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Fur flies at use of the f-word

It was one of the most illuminating moments of the Australian fashion year, when Melbourne's Spring Fashion Week's opening night was invaded by the protesters of PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment Of Animals on Tuesday night … and the real animals came out. The protesters took to the stage midway through the 9pm parade to wave banners against the use of fur and point out those in the audience who were breaking their rule. But what happened next showed just how thin the veneer of acceptance the fashion world has preached really is. To the horror of most in the audience, a very vocal crowd of fashionistas and designers hit back at the invaders with the worst insult they could imagine. They used the ''f'' word. ''They were yelling 'Get off the stage you fat pigs!','' said stunned fashion blogger and plus-size advocate Hayley Hughes who was in the audience. ''I've never seen anything like it.'' Equally gobsmacked was fashion writer Phoebe Montague, who was sitting front row as the fight unfolded. ''I was quite surprised at how ugly the response was by some people,'' she said. ''Something like 'you're fat!' is so juvenile but it was the first thing some reached for last night. I was disgusted.'' One fashionista who went on the record with his attack was Daniel P Dykes, who tweeted ''No slim girls PETA?''. Away from the heat of the moment, he said yesterday the protesters were attacking him and he simply returned the favour. ''When you heckle a person, you're going to get heckled back,'' he said. As for the person who yelled out ''fat pigs'', we've no idea who they are - and there's no suggestion it was Dykes. But let's hope he, or she, isn't linked to any retailers hoping to woo the ordinary shopper.


Bread is the stuff of life. Indeed its spiritual and material centrality is enshrined in the word ''Lord'' the etymology of which reveals the Old English ''hlafweard'' - literally ''one who guards the loaves''. We write this because of an ingenious new initiative called Bread For Good, backed by the Herald and announced during Good Food Week, which is aimed at bringing some immediate relief to the enormous suffering ongoing in the Horn of Africa where millions face death by starvation, and where multitudes have already perished. The idea is simple. At most restaurants bread is served to you for free, but now participating restaurants will invite you to donate $2 which they will pass directly to UNICEF. Why $2? ''With two dollars, you can actually feed a child who is on the brink of death three therapeutic meals a day, and bring them back,'' said Herald food writer Helen Greenwood, whose brainchild Bread For Good is. Greenwood said that the method of fundraising was inspired by the TAP project in New York where punters donated money for tap water, but the initiative itself sprang from ''reading the Herald's coverage of what was happening in east Africa and being a writer for Good Living, and trying to connect the two. This is an attempt to get something to the Horn of Africa from the horn of plenty - Australia.'' Already 37 top restaurants have joined the project, from Marque in Surry Hills to Rockpool in Melbourne's Southbank. In fact at the time of writing Melbourne had 19 restaurants committed, to Sydney's 18 (c'mon Sydney!).