The actress was photographed in California carrying a $4000 python handbag from couture fashion house Chloe. Python-skin goods are illegal in the state and PETA detailed the terrible way a skin is obtained.
“Every year, millions of snakes are impaled on hooks or nailed to trees by their heads and skinned alive,” a statement from the organization said. “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. We can’t imagine that she’d wish to contribute to this hidden suffering, especially for something as frivolous as a fashion accessory that can be replicated with no bloodshed.
“These days, it’s easy to have a look that kills without killing—with fake snake, mock croc, python pleather, and other designer items that pay tribute to the beauty of these animals without massacring them.”
Witherspoon, who was named one of PETA’s Sexiest Vegetarians in 2006, was sent a video from the group that her Walk The Line costar Joaquin Phoenix narrated.
After the video, Witherspoon has had a change of heart.
PETA Spokesperson Wendy Wager sent a statement to The Hollywood Reporter:
“I wanted to pass along an update about the python-skin bag that actor Reese Witherspoon was recently seen carrying. After hearing about it, PETA immediately rushed its video exposé of the exotic-skins industry to Reese. Hosted by her Walk the Line co-star Joaquin Phoenix, the video describes how snakes and other reptiles are often skinned alive and how they suffer slow, painful deaths for the sake of fashion. Thankfully, Reese has just informed PETA that she will no longer carry the bag.”
“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,” said PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “We hope Reese’s honest mistake will serve as a reminder for all of us to be extra-certain that what we’re buying is mock crock or fake snake.”
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