Animal rights organisation PETA has been slammed following a “cruel” tweet that many took as celebrating the death of Chanel legend Karl Lagerfeld.
Lagerfeld, the German creative director of Chanel, passed away on Tuesday (19Feb19) aged 85 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. Shortly after his death, the U.K. branch of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) wrote on their official Twitter page: “Karl Lagerfeld has gone, and his passing marks the end of an era when fur and exotic skins were seen as covetable. PETA sends condolences to our old nemesis’s loved ones.”
Followers were quick to scold the organisation for the tweet, with one writing: “A bit cold on the announcement of someone’s passing. Should care for all living beings, whether you agree with them, or like them.”
Another said that PETA should be “ashamed” for the message, and added: “Learn to be a little more human and then you can defend your visions. This is just a cruel/unnecessary tweet for a moment like this.”
However, PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk hit back against the criticism, releasing a statement which read: “Perhaps you did not realise that I am almost 70, almost of the same generation as Mr. Lagerfeld, and that while I didn’t design it, I wore fur for years.
“Hence, there is nothing snarky in the remark that those times have passed. Grief, with which I am familiar, is real, and so our condolences for anyone who loved and lost someone are too, regardless of that person’s opposing position on fur. Slamming PETA expresses the commenters’ nastiness: PETA expressed none.”
Lagerfeld, an unapologetic user of fur in his fashion creations, came under fire by PETA at numerous points in his career, such as in 2001 when they tried to throw a pie at him but missed and hit Calvin Klein instead.
However, in December, Chanel, under Lagerfeld’s direction, committed to discard of fur or exotic animal skins in any future ranges.
“We are continually reviewing our supply chains to ensure they meet our expectations of integrity and traceability,” a representative said in a statement at the time. “In this context, it is our experience that it is becoming increasingly difficult to source exotic skins which match our ethical standards.”
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