last year, i was unable to go to our city’s fur-free friday demo because i had bronchitis. boo! so, i had to wait until this year to attend my first fur-free friday event. ours is usually held outside a fur store on the northwest side of town, which (coincidentally) is about two blocks away from where i lived throughout middle school. i remember moving to that house, when i was about 10 years old, and being totally bummed out that we drove past a fur store all the time. bleah. little did i know that in 23 years’ time, i’d be protesting in front of the store. hee.
everything went pretty well; the weather was quite chilly, but we had about 25 people show up, including about 5 little kids (always fun). there were signs aplenty, and we could choose from text only, or nice pictures, or graphic pictures. i chose a nice sign (seen above) because i’m cuddly like that. we stood on the corner of the fur store, and also on the three other corners since we were on a relatively busy street–we hoped to get more of an audience that way.
it wasn’t a high foot-traffic area, but we did see a whole bunch of cars slow down as they went past, so they could get a good look at our signs. we also got several supportive honks, waves, and thumbs up signs, which are always my favorite things about doing a demo. it’s nice to know there are more people "out there" who support the animals. a couple of different guys flipped us off and/or heckled us out of their windows as they went by, but the supportive drivers far outnumbered the mean ones.
i think the most interesting part of the day was when i was standing across the street (well, kitty-corner) from the fur store, with two other people, and a woman’s voice yelled, "excuse me!" from behind us somewhere. it turned out that she was the owner of a small shop i’d never noticed before, and she was angry with us because she said we were "scaring" her customers and "ruining" her business. i was completely flabbergasted, because seriously, there was nothing scary or intimidating going on. we were just a bunch of quiet people holding some signs and waving at the cars who waved at us. the woman was totally pissed, and we kept assuring her that her customers had nothing to be afraid of, and she kept cycling between realizing that we were normal friendly people who were talking in a calm reasonable fashion, and then riling herself back up to get pissed at us again. it was really quite weird. at one point she asked the guy next to me if he was wearing leather shoes (sigh), and when she was told, "no, they’re pleather, fake leather," she asked, "huh?" about 5 times before she finally got it. her parting shot was, and i quote, "why don’t you all get a job, like me?" i couldn’t believe it; we actually got "are those leather shoes?" and "get a job!" all in one interaction! i’ve read about those comments a million times before, but never actually heard them in person. i felt like i should be playing protest bingo or something.
anyhow, i stuck around for about 90 minutes, and then my toes got too cold and i headed home. there were a few people still around when i left, but i think it was pretty close to quittin’ time. with any luck, it helped raise some awareness. go fur-free!