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  • Sep
  • 19

Betty Hutton’s Mink Coat Donated to PETA

Posted by at 1:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (14)

bhYou could have knocked us over with a feather when the following e-mail arrived in PETA’s inbox:

“Hi, I am a huge fan of PETA. I am the granddaughter of the late Betty Hutton. I wondered whether donating her mink coat would provide any help to you for campaigns? … Please let me know if this is of interest to you.”

Our immediate reply was, obviously, “You bet we’re interested!”

Further correspondence with Hutton’s granddaughter, Courtney Lindberg, revealed that Lindberg is a vegetarian who gave up meat long ago after wandering into an Italian meat market and seeing animals’ bodies on display, ready to be chopped up into steaks and roasts. “Our standards of fresh in America are very different than those in Europe,” she told us. “Here we have our pretty clean packages sitting on shelves for buyers, pumped with cancer-causing chemicals to elongate shelf life. In Europe, fresh can mean you pick your animal and they prepare the cut before you. It was then that I lost my appetite for meat.”

Lindberg says she stumbled upon her grandmother’s fur while cleaning out a closet. Knowing that she would never wear the coat herselfand loath to sell it to a fan who might wear itshe thought of PETA. “I hoped donating it would be helpful,” she told us. “In the least, it would ensure that the coat would not be sold or worn in the name of fashion!”

Hutton’s mink coat was no doubt the height of fashion (as you can see in her picture) when she wore it during her Annie Get Your Gun heyday, but as Lindberg points out, times have changed. “Since that time, there has been a shift in perceptions, thanks to PETA and others like Jane Goodall and Marc Bekoff,” she says. “Ethology has been an important influence in how people now view animals, but there is still so much to be done. … Humans are the only animals on the planet who take more than we need.”

Thanks to Lindberg’s generous donation, we’ll be able to use her famous grandmother’s coat to continue to educate people about the cruelty of the fur industry. PETA uses donated furs for a variety of purposes, including fur “funeral” protests, “fur kitchens”in which marked furs are donated to homeless people (the only people who have any excuse for wearing fur)and educational displays at libraries and schools. We also donate furs to wildlife rehabilitators for use as bedding for orphaned babies.

Do you or someone you know have an old fur cluttering up the closet that you wouldn’t be caught dead in? You can’t bring the animals back, but you can make sure that they didn’t die in vain. Visit this site for more information on donating a fur to PETA.

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  • Courtney Lindberg says:

    I had no idea that people really were touched by this, I am so pleased! Thank you for all of your wonderful comments, they are much appreciated indeed!

  • Julie says:

    While like many other products, fur was part of the costuming, and stars did not always make their own wardrobe choices, it is misleading to let people presume that the stars had no desire to wear fur. Fur was a popular luxury of the 1930s, 40s and 50s and was often sported by stars and the wealthy alike by CHOICE. Coats that old should be preserved – you can make sure the animals didn’t die in vain by WEARING not WASTING them!

    While I do not support modern fur in anyway, taking wearable vintage fur coats out of the market does nothing to reduce to demand for new. For the most part, wearers of vintage fur are an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT MARKET than purchasers of new. The styles are different and the reasons for choosing fur are also very disparate.

    Ms. Lindberg, if you didn’t want the coat worn, you could have donated it to a collector of Hollywood memorobilia. You could have auctioned it and donated the funds – so much more useful – to PETA if you wished. Making a show of donating it so it can never be worn again only feeds into the emotional reaction that PETA devotees have to fur.

    The huge push against vintage fur is typically a visceral reaction, not thought through completely and based entirely on emotion. The fact is, the animals are long dead, having died in a time when concern for animal cruelty almost did not exist. That cannot be changed. Nor can some degree of demand for fur – it is a part of both our evolutionary (humankind) and social (Europe/Americas) history. I will repeat myself, however – many, if not most, people who wear vintage fur would never consider wearing new.

