Some people don’t know when to quit while they’re ahead. This seems to be the case with reality ‘star’ Kim Kardashian. First she’s ‘floured bombed’ last month in West Hollywood, California on the red carpet, then her DASH store in Calabasas, California is targeted by close to100 concerned citizens protesting her use and promotion of fur.
On Saturday, April 14, 2012 from 12-2 protestors chanted rather peacefully, “Hey Kim what do you say, how many animals did you kill today?” and “40 animals, one fur coat.” The very cooperative and respectful group of people consisted of animal activists, animal lovers and concerned citizens who are disgusted with Kim Kardashian being a role model for their children. Last Chance For Animals Investigator Bryan Monell commented, “Kim Kardashian has admitted to having seen the footage of raccoons, cats and dogs being skinned alive for their fur and she STILL has fur in her line.” To this comment, one person was heard saying, “If she saw that and still has the nerve to sell fur and promote it then she has no soul.” Hit singer-songwriter Fawn said, “If we put people like the Kardashian’s on a pedestal and as role models for our youth, then what does that say about us as a collective people?”
Carrying signs and facing them towards the store to obvious uncomfortable employees inside, as well as lining the walls, walkways and street corners, the demonstrators kindly left a path for shoppers to walk through to the store. It was no surprise that the store eventually turned it’s lights out, hoping that the individuals exercising their constitutional right to express their opinion, would just go away.
Animal Rights Lawyer and Award Winning Director and Producer of “Skin Trade,” Shannon Keith said “We’re here trying to educate them on the atrocities of the fur trade and educate them, but they won’t allow me in the store. They don’t want to see this, (holding the film Skin Trade) because then they would know the truth and they wouldn’t want to wear fur.” She went on to say: “This reflects poorly on DASH and their policies because if they’re going to discriminate on people that just want to peacefully educate them, then who else are they discriminating against – what other classes of human being’s are they discriminating against from walking into their store?”
Organizer of Fur Free West Hollywood, Ellen Lavinthal said, “What’s very interesting and hypocritical is that Khloe Kardashian, one of the main owners of the store and one of the main people who ran the store originally before she moved to Texas with her husband, posed for PETA in an ad that said ‘I’d rather go naked then wear fur’ and yet she is condoning this behavior.” She went on to point out that “Most people are missing the point – Whether DASH is currently carrying fur is not the issue, as right now is not the ‘fur’ time of year, it is their continual promotion of fur on the red carpet, in their stores and on their reality how. It’s their arrogant refusal.
Rumor has it that Kim would just like this all to go away. Silly Kim. This is NOT going away. You will keep getting Twitter messages slamming your affinity to kill innocent animals for your vanity until you finally learn compassion and a bit of class. Don’t you know that it isn’t fashionable, appealing or even vogue to wear something that once had a mother, just like you? Lovers of the animal world don’t hold your breath. With some one like Kim, it may never happen.
On Saturday, February 11, 2012, During the high-profile Grammy Awards weekend, and just 2 hours before Whitney Houston was found dead at age 48 at the Beverly Hills Hilton less than 2 miles away, a large mass of 150+ anti-fur protestors dressed in funeral clothing surrounded the trendy Maxfield boutique located at 8825 Melrose Avenue in the city of West Hollywood, CA 90069.
Organized by Fur Free West Hollywood, which is spear-headed by Animal Alliance’s Ellen Lavinthal, the protest was publicized all over popular social websites including Facebook and Twitter. Lavinthal explained that she was given a personal promise from Maxfield owner Tommy Perse that the fur in his store would be removed early, however shortly after she left, the fur magically re-appeared. Lavinthal stated, “There were five fur coats in there yesterday. They broke their word, so we are here today to show them that we are watching.”
Hit recording artist Fawn commented, “If you’re going to continue to display and sell fur, after you’ve agreed to take it down, don’t lie about it! That shows a lack of integrity and if you lack integrity in your word, then what do the products you sell lack?”
Fawn said, “In this day and age, there are plenty of faux fur alternatives. Wearing real fur is cruel, pure vanity and ethically wrong.”
Agreeing with her, Lavinthal concluded, “We will be back for the Oscars, and every other major entertainment event thereafter until they keep their word.”
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Last Chance For Animals undercover investigator Bryan Monell pointed out, “While Maxfield lied, more animals died,” a sentiment several protestors began to shout “While Maxfield Lies, They Die,” and “Maxfield Lied, They Died.” Other activists bellowed “Boycott Maxfield” and one participant yelled about dogs and cats being skinned alive in China for fur, as people walked by. One of those people happened to be virtuoso guitarist Nils Lofgren, best known for playing with Bruce Springsteen in the E Street Band, Crazy Horse and Grin.
