HIGHTOWER: Truth-In-Slaughtering

Time for another chapter in "The Lifestyles of the Rich . . . and Cranky."Today's show takes us deep inside one of the most fabulous zip codes in the world: 90210. That's right, Beverly Hills, California -- where one's wealth is assumed, being ostentatious is applauded, and the official town motto is: "Too much is not enough."But the Washington Post reports that there are some pretty pouty faces these days among the 33,000 denizens of this enclave of privilege, because a rude wave of consumer activism has suddenly intruded into their carefree lifestyles. Some agitators have targeted the fur salons of Beverly Hills, demanding that labels be attached to each precious pelt they sell, notifying possible purchasers that something not too nice might have happened to the critter whose furry hide they're about to buy. Specifically, the proposed label would read: "Consumer notice: This product is made with fur from animals that may have been killed by electrocution, gassing, neck-breaking, poisoning, clubbing, stomping or drowning and may have been trapped in steel-jaw leghold traps."Mayor Les Bronte is upset about this proposal, declaring: "We don't need a pelt posse here." But he can't blame outside agitators or crazed animal rights activists, because this is a movement of local residents who got their "Truth-in-Slaughtering" initiative on the ballot by collecting the signatures of 3,300 Beverly Hills' voters. Indeed, the Beverly Hills Consumers for Informed Choices say some of their own leaders wear fur coats -- it's not the fur they object to, but the gruesome method the industry uses to kill the animals. The issue, they say, is "truth in advertising."This is Jim Hightower saying . . . What next -- diamond dealers having to disclose the inhumane treatment of workers down in the diamond mines? It's just no fun being rich if you have to know all this stuff.


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