Black Friday — for fur

The reason a handful of protesters showed up in front of Boyd’s Center City store on Black Friday is “because every day is black for animals used for their fur,” says Marianne Bessey, manager of campaigns for PETA — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. [Disclosure: I am a member of PETA, even though I don’t agree with everything they do. Same for me being a Democrat.]

Anti-fur protesters outside Boyd’s. (Photo: Stu Bykofsky)

The weather was mild, there was not a lot of foot traffic, but the PETA people set up their literature table as Bobby Bates climbed into a full body coyote costume, under the benevolent gaze of two members of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Civil Affairs Squad. 

Inside, Boyd’s marketing manager Scott Crossin had no comment about the protest, but supposed it was because Boyd’s had goose down jackets and fur coats. He said he would read up on why PETA protests against fur and fur trim.

Actually, PETA protests any use of animals, whatsoever. Animals are not ours to use, they say — not to eat, not to wear, not to keep in captivity, such as in zoos.

That thought brings me back to Bessey. More than any other individual, she gets credit for forcing the Philadelphia Zoo to get rid of its resident elephants, its No. 1 attraction. For years Bessey would crawl into an elephant costume and picket and leaflet outside the gates of the zoo, while most of those entering ignored her.

She was just an annoyance, until the day, under growing pressure, the zoo decided to send the elephants to sanctuary.

Marianne Bessey squirts fake blood on Boyd’s sidewalk.
(Photo: Stu Bykofsky)

Likewise, Bessey picketed the circus whenever it pulled into South Philly, and lots of people laughed at her. And they kept laughing until Ringling Brothers threw in the towel.

Back on Chestnut Street in front of Boyd’s, Bates, 32, of Westville, N.J., said he was there to protest “the harm and torture in the process of taking the skins off coyotes.”

South Philadelphia musician Carla Mariani, 65, joined in a chant for “animal liberation” to “raise awareness of the suffering animals go through for fashion.” She says she wishes Boyd’s would stop selling fur.

With faux fur, why would anyone need to wear the real thing?

Macy’s and Burlington Coat Company each has signed agreements to stop selling fur, Bessey says. 

Is it realistic to think protesters can stop the sale of fur?

About as realistic to think protesters could close down the circus.

32 thoughts on “Black Friday — for fur”

  1. I always surprise new (and old) people I meet, if the conversation turns in that direction somehow, that I have recently joined PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals). It gets a groan and/or laugh – usually. But I am basically with you – I don’t like to see animals suffer needlessly, and, in fact, have contributed both time and money to some of the local shelters in the SJ area over the years. For that matter, our Bearded Collie just turned 16 yesterday, and the old boy is hanging in there, although we are sensitive to That Coming Day.

    PETA will never stop the fur trade. It’s too ingrained into our way of life over the last 100,000+ years. But at least it can be slowed down, as PETA has shown. They’re just a little bit too militant, on average, for my taste. Otherwise, thanks (again) for bringing forth another poignant topic.

    PETA. Sure they do some good, but do they have to get in your face to make their point. As Randy said, they tend to get a bit radical. The group at Boyd’s is making a mess on the side walk and they’re taking half of the width of the walkway as it is. Should I ask who cleaned up after PETA ?
    Wearing fur in this country pretty much ran its course. It was stylish up until the ’60s, then gone. I don’t know anyone my age or younger that wears fur. The minks are in the closet.
    My belief is and always was: if you shoot it, you better eat it. Waste nothing.

      1. If PETA wants to protest – legally, they have the right. They also have the responsibility to clean up after them selves.
        We agree that wearing fur is on its way out. Around here at least.

        1. The red liquid washes away, what else was there to clean? Had they done any damage, the cops were right there. And I would not support damage — or throwing the liquid on people wearing fur. I don’t support that.

