For years there has been a small number of people that go out of their way to throw paint on someone's fur or leather clothing. While they may be taking out their frustration on this stranger, are they actually making a difference for the animals?
My guess is, not really. I don't think that people should ever throw paint on someone
wearing a fur or leather coat. I don't like these products either, but acts like this will not change people's minds and hearts. It will only put them on defense, it could put you in jeopardy (by them retaliating or even holding you legally responsible for the action) and it could prompt them to go out and purchase a replacement fur or leather coat.
Most of us, before we were vegan or vegetarian (or into animal rights), wore leather or fur. While I have never had fur, I did have my fair share of leather products. I had shoes, purses, boots and several jackets. I loved leather and didn't see beyond the "look" to think about what it was and the process that it took to get the product to me. Once I became a vegetarian I made the connection and I got rid of my leather products and never bought more.
Throwing paint at people in materials that we don't like will not get them to make a connection. It will just confirm their thoughts that animal rights activists are nuts. If you want to make a difference when it comes to leather or fur products, put the info out there to educate people. Activists such as Eddie Lama are making a difference and he's doing it in a non-confrontational way.
After all, fur sales are still going strong. Last year alone there was $115 million worth of just mink used in the U.S. (and that's just mink!). While the values may fluctuate from year to year, there is still a lot of people wearing mink. Splashing paint and PETA having women go naked, is not making people pass up on fur.
Is there something wrong with fur and leather? Absolutely! Not only is it cruel, but it's also unethical and harmful to the environment (learn more here and here). Many people don't realize that some leather products are actually made from dog, horse, or other animals (especially when imported) that they may not suspect when purchasing the goods.
There are things you can do to help the animals, just apply them to fur and leather if that is the area you want to focus on. But please, resist the urge to pelt other people with paint because they are wearing fur or leather. I understand the frustration, I really do. But throwing paint, I believe, is the wrong approach. After all, what if they started throwing paint at everyone wearing vegetarian or animal rights-related t-shirts? Would you become their next target?
In related news, 31 children were rescued from a leather bag making factory in India.