PETA has caused a big stir in Alaska after two girls in Anchorage posed nude for the ‘I’d rather go naked than wear fur campain’. Surprisingly it wasn’t their public nudity that caused an uproar, but rather their message. This isn’t the first year women have posed naked on the streets of the northern state, but this is the first year they seem to have crossed the line.
During an interview with local Anchorage station one of the two girls made a comment stating “It’s not that warm anyways. People wear it for fashion nowadays.” Evidently when hundreds of Native Americans around Alaska heard this comment they were sincerely offended.
As one local resident of a Yup’ik village said, “Fur has been a part of the culture here for hundreds of years. Beaver fur hats, seal skin mukluks, and rabbit fur parkas are not worn to make a statement, they’re worn because they’re the most logical accessory for our climate. If it weren’t for fur there would be no people here – they would have frozen to death years ago. Fur is not a fashion sense to us, it’s a way of life.”
The resident went on to explain how the fur used by many people around America is actually a byproduct of food. With the American economy hitting a downfall many Americans are resorting to a subsistence lifestyle to survive. A rural Alaskan trapper also explained. “Everyone who traps in rural Alaska is usually doing so for the meat. The fur is a way to pay for the gas needed to travel to get that food. And what people don’t eat, sled dogs do,” he explains, “And it’s the same all around the United States. It’s not unheard of for fur trappers to eat the meat of their catch. Everything from raccoon to lynx is edible. In this day and age it’s probably the best skill anyone could learn. Not only do trappers bring in much needed income with their catch they also literally provide food for their families. There’s a lot of misconceptions related to this career and this isn’t the first time PETA has spread misinformation regarding fur.”
Some people in western Alaska have even come together in the hopes that PETA will hear their message. “We just want them to have their facts straight,” Dawn Webb of Mountain Village states, “We could respect their opinions and even their protests if they would have the facts correct. It’s hard to take them seriously when they aren’t giving a serious argument. It’s actually quite offensive and degrading of the local Eskimo and Indian culture.”
PETA hasn’t made a comment on the offensive statements of its nude representatives, but they did proudly advertise the girls’ protest on its official website.