          1. HAPPY SUNDAY !!!
            You turning into a vampire with your late hours ? You being older than me, you can not”Hoot with the owls if you intend to soar with the eagles” !
            There was a time when some one would protest in a very orderly manner. They would not block the side walk, throw trash or insults or anything else. If questioned about their belief, then they would enter into an INTELLIGENT discussion. At the end of the day, they would clean up and go home. The closest we come to this civility is election day at the polls. The law is clear there – and enforced. Mostly, you have local people trying to get their candidate elected. Where I live, most of the committee people from both parties, have been doing it for years. It’s a small town, so everybody knows everybody. Civil .
            Unfortunately pallie, I didn’t make myself clear enough on the earlier reply. I don’t care who is protesting. Don’t be a force and do clean up after yourself. In this instance with PETA, they should not have poured any fake blood on the side walk. They left a mess, and I would think that Boyd’s, being a classy store, cleaned up after PETA. Who wants to walk in anything ? That’s called leaving the wrong lasting impression.
            Again, I’m not questioning you. I have an issue with, in this case, PETA. The cops will do mostly nothing. ( they don’t want to make more work for Krasner). By the way. I haven’t looked up the laws lately, but there are laws , not enforced, to combat such actions. e.g. anyone who puts up placards of any type need the permission of the owner of that property. PECO, for example, does not permit placards or anything else on their utility pole. Yet no one enforces that law.
            just say’n’

          2. Tony – do you know that chalking on a public sidewalk, something that some would consider “leaving a mess” is legal in most jurisdictions? You don’t have to clean it up either if someone else doesn’t like it! Go figure.
            Perhaps Boyds should stop selling the skins of dead animals if it doesn’t want fake blood left on the public sidewalk….

  3. If I wrote a letter against abortion (stay with me for a second) to the Inq. and someone else wrote against the use of animal fur and the editors had room for just one letter, whose letter would be published? I feel certain mine wouldn’t. Too polarizing? Sad commentary, but true.

    I know this is just a brief simple example, maybe not even relevant, but I’m approaching it in reference to the importance of the top of the food chain on down. I think man still is, but sometimes and some people don’t believe so. Just look at California with their regulations on the environment. I wonder how many animals die in the fires. Cut the trees and build for the homeless? The tree will grow back while the street person may die. Two birds, no pun, with one stone.

    Look, I love animals, esp., cats. Never growing up was our house without one of these curious felines traipsing about (mostly picked up at the WSPCA).

    I know that we are at the top of the chain for a reason. If this is important to them, protest legally, although I hate seeing a business pressured, that’s all. There are most definitely more important causes.
    I’m not sure that I’ve explained myself clearly. I’m curious to hear other opinions

    On a lighter note, when I worked in town my buddy and I went to Boyd’s regularly…early 60’s…that’s when we’d dress to the nines for Friday night clubbing. Gone are those days.

      You old dinosaur ! We can have the following discussion without screaming and shouting. I used to go over on Kensington Avenue. Most of my clothes had to be “cut” to fit. Shirts, slacks, suits, you name it. We thought we got a better “custom” product locally, at a affordable price. My buddies from South Philly would also buy local.
      As for your letter.I think that you’re talking apples to oranges. We all agree that we like animals as pets . The fur looks better on them than on us . I also agree with your reasoning concerning protesting.
      I understand your thoughts on California. Bleeding hearts, etc, created laws to save everything imaginable(except man), while creating the current nightmare . Talk about “planning” or lack of it ! True, their problems are a bit different from the east coast. Maybe that’s because New Jersey and Pennsylvania anticipated and “planned” just a little better. We do clearing and burning to prevent forest fires. We manage our water better, but we also have more water. That’s all a topic for another blog. I’ll need my soap box and recliner for that one !
      As for the homeless . What !?! Nobody saw that coming ?!? Just how stupid does the population and the politicians have to be, to ignore the problem as it festers around them ? Also another blog topic.
      Get out and walk off that turkey dinner.

      1. That beginning was funny, Tony, me hollering etc. Boyd’s was convenient, though pricey, but we didn’t care, we had little left from our paycheck because we made little. (That’s why I joined the FD–best move for a HS grad–I hated school!!). After I gave Mom a little more we were out to the Jersey clubs.

        Anyways you’re right, apples to oranges is what I was trying to avoid. Glad you agree with my reasoning of what’s important.

        Stu keeps us hopping, (pun intended) doesn’t he?

  4. Every time one of these pain-in-the-ass activists puts on a pair of shoes or a leather belt, he is wearing ‘fur,’ only it has been shaved off the steers’ hides, tanned, and turned into a wearable item.

    We wring our hands for the poor animals, but stand mute while a million babies are killed each year in the womb. What a country.

