I have some bad news, guys. There’s an awful fashion trend out there: Some people are actually wearing the skins of dead animals! How disgusting is that?!
Check out the top three reasons why leather is GROSS:
1. Stealing an animal’s skin is cruel.
Most of the leather in the U.S. comes from India, where cows are often forced to march hundreds of miles in the heat without food or water. People sometimes break their tails and rub chili peppers and tobacco into their eyes in order to force them to get back up after they collapse from exhaustion.
Because most Indian states have banned the slaughter of cows, many cows are also tied up, crammed onto trucks, and transported thousands of miles to Bangladesh to be killed. In the slaughterhouse, workers cut the cows’ throats and tear their skin off. Cows are sometimes still alive and kicking when their skin is removed—all just for a shoe or a belt.
2. Leather contains toxic chemicals.
Not only does the leather industry hurt animals, it’s also extremely toxic to our environment and a danger to human health.
Skins from dead animals, just like ones from dead humans, rot. To prevent this, companies use tons of toxic chemicals that end up in nearby soil and water supplies, endangering the lives of the people who work at the tanneries—often including children—and others who live in the area.
It’s estimated that 90 percent of tannery workers die before age 50.
3. It’s someone’s skin!
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that wearing someone else’s skin is wrong and just plain creepy.
Plus, cows aren’t the only animals who are killed for their skin.
In China, where a lot of the world’s leather comes from, a PETA Asia undercover investigation revealed that dogs are bludgeoned and killed so that their skin can be turned into leather shoes, gloves, belts, and other accessories. There’s no easy way to tell the difference between skin from dogs and skin from other animals.
In South Africa, ostrich slaughter companies supply “luxury” ostrich skins to Hermès, Prada, and other major fashion houses. Investigators saw workers force terrified ostriches into stun boxes—causing many to slip and fall—and then slit their throats. The ostriches next in line watched helplessly as their flockmates were killed right in front of them.
There are so many vegan fashion options available that there’s simply no excuse to wear the skin of ANY dead animals.
You Can Help Animals
The good news is that it’s super-easy to help keep animals from suffering for their skins. All you have to do is check labels before you buy and avoid anything that’s made with leather. (Chances are, you probably already own tons of nonleather items without even realizing it!)
Be sure to pay attention to these symbols on shoe and clothing labels:
Look for cruelty-free materials like synthetic leather, PU, polyurethane “man-made” materials, waxed cotton, and imitation leather.
Avoid leather, suede, sheepskin, shearling, and nubuck.