BY ELLEN LAVINTHAL
The clamor of a standing ovation filled
the room well beyond midnight on September 20 after the debates of the West
Hollywood City Council meeting. The applause acknowledged the unanimous decision by the council to pass a ban on the
retail sale of fur apparel. With that action,
West Hollywood became the first US city
to ban retail fur. Noted by those who oppose the needless suffering of fur-bearing
animals for the purposes of fashion and
vanity, this set a significant precedent.
The vote was in line with other initiatives passed by the City of West Hollywood, which was the first in the US to ban
the declawing of cats, and one of the first
to ban the sale of puppy mill dogs in pet
shops due to the inhumane breeding and
living conditions found in puppy mills.
Beginning in January, 2011, Fur Free
West Hollywood conducted an extensive
awareness campaign and as part of this
initiative, the group backed the campaign
of WeHo councilmember John D’Amico.
When elected, D’Amico’s first item of
business was to push for the ban.
We at Animal Alliance believe that this
is only the beginning of our concern for
the humane treatment of animals to the
fashion industry. Coincidentally, Oprah
Winfrey's editorial staff also took a recent
stand against fur as fashion, stating they
would rather see it on its original owners. Change is afoot and this example as
a powerful anecdote demonstrating how
the actions and organization of concerned
citizenry can make a difference.
Ellen Lavinthal is an animal activist who is the founder
of Animal Alliance: www.animalalliance.net