[WELCOME Gateway Pundit readers!]
Meet Oprah Winfrey, an anti-hamburger, pro-vegan, animal-rights activist so passionate about the welfare of animals that PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) honored her in 2008 as its Person of the Year.
But Oprah’s got a dark side. Secretly she yearns to own fashion accessories made out of the skins of animals that suffer cruel, lingering deaths purely to enable some people to gain status over others.
How do we know this? Because last week, apparently upset at not being recognized at a store in Switzerland, she charged she was a victim of racism at the hands of a store clerk who refused to show her a $38,000 crocodile-skin designer handbag. That attention-getting racism charge has now backfired on her. The store clerk has fought back, calling Oprah a “liar“; the store owner is backing up the clerk 100% and demanding to speak personally with Oprah; and in response to the furor over whether Oprah made a false charge of racism, Oprah has said she regrets her remarks.
But that might not be the end of it. This might be only the beginning of the end for Oprah. She may end up shedding a few more tears, because her former animal-rights allies are now turning on her for publicly expressing an interest in buying a $38,000 handbag made out of the skins of crocodiles cruelly raised and cruelly killed just to produce a luxury item (quite different than a handbag made out of cowhide which is a byproduct of raising cattle for food).
It’s bad enough that Oprah won the PETA award in part for an emotional show on the abuse of puppies in puppy mills (you can watch it, and see her puppy-mill tears at 3:15, here), and that the $38,000 she wanted to blow on a handbag is enough to save at least 128 puppy-mill puppies, and possibly many more.
What’s worse is she wanted to spend the money to subsidize the practice of cruelly raising and killing animals for their hides, merely to create snob-factor fashion accessories. For it turns out that the crocodiles used to make such handbags are “kept in extremely small enclosures” and they’re beaten to death with hammer blows to the head, so “it sometimes takes two hours before they are dead,” according to a spokesperson for an Swiss animal-rights group (Four Paws) now blasting Oprah.
Indeed, sometimes their skin is ripped off while they’re still alive. Courtesy of PETA, here’s audio of one such crocodile calling out in distress while being de-skinned; here’s a documentary narrated by Joaquin Phoenix on the cruelty involved; and here’s raw video of farm workers bludgeoning reptiles to death. Indeed, the abuse is so severe that crocodile farmers have been prosecuted for cruelty to animals.
A Swiss news site suggests that outrage among animal-rights activists against Oprah may go global:
Animal rights activists are especially curious to know why Winfrey would want to see a crocodile bag given her avowed support for animal rights.
PETA, the world’s largest animal rights group, named Winfrey “person of the year” in 2008 after she spoke out against the wearing of fur.
But the organization has also campaigned against the “heartless millions” made in the fashion industry from the use of exotic animal skins.
The spotlight is on PETA in particular. In 2011, PETA attacked Victoria Beckham for offering a crocodile-skin handbag as part of her fashion line. In 2012, PETA attacked Kim Kardashian after she was photographed merely carrying a crocodile-skin handbag. Now that Oprah has made an international incident out of her interest in buying a crocodile-skin handbag, will PETA attack her as well?
How can it do otherwise, given that: (1) Oprah has been far more flagrant in publicly promoting her interest in crocodile-skin handbags than either Beckham or Kardashian; and (2) Oprah obviously must be held to a higher standard than others given that she’s a professed animal-rights activist who was named PETA’s 2008 Person of the Year.
Then again, perhaps PETA will conclude that to apply the same standard of criticism to Oprah, even though logically unavoidable, might be viewed as racist. Sometimes it is difficult for progressives to decide on the most politically correct thing to do.