Over 250 Animals Right Activists Take Action To Make West Hollywood The First Fur Free City in the USA
On Saturday, January 29, 2011 over 250 animal rights activists and concerned citizens, young and old stood side by side in the Matthew Shephard Memorial Triangle Park on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Crescent Heights in West Hollywood, California to rally for a fur-free West Hollywood.
With this ground-breaking action, the City of West Hollywood could become the first completely fur free city in the United States, leading as an example for the rest of the world to follow. The progressive city of “WeHo” was the first town to pass an anti-declaw bill and all out ban on live pet sales in the nation. With WeHo referring to human companions of animals as “guardians” instead of the past term, “owners,” it’s no wonder that they would make this unprecedented move to have an entirely fur free environment. Award winning director and animal rights attorney Shannon Keith said “in 1989 West Hollywood signed a resolution to make an animal cruelty-free zone, and it can’t be an animal cruelty-free zone unless they stop the selling of fur.”
To help make this happen, John D’Amico has stepped up to the plate, supporting the fur free message in his campaign for West Hollywood City Council. He is going to focus on this legislation while in office and be a continual advocate for a fur free world. He said that “West Hollywood has the opportunity to once again be a leader for animal welfare by becoming the first fur-free city in the nation.” D’Amico continued, “We have pledged to be a place that is free of cruelty to animals and we can no longer support the barbaric fur trade by selling the products of that cruelty in our city.”
Ed Buck, one of the organizers of “Fur Free WeHo,” said “This campaign is not just about banning fur but promoting West Hollywood as the capital of fur-free fashion, especially in its boutique district that includes a Stella McCartney store, which already shuns furs.” Buck was instrumental in helping get the ordinance passed which bans the sale of puppy mill animals in pet stores.
The initiative would make West Hollywood the first fur-free community in the United States and possibly the world. Hit Recording Artist Fawn commented “West Hollywood has always been a city ahead of it’s time, and the time is NOW to stop killing helpless and loving animals for their fur. The vanity of the fashion industry is utter insanity. People who wear real fur and even some faux furs have blood on their hands.”
Fawn walked through the crowd and streets, turning heads and hearts with a stark reminder written on a double-sided sign, adorned over her stunning rescued white wolf dog Coda, which read “15 of me = 1 fur coat” and “My father died for your fur coat.” When resident Deanne Sire saw the sign, she said “I guess I never thought of my fur having been a living being and having had a dad.”
Actor Bill McNamara stated “Fur is definitely something we need to abolish, there is no reason that anybody today, in America needs to wear fur. It symbolized meanness of spirit. There is no other reason to wear it.”
New York Times Best Selling Author, Rory Freedman agreed with McNamera, sporting a shirt which read “Mean People Wear Fur.” Freedman explained, “Amongst other horrors, animals killed for their fur are subject to neck-breaking, strangulation, drowning, and anal or vaginal electrocution. Some are even skinned alive. All this so people with low self esteem can wear this shit and someone can make a few bucks selling it? Totally unacceptable and completely unnecessary.” She added, “I am thrilled that John D’Amico is making this issue his running platform and that West Hollywood can set a precedent for other cities to follow. Real change is not only possible, it’s imminent.”
Lords Of Acid vocalist Lacey Conner declared “The fur industry will never make itself humane and the only way to stop the fur industry is to make it go out of business.” She continue, “Don’t buy fur, if no one bought fur, the fur industry would go out of business and this mistreatment would not happen. I’m just asking people to please take a few minutes to to find out what is really going on.”
Film Producer Shannon Keith pointed out, “We have an election coming up on March 8th and it’s a great time to vote for the candidate that has a platform against fur. Once we get those candidates in place in city council, we will be able to move forward with this.”
“This is not about punishment or shame, it’s about really thinking creatively about how we live in the world and taking action and stopping the barbaric actions of harvesting fur, and really looking at who we are as individuals and as a people and West Hollywood is a great place for this to start.” Concluded Candidate John D’Amico.
To find out more go to www.ourWEHO.com, www.arme.tv and www.uncagedfilms.com
Photos courtesy & (C) 2011 by Brenda Calvillo, Ciddy Fonteboa, Gary Smith, Gene Blalock, Vicki Melton, Mary Cummins and FFD Images.
Editor’s Note: JR, Special Writer/Correspondent contributed to this story. Also story first published on January 30, 2011 on Examiner.com at http://www.examiner.com/events-in-los-angeles/over-250-animals-right-activists-take-action-to-make-weho-fur-free-city-usa
Writer’s Corner: How do you feel about FUR. Do you like animals to be killed in pain? Many farms are killing the animals alive in a brutal way. They take away their skin to make clothes for us and make a profit? How do you feel about it? Please leave your comments.
On Friday, July 30, 2010 In Defense Of Animals held a fundraiser at The Strange in Los Angeles, CA from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
The event entitled “Story Time” (A night of storytelling) raised funds to assist IDA with it’s plight to help the innocent animals who fell victim of the Gulf Oil Spill.
Hosted by Actress Elaine Hendrix, the evening consisted of a silent auction, raffle tickets, drinks, h’orderves and inspirational, funny and sometimes tear jerking stories and song. There were appearances onstage by Debra Wilson, Scotlund Haisley (President of IDA), Gina La Piana, Actress Daisy Eagan, Actress Melinda Hill, Laura House, Maggie Rowe, Charlie Schlatter, Morgan Sheppard and Larry Sullivan.
