Kim Kardashian has recently published a book of “selfies,” and was in New York City doing promotional book signing. After waiting in line for hours, a group of activists disrupted the event. Video below:
Curiously, one of the activists involved has publicly spoken out against Direct Action Everywhere (of which I am a part), claiming that disruptions in places where people are eating or purchasing food is ineffective. I’m not really sure what the relevant differences are between places involving food products and other places where animals are being exploited or sold as products, though. I fully support the disruption of any place where animals are being harmed or the notion that animals are ours to be used is perpetuated or normalized. Would I have disrupted this event the same way? No. I probably would’ve done something more like the DxE model, which is to have a speak-out, and used more careful language, such as refraining from personal attacks of Kim K. and using the time to address the reality of the fur industry. But I understand that targeting celebrities is a way to get instant media attention on the issue of animal exploitation, and attention to the cause is a good thing. As an activist though, I need to choose targets carefully and especially be aware of any disproportionate attacks on women over men. It’s never okay to use gendered insults or shame women when the reality is that everyone in some way contributes to animal exploitation. Problematically, though, fur in the fashion industry seems to be geared more towards women than men, though, and that probably has an impact on who is targeted.
The sad truth is that many people never speak out against injustices that they see. And others are ignorant to the cruelty and violence committed daily in animals of all kinds of industries, from food to fashion. Disruptions take courage, time to plan, and are risky. So to that I say good on these activists. Hopefully, this will inspire others to not only realize that animal cruelty is wrong, but also to speak out against the horrors of animal exploitation.