Voters at Weston Town Meeting on May 15 approved a ban on the sale of fur in town after an impassioned speech by resident Nirva Patel, who spearheaded the citizens' petition.
“I don’t think you know how cruel fur is," Patel said. “The animals pay the ultimate price. All of these fur animals are killed by being clubbed, beaten, gassed, orally and anally electrocuted, so that their fur remains intact. Rabbits are held upside down while they're sometimes still alive, then their throats are cut. These methods are used so the fur doesn’t get damaged.
“Billions of animals are killed every year just for their fur, 100 million alone are rabbits.”
In this file photo taken Friday, March 16, 2018, Benjamin Lin holds up a fur coat at the B.B. Hawk showroom in San Francisco. At the time, San Francisco became the largest U.S. city to ban the sale of fur items in March 2018.
ERIC RISBERG/AP PHOTO
Under the citizens' petition, Weston stores will have six months to sell their current fur inventory, and Weston residents would still be able to buy fur products online if they chose.
Patel noted there is not much fur inventory in town, and one store owner was so moved by the proposal that she planned to stop ordering fur-trimmed gloves or rabbit fur.
According to Patel, there are currently about 400 fur farms in the U.S. Every five minutes, an estimated 34,000 animals are killed for their fur. Some animals are packed so tightly that they end up stepping on their own urine and feces, and the resulting stress can cause self-mutilation and cannibalism.
"The fur business is a $40 bullion industry," Patel said. “For every single fur product, there is death involved. Mink coats require 80 to 100 animals to die for each coat.”
Patel added that COVID-19 outbreaks on mink farms in Denmark resulted in 17 million mink being killed.
“We are a humane town that loves its animals, both domestic and wild," she concluded.
Nirva Patel is a former corporate lawyer and biomedical engineer, now a passionate advocate for animal welfare. Most recently, Nirva was an Executive Producer of The Game Changers documentary - an evidence based film featuring elite plant-based athletes.