Reese Witherspoon Caught Red-Handed With Illegal Python-Skin Handbag

by , 11/01/11   filed under: Animal Cruelty, Eco-Celebrities, Featured

Reese Witherspoon, Chloe, python skin, snakeskin, animal cruelty, PETA, eco-friendly bags, sustainable bags, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style

She may be known as America’s sweetheart, but Reese Witherspoon’s latest acquisition has animal activists up in arms. The Oscar-winning actress has been spotted around Los Angeles toting a $4,000 Chloe Paraty bag made of genuine python leather. Considering that sales of the exotic skin have been banned in California since 1970—not least because of the unfathomable cruelty involved—it’s a pretty good bet that Witherspoon won’t be fielding nominations for PETA’s “sexiest vegetarian” anytime soon. In fact, the animal-rights group fired off a strongly worded open letter on Tuesday morning, condemning Witherspoon for her complicity in the animals’ “hidden suffering” for fashion’s sake.

Reese Witherspoon, Chloe, python skin, snakeskin, animal cruelty, PETA, eco-friendly bags, sustainable bags, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style

HISSY FIT

Under California Penal Code Section 653o, it’s illegal to import the “dead body, or any part or product thereof” of pythons to sell or with the intent to sell within the state. Luckily for Ms. Witherspoon, however, it’s perfectly legit to purchase python-skin products across state lines before heading back to California.

Every year, millions of snakes are impaled on hooks or nailed to trees by their heads and skinned alive, says PETA.

A spokeswoman for PETA isn’t impressed with the alleged subterfuge. “‘Every year, millions of snakes are impaled on hooks or nailed to trees by their heads and skinned alive,” she tells the Daily Mail. “Hoses are inserted into the mouths of large snakes—like pythons—and their bodies are pumped full of water to loosen their skin so that it will cut away more easily. The animals’ peeled, writhing bodies are then discarded, and it often takes days for the animals to die from the effects of shock and dehydration.”

Because of the abject cruelty, PETA has persuaded popular retailers such as Adidas, Nike, H&M, Cole Haan, and Victoria’s Secret to abstain from the sales of exotic skins.

Still, there’s a chance that Witherspoon’s cavalier attitude towards animal welfare is a result of ignorance rather than malice. PETA has promised to send her an undercover video exposé of the exotic-skins industry, hosted by none other than her Walk the Line co-star Joaquin Phoenix.

UPDATE | 11/3/11

Gossip Cop reports that Witherspoon is giving up her python bag. As a token of its appreciation, PETA will be sending her flowers. “We’ve long known Reese to be a kind person, so we’re pleased—and not surprised—that she is hanging up her python bag for good,” the group says in a statement.

[Via Daily Mail]

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5 Responses to “Reese Witherspoon Caught Red-Handed With Illegal Python-Skin Handbag”

  1. CJ says:

    It’s a beautiful bag. Why assume this bag was made in a way that was torturous to the snake? It is quite possible it was made in a completely humane way. I am totally against any sort of animal cruelty AND human victimisation also!

  2. missonia says:

    CJ! I am so with you and happy to see people out there still thinking and speaking like this!

  3. olivedog says:

    I don’t believe that “humane” exotic skins exist just as I don’t buy into the notion of “humane” meat. I wouldn’t know if this bag was attained in the manner described as I don’t know enough about the trade to say, however, I don’t believe that fur or skin could ever be obtained “humanely”. Of course it is a beautiful bag, as is fur, as animals are beautiful. I think that the use of animals for food or fashion, especially fashion, is cruel and unnecessary.

  4. deborahjb says:

    pythons are ruining the Everglades, eating endangered species and becoming a local menace. Now what? Killing them humanely to protect the ecosystems and using skins for bags and meat for zoo feed or something makes more sense than letting them rot.

    Humans have created a lot of problems and different situations will necessitate different solutions.

  5. buster says:

    HOW IRONIC SINCE JOAQUIN PHOENIX DID A VIDEO SHOWING THE CRUELTY OF REPTILE SKINS ON PETA’S WEBSITE!!! (THEY BOTH STARRED TOGETHER IN A FILM ABOUT JOHNNY & JUNE CASH)

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