Home>Highlight>CA Assemblywoman Friedman’s Fur Ban: ‘There is No Need For Fur in the 21st Century’

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CA Assemblywoman Friedman’s Fur Ban: ‘There is No Need For Fur in the 21st Century’

California lawmakers are better at banning than governing

By Katy Grimes, March 16, 2019 10:53 am

The first duty of the government is to protect its citizens. Former President Ronald Reagan understood this and had another take on it: “Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.”

Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) is authoring AB 44, which would prohibit the sale and manufacture of new fur in California. “Today there are a variety of humane alternatives, both in terms of faux fur that is virtually indistinguishable from real fur, and alternative textiles that are just as warm or fashionable,” Friedman says. “There is no need for fur in the 21st century and no place for it in a sustainable future.”

Assemblywoman Laura Friedman

Yet California state and local governments put limits on human activities frequently. Examples are California’s plastic straw ban, banning plastic shopping bags, the foie gras ban, and in  Berkeley, San Francisco, Los Angeles and West Hollywood, fur sales are banned. Now, state lawmakers want a statewide ban of fur sales.

“Those in opposition argue that the fur industry is regulated, and a ban may encourage a black market that will worsen conditions for animals,” bill analysis reports. “They maintain that banning the sale of fur products will result in a loss in sales and tax revenue. The opposition states that this bill reduces individual rights, and will encourage a slippery slope that may result in leather, wool, or meat product bans in the future.”

Assemblywoman Friedman’s bill, sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States, the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, and Animal Hope in Legislation, would make California the first state in the country to manufacture, sell, offer for sale, display for sale, trade, give donate or otherwise distribute a fur product in the state.

This is a curious ban, supported by the author’s revulsion of the idea of killing animals for their fur. “…there are still thousands of animals every year that are viciously maimed and murdered for only their fur,” Friedman said in a press statement. “This practice is not only entirely outdated and unnecessary, it’s completely out of line with our state’s values.”

However, there are recent discoveries that faux fur may not be a viable substitute for the real thing, especially since they are finding plastic microfibre pollution in water, caused in part by the use of synthetic fabrics, the Truth About Fur reported. “Articles by DrapersABC, and Refinery 29, find fake fur is mostly made out of synthetic materials and it sheds which can be an environmental concern.”

Friedman lives in balmy Southern California where average temperatures hover in the 70’s and 80’s. But in Northern California in El Dorado, Placer, Lassen, Siskiyou, Trinity, Plumas and Shasta Counties, there is 50 feet of snow in the higher elevations and temperatures are in the mid-teens. People up in the North part of the state use animals for all kinds of purposes, including warmth. “We wear many types of animal products in order to protect ourselves from the elements,” the Truth About Fur says. “Fashion may not be essential, but clothing is.”

There are sensible cases to be made of bans on the sale of things harmful to people. But fur isn’t dangerous to the anyone – other than to perhaps trigger allergies in some wearers. If fur is banned, why not ban leather which is also animal skin and requires the killing of animals to use? Is a ban on cow, pig and poultry meat next? Where do these bans stop? Is it cruel to sheer sheep? Is California also headed for “meatless Mondays” because some lawmakers don’t eat meat?

I’m willing to bet Assemblywoman Friedman and her colleagues who support this bill wear leather shoes and belts, carry leather purses, wallets, portfolios and briefcases, drive cars with leather seats, and some wear goat-skin gloves. Is this cruel?

Fur is an important and successful business. About half the furs produced in North America are now farm-raised. Worldwide, the figure is closer to 85 percent.

Is Assemblywoman Friedman trying to harm the fur business and the California retailers who carry fur products?

“Californians love their animals and wildlife. Skinning animals or farming fur for fashion or other accessories is contrary to those values, and I believe it’s no longer necessary in a 21st century society,” said Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-San Diego). “It’s clear Californians want us to lead on this issue and that is what we are doing with AB 44.”

“When anti-fur cultists are outside fur stores, attacking small businesses, spitting on Indigenous and Canadian heritage, and claiming to be animal saviors, they are dressed head to toe in synthetic clothing that will never biodegrade, and will pollute habitats and kill animals en masse for millennia,” the Truth About Fur said.

Katy Grimes

Katy Grimes, the Editor of the California Globe, is a long-time Investigative Journalist covering the California State Capitol, and the co-author of California's War Against Donald Trump: Who Wins? Who Loses?
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8 thoughts on “CA Assemblywoman Friedman’s Fur Ban: ‘There is No Need For Fur in the 21st Century’

  1. Better put an exception on that silly bill for nutria fur or the Delta will be overrun with giant rodents even more than it is already.

  2. Do you know how much suffering of animals there is in the fur trade. I’d be happy to share some videos. Some animals are skinned alive still blinking their eyes without fur!! It’s the 21st century. We don’t need to kill animals for warmth. Yes, go with something synthetic and use it for a long time. Humans are ruining the planet with all their material consumption!

    1. Animals on fur farms are not skinned alive. Not only is skinning an animal alive illegal and utterly immoral, it would also be dangerous for the operator, would increase the risk of damaging the pelt, and would presumably take longer than skinning an animal that was euthanized. Farming is a business, and businesses need to be profitable – so why would anyone adopt a practice that is dangerous for their staff, damages the product, and takes much longer than doing it properly? The simple answer is that they wouldn’t, which is why animals are never skinned alive for the fur trade.

  3. “I’m willing to bet Assemblywoman Friedman and her colleagues who support this bill wear leather shoes and belts, carry leather purses, wallets, portfolios and briefcases, drive cars with leather seats, and some wear goat-skin gloves. Is this cruel?”

    First of all you don’t know that for a fact.

    Yes leather, fur, and indeed all animal products are the result of inherently cruel industries and practices. But at least some people are stepping up and doing someting against injustice; which is better than doing nothing and still contributing to suffering, don’t you agree?

    Before one critizes another for being a hypocrite, one should reflect on themselves and see what have THEY done to make a difference.

    1. It’s not a stretch to say these lawmakers wear leather shoes, carry leather purses, wallets, briefcases, etc…
      But you claim “leather, fur, and indeed all animal products are the result of inherently cruel industries and practices” without citing evidence. This is an emotional argument. I love animals too, but raising ranch mink for a business is not inherently cruel any more than raising cattle for beef and leather products is.

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