Actress Reese Witherspoon had been heavily criticized by animal rights groups after being spotted with a $4,000 python skin bag (picture below).
Following the incident, PETA sent the Oscar-winning actress a film, about the how the reptiles are treated in the bag-making process, which was hosted by her 'Walk The Line' co-star Joaquin Phoenix.
PETA claims: "Every year, millions of snakes are impaled on hooks or nailed to trees by their heads and skinned alive. 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."
PETA later reported: "Thankfully, Reese has just informed PETA that she will no longer carry the bag."
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And it seems there are no hard feelings between PETA and Witherspoon, whom they had previously named the "world's sexiest vegetarian."
PETA senior vice president Lisa Lange added: "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. 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."
Exactly how Witherspoon got the python bag remains a mystery, as she could not have purchased the item in California, where it has been illegal to sell the material there since 1970. Under the California Penal Code Section 653o it is unlawful to import python into California for commercial purposes. However, it is not illegal if someone purchases python elsewhere and brings it in.