Will Red Paint Be Thrown on Me If I Wear Fur?


red paint, tina fey, fur, PETA, 30 Rock
Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) was sloshed with red syrup for an episode of the NBC comedy series 30 Rock. An alarming number of netizens believe this was a real PeTA attack!

There’s a common misconception that if you wear fur in public, you’ll get red paint or pig’s blood thrown on you. This is an urban myth that’s been around for decades, and we are here to reassure you that it will not happen! In fact we, and others, can’t find any evidence of this ever having happened to a regular person, and believe incidents involving celebrities can be counted on the fingers of, well, two fingers!

So prevalent was this myth in the 1980s and ’90s that some North American furriers offered to clean their customers’ furs for free if they were attacked with paint. But they never had to follow through on their pledge because it never happened. In fact, some animal activists even complained that the myth of attacks with red paint was invented by the fur trade to discredit them!

So, to answer the question, no, you will not get paint thrown on you if you wear fur. Here’s why.

  1. Animal rights activists don’t carry around buckets of paint or blood in the hope they will find someone to throw them on. It is massively inconvenient to have a bucket of paint in your bag, plus it might spill onto your vegan energy bar.
  2. Most people cannot distinguish fake fur from real. Not only does fake fur look very realistic these days, some of it even feels real. Would an animal rights activist risk attacking a fake fur wearer by throwing a bucket of paint on them? Not likely.
  3. It is illegal. Not only is it obviously illegal to throw paint on a stranger for any reason, if you throw it because you think that person is wearing real fur, in the US you could be classed as an animal rights terrorist. Only a fool would risk 10 years in a federal prison for throwing paint on someone who might not even be wearing real fur.
  4. It is counter-productive. Fur lovers are not easily cowed by animal rights activists, and if one of them has their fur ruined with paint, they will probably just replace it. And since fur coats are frequently insured, they won’t even have to foot the bill. What is the point of destroying one fur coat, when it is only going to be replaced with another?
  5. Animal rights activists rarely commit crimes in public. They protest, shout, take their clothes off and are really annoying in public, but rarely commit crimes in public. Instead, they vandalise farms under the cover of night or sneakily film animals being “mistreated” for months before showing anyone the evidence. Or they threaten violence in the comments section of an article without revealing their real identity. Does this sound like the type of person who is brave enough to throw paint on a passerby in the middle of the street? No.

If you’re concerned about other crimes that may be committed against you and your mink coat, consider this. Spitting on someone is a crime and leaves DNA. Plus CCTV cameras are everywhere. At worst, you might be at risk of having a post-it note stuck on your back, but even this childish prank happens very rarely.

So confident are we that wearing fur is safe, we set out to prove it! A few years back, one of our team wore visible fur pieces in public for 100 days over the winter. Mostly she was in Vancouver, Canada, a hotbed of anti-fur sentiment, but she also spent time in London, England, also reputed to be intolerant of fur. The result? Lots of compliments, not a single negative comment, and of course, no paint attacks. The experiment, called 100 Days of Fur, confirmed that fur is a very safe fashion choice.

Of course, animal rights activists do like their publicity, so celebs should be a more attractive target, right? But even then, our count currently stands at two: the late comedian Joan Rivers once got red paint thrown on her sable, and Vogue editor Anna Wintour once got hit with “fake blood”. If you’re a celebrity who’s been sloshed with red paint, please tell us about it, and we’re flattered you’re reading our blog!

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  • We are moving from Texas to New Jersey. My wife has a full length blackglama mink coat purchased in Europe in 1984. It has been worn in Texas only 2-3 times. My kids think that it would be inappropriate to wear it in New Jersey. Are they right? We are not showy people and don’t want to give the wrong impression to new people we will meet…..HELP?

    • That’s a tough question, Don. It certainly gets cold enough for fur in New Jersey. Winter is still several months away, so take the time to get to know the mood towards fur among your new circle of friends. And even if some are opposed to fur, once you get to know them they make become accepting of your different point of view. But the big question is, why do your kids think it would be “inappropriate”? Are they afraid they will be judged if their Mum shows up at school in fur? It’s really your decision whether you’re prepared to take a stand, or whether you want to fly under the radar for your kids’ sake. That said, you may find you’re worrying about nothing when half the other Mums also show up in fur. Good luck!

  • Also this year I bought a lot of furs, there are also exotic fur which I particularly like. Foxes, Oppossum, Mink is necessary every year to procure. I did not meet the protests this year, I only got recognition when I wore fur.

      • And your use of the word “tortured” says a lot about you. Ridiculous. Torture is the intentional inflicting of pain on a sentient being for personal gain – usually either to gain information or in pursuit of sadistic pleasure. Maybe try another word?

  • I have been wearing fur whenever temperatures allow for over 15 years both at home in my conservative city, and on vacations, and have had no harsh interactions by anti-fur folks. Add to that, I am a guy wearing full furs, which is less common, and still no bad situations.

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