Animal rights activists protest the use of real fur in...

Animal rights activists protest the use of real fur in fashion on Black Friday. (Nov. 23, 2012) Credit: Julie Marie Cappiello

Members of Long Island Organizing for Nature (LION), the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and In Defense of Animals (IDA) took to the streets to protest the fur trade on Black Friday, better known in the animal rights world as “Fur Free Friday”.

According to PETA's website, Fur Free Friday is "the day on which animal advocates all around the globe educate holiday shoppers about the cruel fur, leather, down, and wool industries."

The groups first protested outside Merrick Furs in Merrick and then moved on to Barbatsuly Brothers Fine Furs in Garden City on the busiest shopping day of the year.

LION, PETA, and IDA members urged the public to “go faux,” supporting designers such as Tommy Hilfiger and John Bartlett who work with faux fur, which is made of lower cost materials and does not need to be treated with chemicals to prevent decomposition like real fur products do. 

“Today is just one of many days we have planned to let shoppers know about the incredible suffering represented in each fur and animal skin item," said LION Founder and President John Di Leonardo. "Over 50 million animals, such as foxes, raccoons, minks, beavers, and even dogs and cats, are bludgeoned, electrocuted and skinned alive for their fur annually."

Both Merrick Furs and Barbatsuly Brothers declined to comment.

Many people in the fashion world have switched over from fur to faux in recent years, and designers like Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, and Stella McCartney and retailers like J.Crew and Forever 21 now refuse to use or sell any fur products. 

Do you wear real our faux fur? Vote in our poll. 

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