Oscar Winner and Former Fur Wearer Urges City Council to Pass New Bill
For Immediate Release:
April 20, 2019
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
New York – Actor Anjelica Huston is urging city council members to pass a proposed ban on fur sales in New York City. In an editorial printed in today’s New York Daily News, she writes, “If you Google ‘Anjelica Huston fur,’ you’ll find images of me in a variety of pelts. . . . This was decades before I learned that these animals are trapped, gassed, drowned, and even skinned alive….There is so much violence in the world beyond our control, so let’s eliminate whatever cruelty we can—especially when it’s for something as unnecessary these days as fur.”
Other major cities, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, have already passed similar fur bans, while numerous top designers and retailers—including many with stores in Manhattan, such as Burberry, Gucci, Versace, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, and Giorgio Armani—are now 100% fur-free. Huston has since given her furs to PETA to be donated to the homeless.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.
Huston’s editorial follows:
April 20, 2019
I had a closet full of furs—now I support Speaker Johnson’s bill to ban fur sales
By Anjelica Huston
If you Google “Anjelica Huston fur,” you’ll find images of me in a variety of pelts. I thought they were a symbol of glamour and affluence.
I had a full-length lynx coat and a jacket trimmed with muskrat. There are photos of me at awards shows in a white fox cape and a stole made from dozens of minks. This was decades before I learned that these animals are trapped, gassed, drowned, and even skinned alive. Lately, however, there are more recent images of me at PETA’s office cutting up these old furs to be used as bedding for orphaned wildlife. But I still feel shame for having supported the fur trade for so many years.
When I heard that Council Speaker Corey Johnson had introduced a bill to ban the sale of fur in New York City, following similar bans in Los Angeles and San Francisco, I wanted to be among the first to promote it. There is so much violence in the world beyond our control, so let’s eliminate whatever cruelty we can—especially when it’s for something as unnecessary these days as fur.
This bill, cosponsored by council members from across the city, aims to protect not just animals but also consumers. As fur has changed from a status symbol to a social liability, dozens of retailers—including Barneys and Neiman Marcus—have been caught selling real dog and cat fur from China, labeled as faux fur. That means fashion companies are selling expensive clothing claiming to be one type of product, but are actually the result of taking the fur from tortured dogs and cats.
A straightforward fur ban is the only way to get at the root cause of such unlawful and unethical behavior. Indeed, the Federal Trade Commission cited these businesses for that false labeling—but imposed no financial penalties. Consumer fraud has become so widespread that the British Parliament is now considering a ban on fur throughout the U.K.
Fashion houses like Michael Kors, Versace, Chanel, Gucci, Donna Karan, Burberry, and many more have dropped fur in recent years after learning about the cruelties involved. But it’s clear that many consumers remain unaware of fur’s horrifying supply chain. That’s why it is so momentous that Speaker Johnson and several members of the New York city council have come together to make sure that this fashion capital plays a leading role in protecting both animals and consumers.
This is a bill the City should celebrate. If a society desires to be more compassionate and just, we need to put our vanity aside and stand up for the most vulnerable creatures among us.
Nowadays, most fur is coyote trim on hoods, collars, and cuffs. Few people who buy these items seem to know that wild coyotes are caught in steel traps. Some suffer for days in excruciating pain before trappers return to bludgeon them to death. (Trapping is mostly a hobby.) Because traps don’t discriminate, other wild animals—as well as family dogs and cats—are often caught by mistake. In some instances, mothers with cubs have even been known to chew off their own legs to escape. And this bloodbath isn’t limited to the remote wilderness—it’s happening as close as densely populated Connecticut and Westchester County.
Like trap lines, fur farms are self-policed. No government inspectors come to ensure that foxes or chinchillas are being treated with compassion or electrocuted “properly” so that they aren’t still alive on the skinning table. Mink farmers have been caught injecting the animals with weed killer as well as breaking their necks and tossing them into a squirming pile. This is a sadistic shadow industry operating without oversight.
“There oughta be a law,” you might say. Hopefully, in New York, there soon will be.