Other notables in attendance were award winning director Shannon Keith, actress/musician Traci Dinwiddie, actress, hit recording artist/songwriter Fawn, Gene Blalock of The Faded and several well respected animal rights activists and rescuers.
100% of the proceeds benefitted In Defense of Animals on behalf of the animals devastated by the Gulf oil spill. To make a donation directly, visit http://www.idausa.org
About IDA: Their mission is to end animal exploitation, cruelty, and abuse by protecting and advocating for the rights, welfare, and habitats of animals, as well as to raise their status beyond mere property, commodities, or things. In Defense of Animals is a registered 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization.
On Thursday July 22, 2010 the Veggie Grill in West Hollywood gave 50% of their food sales to Arme and on Sunday July 25, 2010 there was a sale at the Beverly Grand Hotel in North Hollywood, with 15% of proceeds benefiting the foundation.
Arme was founded by award-winning Director and animal rights lawyer Shannon Keith. Shannon has recently won some impressive accolades for her Documentary “Skin Trade.” (1st Place Best Documentary LA Movie Awards, 1st Place Best Director LA Movie Awards, The Indie Fest: Award of Merit: Feature Documentary and 2010 Critical Animal Studies Awards-Critical Animal Studies Media Of The Year).
The mission of ARME is to eliminate the suffering of all animals. ARME rescues unwanted and homeless animals as well as educates the public about the vast extent of suffering endured in our society. Through it’s actions and words, ARME advances the freedom of all animals.
To find out more about getting involved with ARME go to http://www.arme.tv
Editor’s Note: Congratulations to this group for speaking up on behalf of the animals.
Photos (C) 2010 FFD Images for Diversity News. All Rights Are Reserved.
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus returned to Los Angeles this week beginning with a pre-dawn parade of Asian elephants from Union Station on Tuesday, July 13, 2020 to the Staples Center. to open the Circus on Wednesday, July 14, 2010.
Shows for the Circus ran Wednesday, July 14 to through Sunday, July 18, 2010.
Animal rights activists, members of In Defense of Animals, Animal Acres, Last Chance for Animals, Peta, and several Entertainment Industry personalities including Actress Olivia Munn, Actress Shira Scott, Recording Artist Gene Blalock of The Faded, Recording Artist Fawn, Fashion Photographer Melissa Schwartz and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, came out in droves (over 300 strong) to protest the Infamous Circus and their treatment of animals. It was estimated to be the largest protest against the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to date.
Demonstrators were peaceful, yet strong in their position as they marched, chanted, raised their voices, handed out educational information and stood outside the Staples Center in front of ticket holders in line. Their protests created such a stir, that 4 families decided to ask for ticket refunds once they realized why protesters were so upset. One of the families demanding for their money back said that their children saw all the protesters and asked “Why do they have pictures of the baby elephants tied up? We don’t want to see the baby elephants if they do that.” Another family, smiling after deciding to turn in their tickets stated “It feels good.”
Protesters were calling for a boycott of the Circus based on the disturbing photos that had been turned over to PETA. Several such photos were held by protesters for the crowd to see. PETA is now using these photos to file a complaint with the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) against Ringling Bros. to have their exhibitor license revoked.
You may ask youself, why boycott the Circus? Recording Artist Fawn stated: “Ringling Brothers has a horrifying track record for abusing their elephant performers. It is my belief that if the children of this world knew what it takes for the animals to ‘do tricks’ and ‘perform’ for the audience, they wouldn’t WANT to come to the Circus!” Actress Olivia Munn told reporters “This is the largest Ringling Bros. Boycott ever, so it’s very exciting. Now that you know what they’re doing, you just can’t sit there and laugh and cheer. Go do something else with your money. Boycott the Circus and also realize it’s not 1920.”
Ringling trainers routinely jab, prod, hook, and strike elephants with a bull hook (a steel-tipped device that looks similar to a fireplace poker). They use it to control large animals and force them to perform unnatural acts. Typically, these abuses occur out of public view. Protesters had such bull hooks on hand to demonstrate how sharp, heavy, ominous and destructive these instruments are. Evidence including court documents, undercover videos, and photos of training sessions with baby elephants shows that Ringling routinely chains elephants in train box cars for more than 26 hours at a time, for as long as 60-100 hours without a break while traveling across the country for weeks at a time and they physically abuse elephants with electric shock devices and bull hooks, including one elephant who was “dripping blood all over the arena floor from being hooked.” There is also evidence that they train baby elephants through isolation from other elephants, prolonged restraint by tying their legs and hitting them with bull hooks. Linda Hogan, ex-wife of Hulk Hogan explained “This is something from back in the 1800′s. A lot of people are uneducated, it’s time to educate people.”
Humane Educator Ciddy Fonteboa offered another alternative to the Circus for animal lovers — the non-profit safe haven for animals, Animal Acres. Ciddy explained, “I feel that any business that supports animal suffering to profit from the public is also supporting violence and at Animal Acres, we support true freedom and peace for the animals that are rescued from cruelty cases. We give them the opportunity to be happy with out having to perform and entertain people.” She continued to explain “At Animal Acres children and people get to see that there is no difference from these rescued farm animals than the family dog. They have the same needs that all living beings on this earth do. ” Indeed they do. To find out more go to www.animalacres.org and http://www.peta.org
The protest was held at the same times from July 14, 2010 at 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm until Sunday, July 18, 2010. Ringling Bros representatives was not available for comment.