    1. Vince,
      Everything is so ass-backwards in today’s world! One reason, in my humble opinion is they ( the minority) took God from us.
      When I write to the Inq. they used to acknowledge my letters, not anymore. And God forbid you’re Pro-Life or Trump.

    2. Classic error in reasoning, assuming because they DO care about animals they DON’T care about children.
      Error in judgment as to their attire — I was there. None were wearing leather shoes. I did not check their undergarments. And you have NO idea where they stand on abortion, your favorite hobby horse, and unrelated to this issue.

      1. What leads you to believe I say what I say sans evidence? I have talked with many people who hold liberal views (animal rights activists, climate change worriers, open border and/or gun control supporters, etc.) and have learned they overwhelmingly support abortion. I am willing to bet a costly dinner that the PETA PITAs would be such. And as I wrote earlier, it is laughable that we worry about fur and not about living, breathing human babies. In fact — talk about choking on gnats and swallowing elephants — several of the earlier respondents to this editorial focused on the phony-blood spilled on the ground, as if that were the focus of the problem.

        1. Surely you know “asking around’ is hardly scientific.
          Since you insist on riding your hobby horse into a non related issue, and accuse others of hypocrisy, how many “saved” orphans have you adopted, since you don’t want them killed?

          1. Well, I have adopted none, but have spent time and treasure working to help pregnant mothers-to-be who decided to have their children rather than abort them. And though I don’t like to dwell on it, I lost my very good job with CBS because of my pro life editorials that rankled New York HQ. In fact, a colleague of yours (Joe Logan) did a column on my firing addressing that very issue.

            And if my ‘asking around’ is not scientific, neither is your observation that none of the PETA PITAs were wearing shoes or belts.

          2. I don’t have the burden of proof as I did not make accusations. I can tell you THOSE people walked the walk.
            Per helping mothers to be, sorry, that’s not enough. Because I say so.
            You KNOW conservatives are accused of caring about babies until the moment of birth, then, sorry, you are on your own, lady.
            I am not an abortion advocate, and I wish the f—- you don’t drag it in by its hair to attack people who care about other issues.

  5. still HAPPY SATURDAY !!!
    Okay, you all have lit the fire under me, so stand by ’cause here it comes.
    1) Randy, I agree with most of your thoughts. We all need to “give back” someway, somehow. You chose helping
    animals and that’s a good thing. We now live in very rural Chester County. We have cats, dogs and chickens. If we
    had more acreage, we would have more animals. Although we both grew up in Port Richmond, we both rode, and
    the wife owned horses. When we catch a stray cat, we have it spayed or neutered. They can be ferrel but they must be
    2) Stu, your last comment (to Randy) really caught my attention. Murder. I guess we’ll have to stop eating fish as well
    as animals. I wonder if veggies scream when you cut their roots or pull them from the vine. Actually, I don’t care. I
    don’t ever give it a thought. I like my steak rare – still walking across the grill. Veggies rare – never mush and fish
    prepared as required.
    3) Tom first. Thanks for giving your life to the fire service. Back in the ’60s, when my old classmates from school
    returned from Asia, quite a few went to work for the Rizzo Brothers. Funny story here. I come home. My neighbor
    the committeeman, knocks on the door and hands me an application for the city (Philly). “Here Tony, be whatever
    you want to be, you earned it.” I looked at Mr. S and said,” I just got back from Asia. I destroyed , killed and worse”.
    “That’s great” he said. “Your hired. You’ll make a great cop!” Needless to say, I didn’t fill out the app. I probably
    wouldn’t have passed the mental test, anyhow.
    As far as hopping goes. Woops. You don’t have a leg to stand on. ( cheap pun)
    4) Vinnie, you are right again. Rawhide ? Real calves skin ? Alligator shoes and belts ? Gee, how’d that happen.
    You and Tom are also right again. There are so many things that are ” BASS-ACKWARDS” ! The silent majority kept
    there mouth shut while a few bleeding hearts set out to destroy the America that we all fought for. It certainly is a
    mess, but I for one, wont sit back and take it quietly. Never did, never will !

    I’m putting my soap box away – for now………….

