San Francisco has the potential to make history. An anti-animal cruelty ordinance, sponsored by the city’s Supervisor Katy Tang, is headed to the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee on January 24 for first approval. The ordinance aims to ban the sale of fur throughout the city — setting precedence for other cities (and countries) to follow suit.
The ordinance cites the 50 million animals slaughtered annually, their lifelong subjection to lives in filthy, hard cages, fur’s major contributions to air and water pollution, and the 15 times larger quantity of energy required to produce fur vs. faux fur garments as reasons for the ban.
Wayne Hsiung, co-founder of Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), spoke to LIVEKINDLY about this journey. He says the progress would not have been possible without the work of hundreds of activists. He added that the first steps were not the result of a fur exposé but instead were one on a factory farm.
“Interestingly, one of the things that really moved the sponsor of the bill was not even related to fur, but rather the exposé of pig farming that Glenn Greenwald published in October 2017 [in the Intercept]. I got an email from Supervisor Tang after the article was published, saying she wanted to move forward on animal rights legislation. This just goes to show: all these issues are connected!”
The fur industry, like the factory farming industry, is a horror show, with fur-bearing animals being treated as little more than ‘things’ to be caged for life, bred, robbed of everything natural to them, and ultimately killed so someone can wear a material that can be easily replicated in vegan form.
Priya Sawhney, an organizer at DxE spoke about the many activists who made this possible:
“Not only does the #SFFurBan initiative show that we are making progress on animal rights, but it’s also illustrative of something I have dreamt of: people of color, like Wayne Hsiung and Supervisor Katy Tang, leading us in making that change happen.
Let’s change the world on all frontiers!
Hsiung sang the praises of other animal rights organizations that have helped get San Francisco legislators to listen and to take animal rights seriously as an issue, as this was not DxE’s cause alone. “Thanks to PETA, HSUS, IDA, and other national groups for offering support for our grassroots efforts. This has been a wonderful example of the animal rights movement coming together.”
Currently, the DxE team and other animal rights organizations are canvassing for signatures to help make their petition to the Board as strong as possible. On the day of the vote (January 24th), there will be a big rally at City Hall. If you want to help, sign (and share) the petition, engage with the topic online (use the #SFFurBan tag), and, especially if you’re in San Francisco, get out in the streets, show up.
If the ordinance successfully passes through all of the steps, the law would take effect July 1, 2018. For updates, check out DxE’s Facebook page, which will be keeping people up to date on everything that’s going on in San Francisco.