Sunday, August 31, 2008

MoD to hold bearskin hat meeting

BBC says,The Ministry of Defence is to meet an animal rights group to discuss alternatives to the bearskin hats worn by guards at Buckingham Palace.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) has approached Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney to design a new shape for the 18in hat.
The charity has previously called for fake fur to be used, but said the MoD was not happy with prototype designs.
Baroness Taylor, minister for defence procurement, will meet Peta on Tuesday.

The MoD says it is open to alternatives to real bearskin, but that previous attempts to replace it with synthetic fur have failed because the material has not been durable or weatherproof enough.
The ministry also wants to avoid if possible any change in the look of the red-coated sentries guarding Buckingham Palace, whose uniforms have long been one of the top tourist sights in London.
However, Peta is proposing a new hat shape and has also approached designer Marc Bouwer as well as McCartney and Westwood.
Robbie LeBlanc, Peta's director for Europe, said that although the group was proposing a different shape for the hats it did not mean the new design could not become "iconic".
"Most people think it's fake fur and when they find out it's real and it takes one bear to make a hat, they are appalled," he said.
The meeting is the culmination of a media campaign by Peta that has included a naked protest outside Buckingham Palace.
More recently, comedian Ricky Gervais sent an open letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, calling the continued use of real fur inexcusable.'

Ricky really should stick to his Office job. McCartney and Westwood could be better employed designing dunce's caps for themselves and PETA, AFAIK an American group. The Guards have distinguished historic battle honours. I doubt if the will add PETA beneath the likes of Waterloo. The question is, can we rely on the Ministry of Defence to defend them? But it is intersting how the skin that keeps the rain off a bear is the most effective in protecting humans too.

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