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Last updated: February 10, 2015

 
B22
 
 
Sam Simon, Co-Creator of The Simpsons - with PETA's Help - Rescues Over 400 Chinchillas From a Fur Farm That Had Been Operating Since 1966
 
 
Posted: 25 September 2014/ updated: 8 October 2014
 
 
chinchilla
Above: Chinchillas are originally from South America, specifically the Andes mountains of Chile, Bolivia and Peru. Chinchillas are crepuscular meaning that they are mostly active around dawn and dusk.

Thursday, October 8th, 2014: Update: Lurlie Adams, who sold the Chinchillas to Sam Simon, says she didn't know PETA was involved until they showed up day of pick-up to take chinchillas and says they defamed her good name. The very professional, compassionate and animal rights loving CEO of PETA - Ingrid Newkirk, says the complaint is flawed in many ways considering what PETA (& Simon) witnessed, bought and recovered from the fur farm such as 400+ Chinchillas, a refrigerator full of Chinchilla pelts and a crude device used to electrocute Chinchillas... over 350 Chinchillas formerly belonging to the Adams' have been put into adoptive homes by PETA & Sam Simons efforts.


Sam Simon was diagnosed with many types of cancer in the last 2 years and was given only 6 months or less to live but he has survived over a year and he is using the rest of his life to spend the wealth he earned as a co-creator of The Simpsons animated TV show and a TV comedy writer. He is considered the co-creator whose humor influenced the Simpson’s the most and whose level of humor the writers of the show try to imitate.  His father was a clothes manufacturer of Estonian heritage and he grew up in Beverly Hills. Notably the American comedian and TV star Groucho Marx (b. 1890) lived opposite Sam Simon's family.  Like his celebrity neighbor,

Sam Simon, T.V. comedy writer & co-creator of The Simpsons
Above: Sam Simon, T.V. comedy writer and co-creator of The Simpsons, at the 66th annual Writer's Guild Awards in 2014.

Simon would go on to use his sense of humor to make a living. His parents wanted him to be a lawyer, however he was interested in art. In college at Stanford University, Simon became a cartoonist for the campus newspaper, then a storyboard artist for Filmation Studios. He then went on to become a T.V. writer and producer. Before, The Simpsons he was a writer for the 1980’s TV show Cheers and wrote 5 episodes of Cheers which were produced. The Simpsons started in 1989 and has been on TV ever since. It was considered by Time Magazine the best sitcom of the 20th century. Simon left the show in 1993 however he continues to receive income from the creation of the show.

In August of 2014, Sam Simon was the financial force behind the rescue of 420 Chinchillas from a Vista, California fur farm owned by an elderly couple in their 90’s. The farm had been in operation for 48 years- after the owners saw an advertisement back in 1966 about becoming wealthy raising chinchillas for their fur. They did become one of the biggest chinchilla fur farms in the state of California.

For the website www.care2.com Susan Bird writes in her August 24th article on the fur farm in Vista which Simon helped out, “The facility’s elderly owner Lurlie Adams had been trying to sell the farm for 3 years. Recently she indicated she would have to kill all the animals at the facility and sell all of their pelts if she couldn't get rid of them otherwise. That's when PETA and Sam Simon jumped into action."

PETA, quickly negotiated a purchase in favor of saving the chinchillas, with the financial sponsorship from Simon.  PETA & Simon successfully were able to close the farm without killing the chinchillas by purchasing all of the animals from the owners. The chinchillas can be adopted from the San Diego Humane Society located in Oceanside, California. The only pity is that the fur farm was not purchased the same way sooner so the elderly couple could have enjoyed the benefits of the large payment earlier.

There was a small outcry from the owners that PETA and perhaps also the media villainized them needlessly and unfairly. In a photograph by U-T San Diego newspaper of the 90+year old Lurlie Adams, one of the former owners of the farm, she is holding her own pet chinchilla Lover Boy.  Whatever the opinion, it must be true that this couple spent much time and money feeding and caring for chinchillas in the time that they were running the fur farm over the course of 48 years and there is some respect in that it was a business. Its advisable that when phasing out businesses' that are harmful to animals the owners should be treated not at fault, considering they did dedicate their lives to animals in some form and must over the course of that time have learned a lot and shared many experiences with those animals. As Lurlie Adams said, she was from a time and place where the chinchillas were used as food. A PETA spokesperson also admitted that some would see the issue of chinchillas as an agricultural one more so than an animal cruelty issue.

To follow Sam Simon’s example in their own way, a wealthy person could find a lot of happiness in creating solutions that create joy and prosperity for others especially if you have the means to create that kind of value in the world.

By Andrea Boggs


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