Born Free USA Blog
by Will Travers,
Chief Executive Officer
What can you say about a big-hearted bloke who has rescued dolphins, tigers, elephants and more and whose parents once helped a lion cub from a department store by caring for him in their backyard and engineering his rightful return to Africa? You can safely say that he's got great animal instincts! In 1984, Will Travers joined his parents — "Born Free" film stars Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers — to form what became The Born Free Foundation. With knowledge, passion and compassion dripping from his every word, Will's blogs are sure to make you embrace our crusade to Keep Wildlife in the Wild ®.
Two months ago I applauded the West Hollywood City Council for agreeing to ban the sale of fur. This past Monday, it finalized the ban with a 3-1 vote.
Now I’m clapping even louder. Bravo, West Hollywood, for being the first municipality in the nation to take such a stance against fur “fashion”!
The Fur Information Council of America fiercely opposed the West Hollywood ban. Claiming that 91 of the city’s 209 clothing stores sell fur items, spokesperson Keith Kaplan testified Monday that the ban would represent “a significant loss of image as a fashion destination to the city."
When the Fur Information Council speaks, we listen — and know that the opposite of whatever it’s claiming is true. West Hollywood has gained global stature with this enlightened act. The city is moving forward toward a more compassionate world, not backward to the long-gone days when people lived in caves and tents and actually needed to wear animal skins to survive cold winters. Freezing in Hollywood? Hardly.
Fur belongs on live animals, free in the wild. Trappers and fur “farmers” are agents of suffering and death, and fur clothing manufacturers and sellers pay their bills. People who buy fur products are ultimately responsible for all of this senseless and vain carnage, and the Fur Information Council greases the wheels every sadistic step of the way.
Yes, the Southern California city is relatively small (about 35,000 residents) and the ban won’t go into effect for another 22 months. But although this is a minor victory, it has major symbolic value. Public officials elsewhere surely will be pressured by their constituents to pursue a similar course.
Bans like West Hollywood’s will come. Let’s do all we can to make sure it’s not a long wait.