Animal rights activists have fired off a letter to Beyonce urging her to quit wearing fur after she donned a mink coat to U.S. President Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony on Monday (21Jan13).

The superstar rocked a long black Christian Dior garment to the Obama's swearing-in, where she wowed a crowd of more than 500,000 people with a rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner.

An additional 20.6 million viewers around the globe tuned in for the event, and now Beyonce has been hit with backlash for not choosing a more appropriate outfit for the occasion.

An open letter from Friends of Animals director Edita Birnkrant reads, "People worldwide heard and watched your appearance at President Obama's second inauguration ceremony. Friends of Animals' members and supporters were among the millions who saw, or will see images of, you in a Christian Dior mink coat. What does it mean when one of the most popular musicians in the world endorses the fur trade in such a dramatic way?

"The message is that fur-bearing animals who are shot, clubbed, electrocuted, caught in traps or have their necks broken on breeding farms don't matter. Their skins are viewed as belonging to humans. It's a destructive and irresponsible message to many who deeply admire you.

"Opulent, elegant, but most of all conscientious alternatives to fur abound, and to commit to ethical fashion statements would educate your fans in a meaningful way. You have the power to turn your message around. We at Friends of Animals, an animal-advocacy organization founded in 1957, ask you to publicly reject fur. We agree that fur is beautiful - on the bodies of those who were born in it."