Originally published in the OC Register on August 27, 2019:
This week California Senators will take up a controversial bill to prohibit Californians from buying natural fur clothing. Proponents are concerned about the treatment of animals; opponents say the bill infringes on Californians’ personal lifestyle choices. Both side’s concerns can be addressed, but only if the Senate wisely compromises.
People want fur. Sales have been on the rise in the United States and internationally. But fur has also long been the target of animal activist groups such as PETA, which became notorious for throwing red paint on people wearing fur coats.
Animal activists are pushing for a statewide ban on selling fur clothing, arguing that fur is immoral and no one should wear it. This is flawed on several levels.
First, Californians should be free to make their own decisions about what to wear–not have their fashion decisions, or other personal choices, dictated to them by the government. According to a recent Gallup poll, a majority of Americans believes fur is moral.
The animal activists pushing the fur ban, however, want to use the government to impose their morality on others. These activists also believe people shouldn’t wear wool or leather, or eat meat, cheese, and other animal-derived products. (Many are even against pet ownership.) Banning fur sets the stage for the government trespassing into personal lifestyle choices.
Read more here.