For Immediate Release:
August 5, 2022
Robin Goist 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – After seeing Lauren Sánchez exit the Ham Yard Hotel on Wednesday with a $100,000 crocodile-skin Birkin bag over her arm, PETA rushed off a letter to her this afternoon, urging her to donate the “testament to the human decimation of animal life” to the group’s Museum of Atrocities Against Animals. The letter includes an offer to replace the Birkin bag with a stylish, innovative, humane vegan crocodile-skin bag from a high-end designer like Stella McCartney.
“[C]rocodiles are fascinating, intelligent animals who use tools, communicate through body language and sounds, like to play (yes!), and are excellent mothers who fiercely protect their young,” writes PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “I hope you agree that your Birkin bag belongs in the Museum of Atrocities Against Animals, and your donation would help educate children and adults about the exotic-skins industry and show that you value kindness over cruelty.”
At least three crocodiles must endure agony to make just one Hermès bag: Video footage released by Kindness Project shows crocodiles on farms owned by Hermès and one of its suppliers confined to concrete pens, electrocuted, stabbed, shot, and mutilated with screwdrivers. PETA’s own exposé of Hermès suppliers found that workers cut into the animals as they struggled to escape and stabbed still-conscious animals to try to dislocate their vertebrae. The animals continued to move for several minutes after these attempts at slaughter. Burberry, Carolina Herrera, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier, and many other brands have now banned all exotic skins.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview that fosters violence against other animals. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Sánchez follows.
August 5, 2022
Dear Ms. Sánchez:
Greetings. I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals U.S.—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally, and PETA U.S. is the largest animal rights organization in the world. I thought you looked stunning in the photograph I saw of you exiting Ham Yard Hotel—except for that crocodile-skin Birkin bag. Please let me explain: In this day and age—when London Zoo has placed such a bag in its crocodile exhibit to make the point that acquisition of wild animal–skin accessories harms animals and when Chanel, Burberry, and other fashion houses have banned all exotic-skin items—I urge you not to ruin your beautiful look by carrying such a testament to the human decimation of animal life. There is something you can do to help.
First, may we offer you a fabulous vegan crocodile-skin bag to carry proudly and so make a “compassion in fashion” statement for others to follow? Second, would you please donate the Birkin bag to our Museum of Atrocities Against Animals? That would be a wonderful (and tax-deductible) thing to do for animal welfare. Blondie has donated her furs, as has Mariah Carey, and we have other such horrors as a colobus monkey coat, an alligator briefcase, a steel trap, a circus bear whip, and a sealskin ornament of a mother and baby seal.
Many people are unaware that crocodiles are fascinating, intelligent animals who use tools, communicate through body language and sounds, like to play (yes!), and are excellent mothers who fiercely protect their young. But crocodiles raised for their skins are factory-farmed, often confined for months or even years to filthy, barren concrete pits before being hacked up for their skin. You need a strong stomach to watch our videos of workers attempting to kill the animals by cutting into their necks and ramming metal rods down their spines—while they were still alive.
Animal-free textiles are revolutionizing the fashion industry. Stella McCartney, for instance, creates gorgeous vegan bags, including a snakeskin-print purse, and Minuit sur Terre offers exotic-skin bags made from cereals and recycled plastic bottles. There’s a growing demand for animal-friendly, planet-friendly products created from pineapples, mushrooms, apples, cactus, and other plant-based materials.
I hope you agree that your Birkin bag belongs in the Museum of Atrocities Against Animals, and your donation would help educate children and adults about the exotic-skins industry and show that you value kindness over cruelty. We would praise you to the heavens.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.