WAN Talks Exclusively With DXE Investigator Cassie King About History-Making Fur Bills In California
Photos from DXE
Two historic fur bills are currently making their way through committee hearings at the Capitol in Sacramento, California.
Yesterday, AB 44, which aims to make California the first state in the country to prohibit the sale and manufacture of animal fur products, advanced from the state’s Judiciary Committee with a 9-2 vote. The bill, authored by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman is sponsored by Animal Hope In Legislation and The Humane Society.
Another bill being considered by the legislature, AB 273, calls for a ban on the trapping of animals for their fur in California. Introduced earlier this year by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez , AB 273 is co-sponsored by Social Compassion in Legislation and the Center for Biological Diversity.
The bills are receiving tremendous support from animal welfare organizations and advocates everywhere. Many, within California, such as Direct Action Everywhere (DXE), send representatives to the Capitol hearings to increase the volume of the voices for the voiceless.
WAN had the opportunity to talk to Cassie King, who has been a DXE investigator for three years and was one of the more than 60 members of the grassroots network that attended the hearing yesterday and spoke in support of AB 44 during the public comment period.
“It was powerful; a sea of blue DXE shirts everywhere,” King told WAN, further sharing that she enjoys the fact that the opportunity allows her to speak for herself and on behalf of her son, Jonah, who is an adorable rabbit.
Meanwhile, according to King, the opposition included less than a handful of attendees, who most likely profit from the fur industry, speaking against the bill in an attempt to protect a cruel industry that is based on financials rather than the innocent lives of sentient beings.
King explained that attending the hearing with other like-minded people, some of whom have been advocating for the end of the barbaric fur industry for decades, was both impactful and significant.
“Some people have waited decades for this kind of change and now it is happening quickly, King told WAN, referring to both AB 44 and AB 273. “They are thrilled that progress is finally being made. This is a remarkable time because now we are closer to having the long-awaited legislation become law. There is finally some fruit from the labor.”
“It’s powerful,” continued King who calls the current attention being paid to the critical issue by both legislators and animal welfare advocates, “symbolic of rising public consciousness of the community to the abhorrent cruelty in the fur industry.”
King also explained the importance of the whistleblower footage that has recently emerged, including DxE investigations of a large chinchilla breeding facility, where they found these naturally social and active animals isolated in small cages, and of a rabbit farm, where they found dead animals amongst the hundreds living in cages.
King’s investigation work has taken her inside approximately 12 slaughter houses and farms. Specifically, King recalled the smell of rotting animals while in a fur farm and the horror of witnessing the inhumanity of animals being deprived of everything that is natural to them.
“It’s tough because we put a lot of work into our efforts and sometimes it doesn’t pan out. Among the victories there are losses,” said King. “We have to stay strong and don’t give up which is what the industry wants. We have to maintain perspective and perseverance.”
King also shared that she was a vegetarian upon arriving at UC Berkeley, from where she graduated and subsequently received a fellowship allowing her to work in activism full time.
“I quickly became involved with an animal-rights club at the university and met DXE,” stated King, further explaining that while she transitioned to veganism, she continued to learn the horror that is factory farming and the appalling conditions and circumstances the innocent animals are forced to endure.
“It was like the curtain raised. I felt duped,” King explained to WAN, noting it did give her the inspiration to share what she knows now with others.