rights.”
I am choosing not to comment on whether or not the furs I purchase are faux fur-pile or real because I would think it hypercritical not to acknowledge the python, ostrich, cow hide, leather, lamb, alligator, “kermit” and not to mention meat, that I have already worn. This should already put me in a category as one who appreciates and adores the beauty of animals in fashion, but am not a strict vegan.
I have truly always stayed away from skinned fur, especially i have never been able to afford a nice one, but this does not mean my morals are rigid and that I won’t bend at the sight of an absolute art piece of a coat. I have no chains about this.
You see a carcass, I see a museum pièce de résistance.
But should anyone be surprised by this incoherent nonsense?
The answer, of course, is that she never meant it and she couldn’t care less – just like so many of the celebrities who align themselves with animal protection causes and then find it’s inconvenient that it included a commitment to valuing living creatures more than fashion statements.
Sooner or later, many of the celebrities who promise to stop wearing fur just can’t resist the urge to put dead animals around their necks. And then animal rights groups feel betrayed and get upset at them.
In fact, despite all the ads and promotions that have people posing for the camera with no clothes on, more people are wearing fur than before.
Last time I saw Brooke Shields, she was a celebrity presenter at the Genesis Awards telling me that “My day job is an actress. But my life is for the animals.” A few years later, after a stint as a PETA celebrity, she was all excited about the new fur coat she planned to sleep in and wear to her children’s school.”
And international model Claudia Schiffer did a turn at being anti-fur for Best Friends until she couldn’t resist parading in fur at a fashion show in Milan.
It’s not just fur, either. Soon after actress Rene Russo penned a letter to members of Best Friends, encouraging them to adopt their pets from shelters, I saw her on David Letterman talking about the dog she’d just bought from a breeder in Switzerland and explaining that she would never get a pet from a shelter.
Of course, there are folks in Hollywood who really do care about the animals and do mean what they say. But if you’re an animal protection group, the best rule of thumb is that if you assume that celebrities really do want to help, you’re quite likely going to end up going gaga yourself.