PETA under fire for 'incredibly disrespectful' anti-fur response to Karl Lagerfeld's death

Less than an hour after news broke of the death of fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld on Tuesday, animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released a statement that left some people shocked and disgusted.

The press release, sent via email on behalf of PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk — and also distributed on social media — reads: “Karl Lagerfeld has gone, and his passing marks the end of an era when fur and exotic skins were seen as covetable. PETA sends condolences to our old nemesis’s loved ones.

The backlash was just as swift as PETA’s reaction to the death of the 85-year-old icon. UK-based journalist Sali Hughes led the charge.

Lagerfeld had a long history of using furs as well as crocodile, lizard, snake and stingray skins in the clothing he designed for Chanel, Fendi and his own eponymous label. He was known to staunchly defend this decision. In December, however, Chanel announced it would no longer use fur and exotic animal skins in its designs.

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Stars react to Karl Lagerfeld's death
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Stars react to Karl Lagerfeld's death
Nothing feels right today..at a loss for words and so heartbroken by the loss of Karl. His humor, wit , love and passion for fashion will live on forever. Thank you for the inspiration that you gave to this world and for all of the hearts that you touched in the process. Every time I saw you it felt like the first time & I will miss your hugs so much. I feel so lucky to have been in your presence. Sending my love to the Lagerfeld family and to all closest to him. I am so sorry. We all love you so much .💔 Rest In Peace KL❤️
We lost a true legend!!!! You were such an inspiration to the world! You shot my first fashion shoot and I was so nervous to work with such an icon! The world is so much chicer because you existed! I am beyond honored to have met you and had the opportunity to work with you. You are so loved and will be so missed 💔
Karl Lagerfeld didn’t breath oxygen. He breathed fashion. He had both an artistic and a business eye that defined w… https://t.co/C818anGnEf
Today the world lost a creative genius. We will miss you Karl! #RIPKarlLagerfeld https://t.co/8MMcWqDphE
Karl your genius touched the lives of so many, especially Gianni and I. We will never forget your incredible talent and endless inspiration. We were always learning from you.
So incredibly sad to hear this. Karl was a genius and always so kind and generous to me both personally and professionally. RIP 💔x vb
“Evolution is the secret for the next step” - rest in peace, Karl Lagerfeld ❤
My heart is broken. Thank you for everything x
Karl, genius provocateur has gone quietly... Such a perceptive witness of our times , his intelligence, talent and enormous knowledge will be missed...
I got to interview Karl when I was the editor of @luckymagazine and, since it was around April Fool’s Day, we mocked up a cover of the issue with his cat on the cover. He was so tickled by it that he asked to keep it. I didn’t know him well but in my fleeting encounters with him, he had a wicked wit (he had very strong opinions about Athleisure) and a true fashion legend. Rest In Peace, thank you for inspiring us
"Today the world lost a giant among men." Anna Wintour remembers Chanel’s creative director and her longtime friend… https://t.co/zlfpA5mrZk
Rest in peace, Karl. I remember being so scared to interview you and yet you were in fact incredibly witty and generous. Thank you for inviting me to some of the most glamorous experiences of my life, it was an honour to know you. Oh yeah and thanks for the dry shampoo tip, will always think of you as I powder my wig. ❤️
this image alone was enough to make my generation dream...
Beyond devastated to hear that my darling friend and legendary genius, Karl Lagerfeld, has passed away. Karl was a true artist and visionary, and was one of the most magical, inspiring, mesmeric beings to know and work with. His awe-inspiring presence and legacy in fashion and life will be eternal. I will miss you, my darling friend, and treasure the amazing, joyful and fun memories we made together. 💫💫💫💫💫💫💫💫💫💫💫
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💔 Karl... Great love of my life. 💔@karllagerfeld @chanelofficial 💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔
The end of an era! RIP Karl Lagerfeld #KarlLagerfeld https://t.co/gU6emIyL28
You made me feel like a princess. I never quite understood what you saw in me but I am forever grateful for the sup… https://t.co/pW24Hwinuw
Rest in peace Karl Lagerfeld. A true fashion maestro and visionary who inspired many. The impact he made and the le… https://t.co/5jpxxrOU6F
My first Instagram post taken 8yrs ago in Karl’s library / studio. I spent so many nights here. Karl always liked t… https://t.co/AZq0EXAhqN
Rest in love ❤️❤️❤️🌥 #karllagerfeld #chanel
It was such a thrill and a pleasure to have met you, to have worked with you, and to have experienced the amazing t… https://t.co/esHZQdi10w
You bought so much beauty, style and grace to this world. Karl, you will forever be a true legend, an icon, an insp… https://t.co/1mYgYYrGf6
Dear Karl, thank you for all the sparkles .... thank you bringing beauty and lightness in our world, so much color in the darkness, so much wit in our dull days. I think you wouldn’t have wished for too many tears or too many flowers but you will be missed. The whole world and I will miss you. RIP 🙏 Cher Karl, merci pour toutes ces étincelles ✨.... merci d’avoir apporté tant de beauté et de légèreté dans ce monde si lourd, tant de couleurs dans cette grisaille, tant d’esprit dans cette époque éteinte. Je crois que vous n’auriez pas aimé trop de larmes, trop de fleurs ou de couronnes mais vous allez beaucoup manquer. À moi comme au monde entier.
Karl.....I cannot tell you how much you meant to me and how much I will miss you ♥️ I will never forget your kindness towards me, your laughs, your imagination ♥️ I came to France to see you this week and introduce you to my daughter...I’m heartbroken I was too late ♥️ Rest In Peace, I adore you ♥️
Rest in peace 🖤
Karl was my magic dust, he transformed me from a shy German girl into a supermodel. He taught me about fashion, style and survival in the fashion business. What Warhol was to art, he was to fashion; he is irreplaceable. He is the only person who could make black and white colourful! I will be eternally grateful to him.
I don’t even recall him knowing my name, but man did I know his. We have lost a true genius in the fashion world. H… https://t.co/r9wAhKGkGF
Thank you for everything Karl x https://t.co/UVY28s2K0b
The only thing more inspiring than #karllagerfeld’s prolific creative genius was his kind heart, generosity and irreverent spirit! His mark on the fashion industry will live on forever, his loss resonates deeply with all who had the privilege to work with him ❤️
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PETA has earned a controversial reputation of its own over the years, becoming notorious for publicity tactics like dressing up in Ku Klux Klan hoods to protest the Westminster Dog Show and comparing animal cruelty to rape, slavery and the Holocaust.

Yahoo Lifestyle has contacted PETA for comment.

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