    I make buy cruelty free beauty products. I am responsible with my consumer-ship of new animal bi-products. But I happily and proudly wear and collect vintage furs. The animals did not die in vain – I am still enjoying those items, many years after they might have been sent to a landfill to rot. And many people reading the above article will say that they’d rather have had that happen. But you know what? It’s even more wasteful and useless. Reuse is one of the best parts of our environmentally friendly cultural values, and I practice it everyday, with my whole wardrobe – from socks to skirts, shoes to coats. Items of the past are the most eco and earth friendly way to shop there is.

  • John says:

    Many people don’t realize that actors in movies of the 30s, 40s, and 50s were required to wear fur coats in movies because the fur was being promoted to the American middle class as being desirable. It was being marketed through the film industry.

    The producers and production people made these decisions, not the stars.

    For example, the wonderful and compassionate Doris Day, a leader in animal welfare, had to wear fur coats in some of her old movies by the decision of producers and directors.

    Fur coats in these movies were the product placement of their day, meant to build a market for fur among the movie audience that were not aware of the cruelties, nor were the stars.

  • Sherif Hamdy says:

    Hi Salome,

    You can donate your coat/old fur by sending it to the below address:

    Attn.: Fur Campaign
    501 Front St.
    Norfolk, VA 23510

    PETA Prime

  • wERstillnotFree says:

    never knew about this service PETA does…so strange though accepting fur to do good things when PETA is suppose to be about using other means to live in harmony in our existance. Homeless people using fur would attrack bugs being it needs to be kept up more expensively than a fabric coat & where will they keep it safe? & giving it to rehabilitations is saying one should or would kill another animal to save an animal. I don’t agree as u can read, it should be buried & memorialized….

    I am so glad to read that Mrs.Hutton’s granddaughter is vegetarian, thk u for being one!

  • Kelly says:

    Cool. This is really nice. The fur industry is just so bad, and this is a great thing to help show it.

  • Salome Waters says:

    I checked out “FurIsDead.com, but nowhere is there a section which would permit one to give a fur coat or shawl.

    Do you have another suggestion?

  • Sandy Hays says:

    Ms. Lindberg has made a very noble and compassionate gesture, thank you!!

  • Elaine says:

    I LOVE this!!! What serendipity that Courtney Lindberg is a vegetarian. My favorite use is for the babies that have lost their mamas, it has to give some amount of comfort to lay in fur. It gladdens my heart to read this article after signing petitions for PETA in the effort to stop the cruel treatment so many animals face. Brava, Ms. Lindberg, brava.

  • Amanda says:

    Ditto what John said. Betty Hutton was one in a million!

  • Anonymous says:

    The saying goes, a mind is a terrible thing to waste, well a mind is a dangerous thing too.

  • Ann(USA) says:

    What they wouldn’t do to look good in pictures in those days and even today so long as it sells for a buck, they would do anything. Today we have more awareness and more people fighting for the animals, which brings tears to my eyes. Anyone that is not compassionate towards animals I have no respect for and therefore wonder that maybe why so many animals suffer today that includes all Governments of all Countries. I hope one day a light bulb will come on for these people that don’t regard animals as living, breathing beings and give them respect they deserve as those humans want for themselves and thou shalt not kill type thing.

  • Daniel A. Pafundi says:

    I, too am a big fan of Betty Hutton. If you watch the movie Red, Hot and Blue with Betty and Victore Mature you will see a delightful, funny and musically talented Betty at her very best. Thank you Ms. Linberg.

  • John says:

    Ms. Lindberg, thank you for being so compassionate. Your act honors the memory of the GREAT star Betty Hutton. Betty Hutton was one of the most gifted talents in American film. EVERY movie with Betty Hutton is a joy, because she gave us her all, and the talent she had was enormous. I hope that readers out there will take a look at Betty Hutton’s movies on channels like TCM, which also has a wonderful interview w/ Ms. Hutton that depicted not only her great talent and personality, but her great compassion as well. Betty Hutton was a superstar! Thank you so much for honoring her memory.

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