RIVER NORTH — Chicagoans got an eyeful on their lunch breaks Wednesday, as a scantily clad couple in a hot pink bed took to the Mag Mile to protest fur.
“In time for Valentine’s Day, we wanted to get out the message that there’s nothing sexier than compassion,” said Emily Lavender, 24, who organized the event for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
“With all the fashionable and warm options today, there’s no excuse to wear fur,” Lavender said.
Volunteers for the animal rights group set up an air mattress at the corner of Ohio and Michigan about noon Wednesday.
Minneapolis couple Jenna Cameron, 24, and Derek Ritchison, 30, cuddled under pink satin sheets and heart-print fleece blankets. A magenta headboard read: “Fur-Out! Love-In!”
Chicago marked the final stop in PETA's three-city tour, which also had stops in Minneapolis and Des Moines.
Passersby laughed and snapped iPhone photos, bantering with the couple. Several drivers honked furiously as cars in front of them stopped to take pictures.
Ritchison described the public’s reaction as very positive, "except for one guy who told me she could do better," he said, pointing to his girlfriend.
Ryan Davis, 25, a Rogers Park resident who works in the Loop, said the demonstration was “pretty stupid but interesting.”
“It’s not really clear what they’re protesting,” he said, “but it’s a good way to start conversations.”
That was the goal, Lavender said.
“When it comes to fur, the facts alone are hard for people to hear, so we wanted something fun and upbeat to get them talking,” Lavender said. “Every picture that people take that’s on Facebook is more people that join the conversation."