PETA Wants Paul Manafort’s Ostrich Jacket—Here’s Why

Paul Manafort’s trial is underway, but so far, only one “accessory” to a (fashion) crime has been identified: his ridiculous ostrich jacket.

This jacket may have cost Manafort upwards of $15,000, but as PETA’s exposé of the ostrich-skin industry reveals, it was likely made from numerous juvenile ostriches whose throats were slit and whose feathers were plucked out. They paid a far higher price for this coat than Manafort did: their very lives.

PETA is asking Manafort to donate this awful jacket to us so that we can use it in the same way that we use donated fur coats—taking it to schools to remind children that animals are wonderful and that clothing made from them is not. You can see the letter that we sent to his lawyer below:

“On behalf of PETA and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, I’m writing to ask that your client Paul Manafort donate the ostrich jacket that is now in the news to PETA. We can help reduce the negativity surrounding it, even if we can’t bring the particular animals back from the dead or go back in time and stop the ways in which they suffered. We will use it in the same way we use fur coats that are donated to us: to take to schools to remind children that animals are wonderful and that clothing made from them is not, that it is cruelly obtained and out of touch with how most of us view other living beings in 2018. Mr. Manafort will receive a legitimate tax deduction.

We ask that Mr. Manafort think of the young ostriches killed for their skin, something that may not have crossed his mind any more than seeing himself where he is today occurred to him. Their plight, too, should be a shock. PETA released the first-ever exposé of the ostrich-skin industry, in which ostriches are kept in barren dirt feedlots until they’re trucked to slaughterhouses. Our investigators witnessed workers forcing the inquisitive birds into stun boxes—causing many to slip and fall in the process—whirling them upside down, then slitting their throats. The birds next in line could only watch as their flockmates were killed just feet away. The birds’ feathers are plucked out to create the bumpy-textured skin used for clothing.

This jacket—which I cannot imagine Mr. Manafort will wear again, for several reasons—could be put to good and charitable use to help inform children about cruelty to animals and what not to buy to avoid supporting it. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration.”

—Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President

Remember: Animals are not ours to wear.

If you need help veganizing your closet, you’ve come to the perfect place. Check out our handy “How to Wear Vegan” guide below:

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