All in all, it was a calm, civil and somber protest with participants wearing long faces, black veils and carrying gruesome signs with photos of animals skinned alive – an unfortunate reminder of what goes on in the fur industry. Animal rights activist Patty Shenker said, “It’s deplorable what is done to these sentient beings, and all for vanity! Only frigid women wear fur!”
A ‘funeral procession’ with protestors completely cloaked in black, holding black signs and wearing black veils traveled up and down the streets frequented by many celebrity clientele such as Mary Kate and Ashley Olson, Madonna, Johnny Depp, Prince, Adam Lambert and Faux-fur friendly Pamela Anderson.
West Hollywood is known for being a “city of compassion” with several historic laws passed, such as the recent decision of West Hollywood becoming the first Fur Free city in the United States (taking effect September 2013), the ban on the declawing of cats, the sale of animals in pet stores, and the distinct classification of pets no longer being “property” but being referred to as “companion animals.”
Among the protestors were Religious leaders Rabbi Jonathan Klein and Michael Mata, a minister with the National Evangelical Latino Organization. Klein and Mata are part of the ‘Faith Action for Animals’ and hope to bring faith and animal rights together for ethical reasons. Klein explained that up until the days of Noah, people were eating a “plant based” diet, quoting one of the 10 commandments, “though shalt not kill.” He continued, “All creation, all life is precious and valuable.”
According to protest co-organizer Ed Buck, when the Fur Free West Hollywood campaign began last year, Maxfield which is known for it’s unusual, eclectic and extravagant merchandise, agreed to remove all fur items from their store, joining other West Hollywood stores that also volunteered to ‘take down early’ such as H, Lorenzo, The Pleasure Chest, and Zadig & Voltaire on Sunset Plaza.
Eleven years old Stella Lavinthal said, “Out of all the stores that agreed to remove their fur early, Maxfield was the only one that said they would and didn’t. What’s up with that? They lied, so we’re here today to let them know that it’s not okay to lie.”
By JR, Special for Diversity News Magazine
It was a historical night on Monday, September 19, 2011 when around 1:30am (early Tuesday morning) West Hollywood voted unanimously to be the first city in the world to become “Fur Free.”
Business owners, residents and people from other cities spoke out about the ordinance that bans the sale of fur. Although the city authorities have to refine the ordinance, it will be good to go within in the coming weeks.
Animal advocates and supporters celebrated the moment with cheers, high fives, smiles and hugs. The ban is the first of it’s kind in the nation, prohibiting the sales of fur clothing. For now, the sales of fur accessories and leather items are still allowed.
During the meeting, around 60 people stepped up to the podium to speak. Attorney Steven J. Bernheim said, “Free consumer choice has limits. For example, you can no longer be able to order foie gras, because it’s been deemed too cruel. For example, you can’t watch cock fighting any longer. Those are the reasons why you should pass this ordinance.” Jean Dobrin, a 36 year resident of West Hollywood said she was “horrified” by the selling of fur and went on to say, “Stella, the daughter of Paul McCartney won’t sell one speck of fur in her store. If I told you the method of killing these animals, you would be revolted.” She continued, “When I learned 20 years ago that they kill foxes by inserting an electrical charge in their anus, how would you like that? “
On the opposing side, Ester Ban made a good point, “No one has mentioned leather shoes, leather bags. Why not? They just don’t like fur.” She went on to say, “I don’t tell you what to wear, I don’t think you should tell me or the rest of the citizens to wear” She said that she didn’t believe that animals were killed inhumanly. She said it was “stupid” and just a “tactic trying to scare people like a horror film.” Hecklers from the opposing view clapped in support and were heard saying “lies, it’s all staged, they don’t do the to animals.” A few times during the heated discussion, the gavel rang out to keep the session in order.
Matt Rosell stated he went undercover for 4 months at a fox farm in Illinois and assured the audience that he saw “500 killed by anal electrocution.” He said “The public has a right to know what really happens to these animals. The fur industry is only able to sell these products by not sharing these facts.” Mary Cummins, president of animal advocates who rescues wildlife, stated that she had an “educational raccoon” that she almost brought to the meeting who loves to play with dog toys and watches tv. She pleaded, “I can assure you that they feel pain and sadness just like our cats and dogs. An animal is a living, breathing being. “
Retailers expressed their concerns stating that they could “lose 15% or more” of their revenue. To this, hit recording artist Fawn responded in a matter of fact tone, “Banning smoking in restaurants, has not stopped people from going to restaurants. 15% is not that big of a loss, compared to the loss of a life. There are plenty of alternatives that look like real fur.” She continued to say “I’m part of the entertainment industry, where fashion is at the fore front. Fashion is important for what I do. If West Hollywood continues to sell fur products, I will not shop here any more.” Fawn commented on the fact that President Obama would be visiting West Hollywood this coming Monday, and pointed out, “The First Lady Michelle Obama, refuses to wear fur.” Fawn proclaimed that “fear” was leading people to oppose the ban and used Rosa Parks as an example of overcoming fear. She asserted, “When Rosa Parks said no to the back of the bus, she was afraid, but stood up because it was the right thing to do. The thing about it is we have a choice. I ask that we make the right choice for humanity. West Hollywood leads, it doesn’t follow.”
