Aretha Franklin’s memorial service doesn’t occur until Friday, August 31, yet officially, valuable bits of her $80 million estate—which Franklin left without a will set up— is at popular demand. Including her impressive fur coat collection.
Last Friday, August 24, a little more than seven days after Franklin’s passing at 76 on August 16, the animal protection association PETA sent a letter to Franklin’s niece, Sabrina Garrett Owens, requesting that the estate donates the Queen of Soul’s fur collection to PETA’s fur donation program, which reuses them for people who are in need of warmth in refugee camps and homeless shelters. The furs are also converted into bedding for wildlife. The letter read as takes after:
We’re so sorry for the loss of your aunt. The world has lost an amazing talent, and we’re grateful that her music will live on.
Aretha will always be remembered for all that she did to help empower African-American people, especially women, in her lifetime. Might we now call on her estate to help end the cruel era of wearing animal fur by donating her fur coats to PETA, where they’ll go on to offer warmth and comfort to those who need it the most? In the past, we’ve given donated fur coats—some coming from other wonderful women including Anjelica Huston, Mariah Carey, and Mary Tyler Moore—to homeless shelters in the U.S. (including in Detroit) and to displaced refugees in Afghanistan, Mongolia, and Syria.
Designers, brands, and stores are dropping fur as quickly as consumers are ditching it. As faux fur and other cruelty-free, vegan materials take over, real animal fur can be put to good use, and this generous donation would secure Aretha forever as an “Angel” for animals.
Thank you for your time and consideration. Please let us know if there’s anything that we can do to help you and your family through this difficult time.
Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman, PETA
In an accompanying press release, Reiman commented, “By donating Aretha Franklin’s fur coats to PETA, her family could expand her legacy of social justice to animals. While we can’t bring back the animals who suffered and died for them, these coats can help others by providing some much-needed warmth to orphaned animals and humans in desperate need.”
It’s a praiseworthy mission—and obviously, she can’t take her furs with her—however, anybody acquainted with Ms. Aretha Franklin knows her lavish furs became apart of her trademark. Truth be told, while PETA’s central goal appears to be benevolent, it’s arguable that the singer’s furs belong in a museum. Regardless, Franklin’s relatives and companions may want is as gifts for themselves before they consider donating it.