|Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates speaks for the ban on the sale of fur in West Hollywood|
I was at West Hollywood City Council last night from 6:00 pm to past 1:30 am this morning waiting to speak for the ban on the sale of fur. Around 8:00 pm a group of us went to the club “Eleven” up the street to eat some vegan appetizers. Onion rings to die for. They will make a vegan pizza on request. Great guacamole. Ed Buck waited in City Council so he could call us back to the meeting. We came back at 9:15 pm then waited until past midnight for the item to start.
There were some great speakers such as Shannon Keith, Jim Jensvold of the Paw Project, Ciddy Fonteboa, Ellen Lavinthal, Melissa Schwartz, Jill Ryther, Ed Buck, Chris DeRose, Fawn and many more. Dr. Jenny Conrad was also there. A Rabbi got up and gave a great impassioned speech. He said the harming of animals is against most religions.
There were only a handful of people who were against the ban. Two people who owned stores that sold fur were against the ban. They said they’d lose money and consider moving out of WeHo. In all honesty if they were to ban fur they would just sell a different item of apparel. Fashions change every season. Fur may not even be fashionable come next fall.
I sat behind two people who were against the ban. One was wearing a fur vest. He was calling the female activists “c*%$’s” as they spoke. I’m sure when I went up to speak he probably called me the same thing. He was turning around and arguing with us, giving us nasty looks during the meeting.
Two council members were in charge of researching the fur ban since it’s inception months ago. They contacted the Chamber of Commerce to meet with them but the Chamber was not interested in meeting. Same with the Art and Design Committee. They also contacted the pro-fur people but they also were not interested in communicating. Just last Friday the pro-fur people sent in a letter with their concerns, months after they were asked for input. The council member said they already had the information required to make a decision.
There were about 25 speakers for the ban, maybe six opposed. People also handed in speaker cards who did not want to speak but just wanted to be counted. 120 cards went sent in but only 40 lived in the City. They read the names of only those who lived in the City.
The item was passed on its second reading 5-0 unanimous. They may phase it in June 30, 2012. They may exempt vintage fur. Currently it is illegal to sell the fur of endangered animals in the US unless it is a vintage item. I would not have a problem with this exemption. This item should be fully approved shortly.
This is from the NBC article today.
“Mary Cummins said she represents animal advocates. She told the council these animals feel pain and sadness, just like cats and dogs. She said since people don’t sell cat and dog fur, then that same right should be extended to wild animals.”
Here is my actual speech.
“I’m Mary Cummins President of Animal Advocates. Animal Advocates rescues ill, injured and orphaned wildlife for release back to the wild. We rescue bobcats, coyotes, foxes and raccoons right here in West Hollywood. These are the same animals which are used to make fur coats and hats. I personally have a unreleasable skunk and raccoon that I use to educate the public. My skunk runs free in the house playing with my cats and bunnies. He’s litter box trained. Having been around these animals for over 30 years I can assure you they feel pain and sadness just like our pet cats and dogs. It’s illegal to sell cat and dog fur in the US because it’s been deemed inhumane. It should also be illegal to sell the fur of wild animals for the same reason. An animal is an animal, a living breathing being. Let West Hollywood show the rest of the nation how to truly be humane to animals. Please, ban the sale of fur in West Hollywood. Thank you.”
Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.
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