Actress Reese Witherspoon was once named one of the world's sexiest vegetarians by animal rights group PETA, but that was before they saw her carrying a $4,00 Chloe python purse. Not only is the bag upsetting the animal activists, it's illegal in the state of California.
PETA initially issued this statement after the photo of Reese toting the snakeskin bag came to light:
"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."
According to RadarOnline, under the California Penal Code Section 6530, it is unlawful to import python into California for commercial purposes. This includes possession with intent to sell, or sale within the state.
However, it is not illegal if someone purchases python elsewhere and brings it in, as Reese did.
Reese contacted PETA and informed them 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," says 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."