There was a time when Hollywood socialites strolled down Rodeo Drive in mink coats, showing off their wealth.  As well in films it was no surprise to see Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich going to a ritzy evening event in fur.  Thankfully those days have come to an end.  Italy's Senate just voted to ban all fur farming, going even further they also banned all breeding of mink, foxes, raccoon dogs and chinchillas, according to Humane Society International.

Fur has been falling out of favor in the fashion world, with major brands like GUCCI, Prada, Valentino and Versace banning the use of fur in their collections, and large retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s no longer selling fur.  The effort was led by Humane Society International/Europe via a report they prepared for the Italian Parliament making titled, Mink breeding in Italy: Mapping and future perspectives that made the argument for closing fur farms and converting them into businesses that are humane and sustainable.

Italy now becomes the 16th European country to ban fur farming.  Slowly but surely ethics, humanity and plain good sense are pervading Europe.  While a county of 60 million celebrates this day in New York City, we shudder at the gutless NYC Council members that averted and skirted a vote on this very same issue last year.  Under tremendous pressure from the few fur retailers and farmers remaining, the cowardly council members held public hearings.  Hearings where hundreds of citizens spoke in favor of the measure.  Then the relevant committee went into hiding, not holding a vote until the legislative season concluded, in essence saying "sorry now you have to start all over again". Gutless, cowardly and shamefully derelict of their elected duties.

The Italian amendment requires all active fur farms in Italy be closed by June 30, 2022. To help ease the transition, fur farmers will be compensated €3 million by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2022, reported VegNews.

“In thirty years of animal rights battle this is the best victory. Finally, a parliamentary vote sanctions the end of unspeakable suffering inflicted on animals only in the name of profit and vanity,” remarked Hon. Michela Vittoria Brambilla, president of the Parliamentary Intergroup for Animal Rights in Italy, according to the Greek Reporter. “It is a great achievement, which finally all those who love and respect animals rejoice!” Brambilla added, as Humane Society International reported.

What is wrong with the U.S.?  Why is it so hard to do decent things here?  Why is there even an argument about the use of fur and the horrors it entails?  When will we see a kinder, gentler America?