    1. I did it again, take a nap and all hell breaks loose? Like I noted before Tony, I’m your number one cheerleader, that hasn’t changed. Can’t speak to Nam, I got out prior to. Didn’t know until long retired some of the guys I worked beside were Nam vets. No politics, no religion, never Nam. Always, not if you were in Nam, but Where?-they would say. When it’s brought up now they talk only of funny moments. I can’t even begin to imagine? How about huntin’?
      Now for that short walk to the fridge. First, Grace.

  6. All – very interesting and mind-provoking comments to Stu’s latest. You know the truth – I think Stu doesn’t care so much about his article(s) as he does kicking the (local) hornet’s nest to see what comes out. Uh, that would be y’all and me. I really think that’s how Stu gets his jollies now (lol)!

      1. Stu – have you noticed that tongue-in-cheek comments don’t show up very well on this medium. I was trying to be funny-sarcastic, but I guess it didn’t come out that way. I know your opinions are sincere – or you wouldn’t be doing this for a living.

  7. I feel like I’m sitting at the firehouse kitchen table with the back and forth except we rarely discussed anything serious. The bantering was endless and healthy, esp. when things were slow. At times it was a torturing humor unlike anywhere except, I suppose, the military. If you couldn’t take it you’d literally get out of the (kitchen). But we all knew it was what bound us as one.
    It still continues at our monthly breakfast.

    My apologies for the dramatics, but I feel that I’ve been lucky to have found another home.

    Thanks Stu,
    Thanks to you all!!

  8. still HAPPY SUNDAY !!!
    Please don’t think that I am disrespecting you. I don’t agree with you in principle. I used to live in the pine lands. When I would be going home in the wee hours ( 3:30 a.m.) after work, I would CRAWL along Route 206 down near my house. Both sides of the road would be loaded with deer for several hundred feet. I would just shut my cycle down ( in the middle of the road) and just watch and admire the deer. We must control the herds. In Philly right now, The herds are being “culled” throughout Fairmount Park. The venison is given to various homes that most definitely rely on the help from the city.
    Back in the day, it was really something to see, when Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey came to town. All of the wild animals were put on show. Then the world changed. Things got out of control, expenses multiplied and the problems came by the truck load. Do you remember Joan Byron-Marasek (?) The Tiger Lady ? Her intentions were honorable. Too bad people didn’t help her to turn her property into a real preserve.
    Protesting. I assume ( chose “assume” on purpose ) that you got a permit . I also know that you were in violation of said permit. Indeed, you were in violation of Philadelphia’s Property Maintenance Code. Once again, you have the right to legally protest. You also have the right to clean up after yourself. People like me can respect you more if you follow the rules.

    1. Tony, you don’t need a permit to protest in Philadelphia unless you have 75 people or more. And there was no violation of Philadelphia’s Property Maintenance Code. Clearly you don’t know “the rules,” and as your respect apparently is based on folks following rules that don’t exist, your respect is neither sought nor appreciated.

      1. Marianne,
        Not surprised by your comments or attitude. I give respect to those that deserve respect.
        I sit corrected if what you say about permits is true.
        HOWEVER !
        Philadelphia Property Maintenance Code: PM 302.3 which is hardly ever enforced. Gee ! Wonder why Philly is falling in on itself ?!? Most, if not all towns have a property maintenance code of some sort. The Uniform Construction Code, International Codes and the town’s own ordinances do so to “protect” the town and its inhabitants. As I said. Philly has been very lapse in enforcing its codes. Jersey is another matter. Some towns are more prudent than other towns.
        stay well, be safe

    1. HAPPY MONDAY !!!
      Only fur, no fish ? I guess we can’t pluck it either ?!?
      and now, for something special:
      some of my resume would be a life time in the construction industry. This would include various types of projects in various cities and countries. Education would include a civil engineering degree and most of the disciplines as an construction official/inspector. (none of that is special)
      In Philadelphia, one person wishing to protest must apply for a permit. Look it up at the Office of the Managing Director.
      Then there’s the little issue of possibly damaging some one’s ( Boyd’s ) property ( sidewalk).
      Now the special part ! 24 days till my birthday !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. Well, if nothing else, Tony – Happy (pre)Birthday!
        All I can say is, bad as it is here in NJ sometimes, I’ll take it over Phila., thank you. Sorry Stu.

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