Shannon Keith, Animal Rights attorney and award-winning producer of “Skin Trade,” affirmed, “I have seen undercover footage of what goes on, on fur farms” She said she went “door to door” to speak to business owners in West Hollywood and when they were shown the footage, they actually took the fur products off their shelves themselves.” She continued to say, “People are concerned about their sales, but what concerns us it the right not to torture animals.”
Ellen Lavinthal, one of the leaders of Fur Free West Hollywood said “It’s just the beginning of what’s to come in the humane treatment of animals and how we view fashion.”
Ed Buck, another leader of Fur Free West Hollywood stated, “West Hollywood is just more than this city, we are a beacon – the city on the hill and when we do something here, it does reverberate around the country and around the world. This is a reverberation that will be felt around the world.”
About Fur Free Weho Campaign:
Each year more than 50 million animals are killed for fur, whether raised in factory farm-like conditions or trapped in the wild. Recent investigations also show domestic dogs and cats are killed for fur, especially fur trim on garments imported from China, often improperly labeled “faux.” Last month, President Obama signed the Truth in Fur Labeling Act to require all real animal fur to be correctly labeled.
In 1989, West Hollywood passed Resolution Number 558 proclaiming the city a “Cruelty Free Zone for Animals.” The fur-free WeHo campaign makes good on the city’s promise.
“West Hollywood has the opportunity to once again be a leader for animal welfare by becoming the first Fur Free city in the nation,” said campaign supporter D’Amico. “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.”
“This frivolous luxury can be stopped with consumer and civic action,” said campaign leader Ellen Lavinthal. “This will be another historic campaign showing the nation that West Hollywood is a leader in the protection of animal citizens.”
Photos credit to: http://wehonews.com, Gary Smith
“Diamonds Not Fur,” a celebrity red carpet charity featuring spcaLA spokesperson & legendary Betty White will be held on Saturday, August 27, 2011 at Club Voyeur located 7969 Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, CA 90046 from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
Per Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (spcaLA) Friend for Life, Betty White (actress, comedienne, singer, author & tv personality) will present Diamonds Not Fur Humanitarian Award to spcaLA President, Madeline Bernstein.
The event will include live auction and a performance by “The Mad Musician” with a special performances by “James Torme” and Recording Artist “Fawn.”
Event guests will be able to enjoy appetizers, drinks including non-stop spinning live DJ and the dress attire is Old Hollywood, so dress to impress.
Per event organizers they will have appearances of the hit TV shows “Deal or no Deal,” “America’s Next Top Model,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” Playmate of the year Jayde Nicole, TV & radio personality Jessica Hall & supermodel Joanna Krupa and many other celebrities and Hollywood movers and shakers.
The celebrity host committee includes Betty White, Jared Leto, Charlotte Ross, Elaine Hendrix, Scott Elrod, Victor Webster, along with supporters Howie Mandel & David Copperfield.
Some of the Event producers are: Katie Cleary, Ellen Lavinthal, Ben Decker, Shannon Keith, Recording Artist FAWN & auction producer, Avery Roberts.
A portion of the proceeds from the event to benefit spcaLA as well Animal Alliance/Fur Free West Hollywood. Tickets are $100 per person and you can buy them at http://www.diamondsnotfur.com/checkout.php
About Recording Artist Fawn: Fawn is an award winning recording artist and songwriter. Her song “Wish U Love” made it to #6 on the Billboard dance charts and was nominated for the Hollywood Music In Media Awards. Fawn’s songs have been heard in The Natalee Holloway Story, Ugly Betty, Young and The Restless and many more.
She won 2 coveted JPF Music Award For best Dance album and best dance single, and her song Wish U Love made it into the top 150 hit dance songs for 2009.
Her music video of the same song remained in the top music videos for 5 months on MTV’s Logo Channel. For more information about Fawn, visit her official website at http://www.fawnmusic.com/ or her IMDB page at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2779641/
About Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (spcaLA): spcaLA is an independent, nonprofit animal welfare organization serving Southern California since 1877. spcaLA is dedicated to the prevention of cruelty to animals through Education, Law Enforcement, Intervention & Advocacy. Donations run programs and services including Cruelty Investigation, Disaster Animal Response Team, Humane Education and a variety of shelter services. For more information visit http://www.spcala.com/
Sources: Examiner.com, SPCALA.com, DiamondsNotFur.com, Fawnmusic.com