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BJ's Stops Selling Fur

I went to the manager of the store and complained. She said that the fur dealers were doing a road show traveling to several different BJ's club locations.

On a recent shopping trip to BJ's Wholesale Club, I was shocked to see several racks of real fur jackets and trim. There was a saleswoman there who verified that they were real fur, although there were NO tags in any of the jackets stating that they were real, which was made illegal by the Fur Labeling Act in 2010.

This is of great concern due to the inherent cruelty involved in its production - all animals killed for fur, whether they are trapped in the wild or intensively farmed, experience immense suffering prior to death.

Despite the industry attempting to promote the image of fur products coming from nature, 85% of fur used in fashion now comes from animals raised on fur farms.

Fur farms are remarkably uniform around the world with animals being raised under appalling conditions, often kept crammed into row after row of tiny barren cages, and left to stand on metal bars for their entire lives. Such conditions fail to accommodate their natural behaviors, driving many to exhibit clear signs of emotional and mental suffering.

When the animals are slaughtered, the methods chosen – which are known to routinely include gassing, neck breaking, electrocution and live skinning – are designed to protect the pelts from damage with little consideration for the animals’ welfare.

Every year in the wild, millions of animals are trapped using devices such as steel-jaw leghold traps, body-gripping traps and wire neck snares – all of which inflict a great amount of pain and suffering.

I went to the manager of the store and complained. She said that the fur dealers were doing a road show traveling to several different BJ's club locations. She took down my information and seemed sincerely bothered that they were real. I told her about the fur industry and gave her some information that I always keep handy for times like this. She was so kind and just horrified about what I told her.

A few days later, I followed up the complaint with an email to BJ’s. I had also asked other animal advocates to call the store and voice their opinions about fur. This was their response:

"As promised I sent your inquiry to the relevant department and as per their response this was already addressed by BJ's Corporate. We pulled the product off the shelf as soon as we received the initial complaint as well as the information regarding the labeling. We will not be selling fur products again."

I checked two local stores just two days later and every rack of fur is GONE! I am so happy that they actually cared and that all of the calls and emails they received really made an impact.

If you ever see fur products, don't be afraid to voice your opinion to the manager, in a nice, calm way.

The animals need us to be their voice! And please feel free to thank BJ's for making a compassionate decision!

[BJ's online contact form: http://www.bjs.com/contact-us.content.contact_us.A.about]

