For PETA's latest anti-fur ad campaign, the organization recruited players from the Lingerie Football League, the seven-on-seven tackle football league for women which some critics have accused of "pernicious objectification." For the "Tackle Cruelty: Bench Fur" campaign, members of the Chicago Bliss wear even less clothes than usual, stripping down, covered only by a helmet, football, and shoulder pads, in the name of raising awareness of animal cruelty.
Though lingerie football is usually perceived as a frivolous, non-serious endeavor, the women here are tackling an issue that many see as deadly serious. According to PETA campaigner Emily Lavender, "Wearing fur is a personal foul. With so many stylish, warm, and durable fabrics available today, there's no excuse for wearing anyone's skin." And PETA writes on its website:
"When people learn that millions of innocent animals are beaten, boiled, hanged, and electrocuted for their fur every year; that each fur coat, each piece of fur lining or fur trim, and each fur cat toy represents the intense suffering of dozens of animals; and that furriers intentionally mislabel the fur of cats and dogs as fur from other species or as faux fur — then every decent human being will want to go fur-free."
LFL athletes also participated in a PETA demonstration earlier this week, appearing in their uniforms at Toronto's Eaton Center, holding signs encouraging people to just say no to fur. And in a behind-the-scenes video released in conjunction with the campaign, players share personal anecdotes relating to the mistreatment of animals. It's been twenty years since the Go-Go's kicked off the whole celebrities-posing-naked-for-PETA phenomenon, and though eye-catching, it's hard to measure how effective it's actually been.