Miss New Hampshire 2020 Sarah Tubbs (left) and an unidentified woman model fur jackets provided by the New Hampshire Trapping Association
Derry, N.H. – Following accounts that Miss New Hampshire organizers reportedly forced pageant winners to wear fur coats provided by the New Hampshire Trapping Association—which has sponsored the pageant for more than two decades—PETA sent a letter calling on the pageant to stop awarding winners with fur coats and stop accepting blood money from the association. The action comes as a bill to prohibit recreational trapping is currently under legislative review in the state.
“Animals can languish for days after a trap cuts into their bones, sometimes even chewing off their own legs to return to their babies, before the trappers return to shoot, stomp, or bludgeon them to death,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on this beauty pageant to stop associating with something so ugly and drop fur immediately.”
PETA’s letter points out that pageants are evolving. Miss America dropped its swimsuit competition and no longer requires contestants to wear evening gowns. The Miss Florida USA pageant stopped awarding fur coats to winners nearly a decade ago. Miss New Hampshire is long overdue for a humane makeover and should take a progressive stand by going fur-free.
PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear,” and the group opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA’s letter to Miss New Hampshire Scholarship Foundation President John Conley follows.
Miss New Hampshire Scholarship Foundation, Inc.
Dear Mr. Conley,
Greetings from PETA. I’m writing on behalf of our 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including nearly 29,000 in New Hampshire, in light of former Miss New Hampshire contestant Kacie Flahive’s revelation that winners are pressured to accept and wear a real fur coat. It’s time for the Miss New Hampshire Scholarship Foundation to stop accepting blood money from the New Hampshire Trappers Association and end the archaic tradition of awarding fur coats to winners.
Real fur is as outdated and out of touch as corsets and calling women “baby doll.” Major fashion brands—including Chanel, Prada, Gucci, Versace, Burberry, and Michael Kors—are dropping fur in droves, more than a dozen countries around the world have banned fur farms, and New Hampshire is considering a ban on recreational trapping.
Animals who are trapped for their fur can suffer for days from blood loss, shock, dehydration, frostbite, gangrene, and attacks by predators before being shot, stomped on, or bludgeoned to death. Mother animals who are desperate to return to their starving babies have even chewed off their own legs. Pressuring contestants to ignore their conscience and wear the product of this cruelty seems the opposite of Miss New Hampshire’s mission to “empower” young women.
Compassionate women like Flahive shun fur because they know that it’s deadly for animals and destructive to the environment. Producing an animal fur product is up to 10 times more damaging to the environment than producing a faux-fur one. Rivers and lakes often become contaminated with the toxic chemicals that are used to prevent real furs from rotting in buyers’ closets.
Pageants are evolving. Miss America dropped its swimsuit competition and no longer requires contestants to wear evening gowns. The Miss Florida USA pageant stopped awarding fur coats to winners nearly a decade ago. Miss New Hampshire is long overdue for a humane makeover: Please, take a progressive and kind stand by going fur-free.