It gives me hope and I feel empowered that we can really make a difference by speaking up.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tree Hugger February 05, 2013 at 05:29 PM
You also could have just...not shopped there. I have long since decided to stop pestering Lane Bryant to start carrying clothing for svelte males, but unfortunately, their clientele happens to be portly women, so my calls went unheeded. I have not shopped there since.
Laurence Holyoak February 05, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Unfortunately, just not shopping there would not have made much of a difference. As an animal advocate, I try to educate in a respectful way and find it much more effective.
Fresh February 05, 2013 at 05:49 PM
AWESOME
Ben Jackson February 05, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Good for you, and good for them. Don't mind the attack emails, addressing cruelty wherever we find it is imperitave. Thanks for taking action and reporting on it.
Gwen B. February 06, 2013 at 01:23 AM
Yay!! No fur!!!
Tom February 07, 2013 at 04:11 AM
The rest of the animal was still on sale however in the MEAT section. Didn't complain about that did ya? So if an animal is killed for food, it's OK, but if it's for its fur...it's cruel. Got it.
Bob Weir February 07, 2013 at 02:01 PM
Where's Tpm's comment? It was very relevant.
Bob Weir February 07, 2013 at 02:02 PM
Whoops typo. His name is TOM
Laurence Holyoak February 07, 2013 at 02:24 PM
Victories in animal welfare are few and far between and I think it is important to celebrate all of our victories, no matter how small they may be. All of the negativity is disheartening, but you can't let it get you down, because you will stop being effective. People who make a difference don't have time for negativity or bad mouthing. Stay positive! Thanks Ben for the kind words!
PREDATOR February 07, 2013 at 03:59 PM
Tom....hypocrisy and hubris are staples here.
Ben Jackson February 07, 2013 at 03:59 PM
Folks - There's a big difference between fur and meat, and it's a bit disingenuous to pretend that there isn't. Fur can be duplicated synthetically, to similar feel and effect. Meat can not. Fur is decorative, meat is sustantive. Meat is legal. Unlabeled fur is illegal. I agree that we should be looking for meats raised as humanely as possible. Once we can synthetically create meats that mimic live-meats as well as sythetic fur mimics the real deal, we should look at eliminating live meats in our culture. We're not there yet.
PREDATOR February 07, 2013 at 04:07 PM
And that's that.
Bob Weir February 07, 2013 at 04:10 PM
eliminate meat from our culture?!?! I am so glad you are not my neighbor.
Paul Bishop February 07, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Bob, the problem is fairly simple and is becoming larger- meat (which I love, there's room for all of God's cute little creatures- right next to the mashed potatoes) takes space to produce, and not just the space for the animal itself. The space also has to include the farmland required to produce the feed for that animal, and other overhead. Industrial farming, which is already required to meet demands, is not pretty at all, and brings with it a number of other health issues. All this adds up to the price of meat continuing to climb. My kids, and definately my grandkids- they will see beef as a luxury in the not so distant future. None of that has anything to do with how folks FEEL about farming practices, it's just supply and demand. In things like chicken nuggets, adding a vegetable filler stretches out the real meat, and as long as we are aware of it's presence, I'm okay with it. I'm okay with veggie burgers (or was, can't eat them now), they are actually surprisingly tasty. I grew up a Wisconsin farm kid, fresh milk and eggs in the morning and meat and potatoes every night. The sad thing, but the reality is- that is something that is going to become more and more of a luxury as we feed more and more mouths off the same amount of land and resources. Moral of the story: Order that Prime Rib, and sop up the drippings while you still can afford it!
Fresh February 07, 2013 at 05:34 PM
Fur coats are not needed! Go to the store and get yourself a nice winter coat. I do wonder though if people so against fur wear leather and are all vegetarians? Becuase an animal is cute and furry it is wrong but cow hides for shoes, belts, furniture, auto seats etc is ok? Hmmm, wonder if anyone every made a mink couch. I love animals and don't want to see them killed inhumanley but have you seen the Beef industry? It is far from humane. There are also vitamins in meat that humans need. "BEEF...It's what's for dinner"
PREDATOR February 07, 2013 at 06:14 PM
Not to worry....the animals I kill never hear, see, or feel it coming.
Ben Jackson February 07, 2013 at 06:23 PM
Did you read what I said? What I said was - when we can synthetically create meats of equal quality to live meats, then we should eliminate *live* meat from our culture. Why is the killing important? Sheesh.
Fresh February 07, 2013 at 06:36 PM
I think what you did by bringing it to the attention of the manager was great. Do people actually still wear fur? Didn't it go out of fashion a long time ago?
Laurence Holyoak February 07, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Here is a video to educate yourselves about the fur industry- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QP-11s8wmfg
Laurence Holyoak February 07, 2013 at 06:52 PM
In the words of Gavin Rossdale, lead singer of Bush, "The person I love would never wear fur. Fur just makes me think of shallow women who have no conscience. The fur industry belongs to a time when people were selfish beyond belief. If you were some ancient tribal cheiftain, and there was not a department store nearby 350 years ago, I'd understand. But now, we have synthetic fibers, and it's not necessary. The elitism of fur makes me wanna puke."
Tree Hugger February 07, 2013 at 07:54 PM
So what about animals that we already kill for food? Just throw the fur out? Let's all go to a vegan diet. Homo Sapiens will perish from this Earth within a generation. Let's face it, we have too many people to feed as it is on our current food sources. Removing one isn't an option, and synthetically recreating it is obviously not being done on the scale needed at this point in time.

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