First things first: yes – this is a ban across the board. Not just exotic furs; not just fur where it pertains to those especially cute animals which make even the most ardent carnivores feel a little queasy. Where the sale of new furs is concerned, this applies to the full spectrum.
Second of all: also yes – California really is the first state to bring this kind of legislation into effect. A fact which, on the one hand, makes for an incredible watershed moment where animal rights and welfare are concerned, but on the other very much leaves us wondering—how can that be true?
After all, first is a great distinction, but – until there’s a second – first also means “only.” Which means that another way of spinning this news is to say that California is the only state (and lest we forget, that’s out of 50) with a ban on the sale of furs.
It’s also worth noting here that this ban applies to new furs only: there’s no equivalent moratorium on secondhand sale. It’s also necessary to say this doesn’t apply to cowhide, deerskin, sheepskin, or goatskin. But, given that the fur trade brings in $129 million USD a year in California (which is 22 percent of the overall total for the US), this is a big deal. Imperfect, maybe, but huge nonetheless.
And so, unquestionably, this is good news; good news that didn’t just happen; good news resulting from a huge amount of good work and a whole lot of hours logged pushing for change. It’s taken the better part of four years to get to this point, and that’s just from from the passing of the legislation back in 2019 – in terms of grass roots action this is a moment decades in the making.
Let’s hope that first, in this case, means “first of many.”
And, in the meantime, it’s worth remembering that progress isn’t exclusive to the West Coast of the United States: over in Paris, for example, the premium fashion group SMCP has announced an end to the sale of feather and down across its brand offering.