By ALEAH WINTER
PETA demonstrators took their protests to new heights on Thursday as they stood outside of Prada’s
Broadway store in Manhattan with an ostrich mascot to protest the company’s new line of
ostrich skin handbags.
The fake ostrich stood next to a sign that read “Head in the Sand? Ostriches Slaughtered for Bags!”
Lined up next to it were two women and a man on all fours, with their heads stuck in handbags.
“People are being encouraged to wake up to the truth,” said Ashley Byrne, 38,
a member of the animal rights group. The performance, she added, was asking people to “get their heads out of the sand.”
While the group of volunteer protestors gathered on the sidewalk discouraging people to buy
from the retailer, one man held a screen the played video footage of the slaughters that
happens on ostrich farms associated with the Prada brand.
The 2015 investigative video “Butchering Baby Birds for Birkin Bags,” shows images of ostrich
farms in South Africa where companies like Prada, Birkin, and Louis Vuitton uses the leather
from ostriches to make their bags, shoes, and other products.
One protester, Marcela Perja, found out about the protest on her facebook page, where she is
an avid volunteer for PETA.
“People don’t realize where their stuff comes from,” she said. “They just think it’s regular
Prada workers at the Broadway store had no comment on PETA’s claims. Neither did representatives of
Bryne, who has worked with PETA for nine years, said “We can chose to be cruel or we can
choose to be kind.”