PETA Asks Rihanna to Refrain from Fur, Donate Coats to Syrian Refugees Instead

Known for its unconventional tactics in promoting animal rights, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (“PETA”) has taken to targeting fashion brands, ranging from Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Hermès to Canada Goose, by buying shares to gain access to stockholder meetings. Now the group has set its sights on Rihanna.

The group, which is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 6.5 million members and supporters, has called on the music superstar to donate her fur coats to Syrian refugees, following her appearance at Dior’s Cruise 2018 show in Los Angeles to which she wore a calf-length Dior fur.

In a letter sent to the singer, PETA pleaded with Rihanna to give up her fur coats and donate them to people who need them, such as refugees in war-torn Syria. PETA spokesman Andrew Bernstein said in the letter: "We saw the numerous comments from fans who were disappointed to see you wearing fur at the Dior event last week. Like us they wish you would please retire your furs and instead choose a look that kills but doesn't actually kill anyone.”

"In addition we'd like to request that you please consider donating your furs to us. Every fur item causes a tremendous amount of pain and suffering to the foxes, minks and coyotes who are beaten, electrocuted, gassed and often skinned alive by the fur industry – and fur production takes a toll on humans as well,” the letter went on to state.

“In the past we've sent furs to Syrian refugees and to homeless shelters which has an impact on 'as many lives as possible in a positive way' as you said so eloquently in your Harvard Humanitarian Award acceptance speech."

A spokesman for the singer was not immediately available for comment. As for whether PETA will take action against Dior, which falls under the umbrella of LVMH, we will have to wait and see. The group recently alleged that its representative was barred from the Paris-based conglomerate’s annual shareholder meeting in April.

According to a statement from PETA late last month, "Upon arriving at LVMH’s annual meeting, PETA’s representative was refused entrance to the main meeting room and denied the opportunity to ask board members a question about the company’s appalling use of exotic-animal skins. Companies will go to great lengths to avoid confrontation about the suffering that animals endure at their hands. Although PETA is disappointed by LVMH’s rebuff, we remain steadfast in our efforts to advocate for change."

After being excluded from Wednesday’s meeting, PETA told TFL exclusively that it is exploring potential legal action.