Beware the Vegan Vigilantes

“Vegan vigilantes” sounds like a bad joke dreamed up by a comedy writer. However, in San Francisco, the joke isn’t so funny any more.

Militant vegan activists are positively salivating over San Francisco’s new ban on the sale of fur clothing, which took effect on January 1.

There’s a slight phase-in period for the ban, with stores having until 2020 to clear out inventory provided that the fur clothing for sale was ordered before March 20, 2018, when the city passed the fur ban. However, the vegan mob has grown impatient and has begun harassing retailers:

“We found in Nordstrom’s those products had been completely removed. In other stores that still had fur products being sold, they were willing to produce the documentation that the furs were purchased before the ban was passed on March 20,” [vegan activist Cassie King] said.

”At Saks Fifth Avenue, they basically hid from us, and said they needed to get a phone number for the right person to call….but never followed up with us,” added King.

According to King, Tuesday’s action was “day one.”

“We will follow up with places that still had fur products to sale, and especially with Saks because they are potentially violating the law right now,” she said.

The vegans aren’t happy with Saks because the store rightly recognizes that Cassie King (who once covered herself in poop for a protest) and her gang of hecklers aren’t law enforcement. Indeed, there’s no legal reason any store would have to comply with the activist group’s demands. Retailers are under no obligation to produce paperwork for aggressive activists to inspect.

The group King is with, Direct Action Everywhere, has a reputation for vigilantism. Several of its activists are facing serious criminal charges related to stealing livestock. And more generally, DxE advocates for authoritarian policies, from screeching at people who dare to enjoy meat, to restricting what consumers can wear (in the case of fur) or eat (DxE wants Berkeley, CA to be a “meat-free” zone in the next few years).

However, they are not enforcers of laws, and they would be wise to leave law enforcement to the proper authorities. Lawmakers, meanwhile, should simply wise up and stop passing bad laws that restrict consumer choice.

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