Attention California residents: if you've been running around your local soccer fields wearing kangaroo leather cleats, beware! You're wearing contraband! That's right, the California Supreme Court on Monday banned the sale of soccer cleats and other goods made from kangaroo leather.
You might not realize it, but kangaroos have taken up quite a bit of time in California's political ecosystem so far this year. Legislation to allow "kangaroo-derived" products passed the state Senate earlier this year, and is expected to clear the Assembly. The new prohibition, which is the only one of its kind in the U.S. overturns two previous rulings, which held that "California's kangaroo ban interferes with federal support of Australia's wildlife management plans."
The activists oppose kangaroo products because they say hunters mistakenly shoot endangered species. They also say abundant kangaroo species are killed cruelly -- sometimes shot during night hunting parties, and sometimes clubbed to death as babies.No ideas were given on how to enforce this law.
"We sued because of the horrific way kangaroos are killed," said Lauren Ornelas of Viva International Voice for Animals, which filed the lawsuit. "We sued because of the way Adidas is snubbing their noses at California's law."
Kangaroos were first put into the contraband category in 1971, and it was reinforced in 1974 when three variations of kangaroo were placed on the endangered species list. But kangaroos hopped their way out of the endangered list in 1995, and the marsupials' hides were no longer considered a banned good.
Adidas is the largest industrial user of kangaroo leather, and they've spent almost $500,000 on lobbying efforts since 2003. Their popular soccer cleat, the Predator, is made of kangaroo hides. And wouldn't you believe it, in his efforts to dominate every aspect of California's culture David Beckham wears the said shoes. But fear not, vegetarians and PETA supporters, Beckham has managed to skirt controversy, and remain our golden visitor:
"David wears synthetic Predator boots so this ruling has no relevance to us," Beckham's spokesman Simon Oliveira wrote in a terse e-mail. Oliveira declined further comment.It's great to see that when California's State Supreme Court isn't dealing with frivolous lawsuits, same-sex marriages, and sentencing laws, they can help out our great Australian friends. Kangaroo Jack thanks you!