Vegan hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons has reached out to Lady GaGa in an open letter, pleading with the singer to rethink her stance on wearing real fur.
The Poker Face hitmaker recently came under attack from the vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) after she stepped out draped in what appeared to be a pink mink coat earlier this month (Aug12).
She apologised to fans over the fur furore and insisted she respected animal rights, but remained defiant, declaring that while "you see a carcass, I see a museum piece de resistance".
Now Peta supporter Simmons has waded into the controversy and issued a personal plea to Gaga to take a moment to watch a harrowing video exposing the truth behind China's fur trade.
In the message, posted on Simmons' GlobalGrind.com website, he writes, "While I will not judge each individual's unconscious action, I will speak to the collective. The ripping off of skin of other sentient beings while they are still alive - during a time when we have options available to us to wear cruelty-free alternatives - is an issue I have to lend my voice to. Wearing these skins is abusive to animals, but equally as abusive to ourselves, as we are the animal that we abuse. As a vegan, I believe the greatest karmic disaster in the history of humankind is the 40 billion animals made to be born into suffering each year. Fur-bearing animals suffer the same fate for vanity and greed.
"Lady Gaga, you are a great artist who has used your celebrity to fight for equality and fairness, so I know you are a compassionate loving human being who would not publicly defend others for their unconscious behavior. Let's not set off a chain reaction where artists act as support for a society's unconscious behavior. Let's instead do what artists have done throughout history and be on the side of love and compassion, because that is our natural state.
"I am Peta's Person of The Year and I support them, but this isn't about Peta or their tactics. Don't allow your feelings about them to govern how you feel about animals. Those feelings should come as a result of your heart meditation. Please continue to use your immense talent as an instrument of love, peace and compassion. Watch this video, whose message cannot be denied, and know that I love you."
Gaga has yet to respond to Simmons' open letter.