A California lawmaker has a bill to ban fur products and clothing in the state, despite the many diverse climates within the 164,000 square miles of California. San Diego to Siskiyou, Death Valley to Bodie State Park (near Bridgeport, Mono County), temperatures range from 110 degrees to -5 degrees, where people wear fur for warmth.
As California Globe has previously reported, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) is the author of AB 44, which would prohibit the sale and manufacture of new fur in California. From her home in Glendale, California, Friedman wants California to lead the nation in statewide fur bans. “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.”
Los Angeles, San Francisco, West Hollywood and Berkeley already have fur bans in place; Friedman wants fur formally banned throughout the state of California.
Nationally, furs account for around $531 million in sales—25 percent to 30 percent of that in California.
— FURNYC (@furnyc) May 15, 2019
The Center for Consumer Freedom took out an ad in the Sacramento Bee in April “to raise awareness of animal extremists who have been working to ban the sale of fur across California”—starting with Los Angeles and San Francisco before now moving to a statewide ban. “It’s about more than just fur coats—anti-fur activists such as PETA ultimately want to ban leather, wool, silk, and other animal products. They want to impose a vegan lifestyle on others,” Will Coggin, Director of Research at the Center for Consumer Freedom told California Globe recently.
Coggin maintains that the animal activists are now operating criminally — some breaking into fur farms, others “liberating” animals in laboratories. Animal activist groups have intimidated shoppers at Whole Foods, Chipotle, and other businesses. “PETA crossed the line on charitable activities,” Coggin said. PETA has also given money to the Earth Liberation Front (considered a domestic terrorist group by the FBI) and to defend an arsonist who burned down a university laboratory,” Coggin said. “PETA activists have also been arrested on numerous occasions.”
The Center for Consumer Freedom filed a complaint with the IRS and FBI regarding PETA and two California-based groups called Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) and Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation. “These are radical groups lobbying to dictate lifestyle decisions on Californians–and we believe these organizations have abused the nonprofit tax code,” Coggin explained.
“One of the bill’s sponsors, Animal Hope in Legislation, is run by a fellow named Marc Ching. Ching spent nearly a decade in prison for kidnapping, according to court records,” The Center for Consumer Freedom reports. “Post-prison Ching started an animal rescue organization that was the subject of a shocking exposé for its conduct in Asia. Ching’s operation allegedly left hundreds of dogs to die in the hands of Buddhist sanctuaries that did not believe sick animals should be treated. According to a volunteer who went on the rescue attempt, it was a disaster from the beginning.”
As for AB 44, it has been passed by three Assembly Committees, as well as the full Assembly, 52-16 with 12 abstentions. The bill is in the Senate awaiting hearings in the Senate Natural Resources and Judiciary committees.
“Harassing people, and breaking into people’s farms isn’t what a charity does,” Coggin added. “Banning fur is an unacceptable use of the government as morality police for special interests.”
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