Not only is wearing someone else’s skin unequivocally unethical, the ways humans get the skin are also sickening. A new Manfred Karremann investigation into the international leather trade—released by PETA—uncovered so much cruelty that it’s unbelievable that people still turn a blind eye to the inhumanity of this industry and continue to buy and wear the unnecessary and toxic product.
They Don’t Deserve This
Animals used for leather lead miserable lives from start to finish. They’re shipped by sea on weeks-long journeys (called “live transport”) in which they’re exposed to extreme weather and denied sufficient food and water. If they fall down, they can be trampled to death, and even pregnant animals are forced to endure live transport.
In many countries, animals are killed without first being stunned. They’re simply tied up and their throats are cut with a dull knife. It can take several minutes for them to die.
Imagine being bred into existence only to be killed to make shoes. Cows don’t want to die for a purse or a belt—and they don’t need to. Vegan leather has been around for decades.
Leather Is ALWAYS a Product of Misery and Death
In the leather industry, cows are castrated, branded, tail-docked, and dehorned without any painkillers. Their throats are often cut open with a dull knife, and it can take minutes for them to bleed to death. In the leather industry, it’s not uncommon for animals to be hacked apart and skinned while they’re still alive.
Cows and sheep are social animals, often forming close friendships with others in their herds. Recordings from Libya and Lebanon showed that workers slit the throats of cows and sheep in full view of other animals and threw them onto a pile, where they were left to bleed out while they writhed and kicked.
The production of leather also wreaks havoc on the environment. Acres upon acres of rainforests are cleared to grow feed and make space for cows and other animals, who then release methane, which contributes to climate change. And the fires that ravaged the Amazon rainforest last year were set by farmers and cattle ranchers to make more room to grow crops for cows and graze them for meat and leather.
This Is Violence We Can Stop
? It’s wrong to abuse, exploit, kill, and wear the skin of sensitive beings. We need to show people the cruelty behind leather items. Wear these ear tags to speak up for animals gruesomely abused and slaughtered for their skin:
Here’s what to do:
- Download the tags and print them, or make your own using SOS member Presley’s example below.
- Cut them out, and tape the backs of each side together. Poke a hole in the top of the tags and hang them on earring hooks, a necklace, a bracelet, or your shoelaces—anywhere people will be able to see them.
- Take a photo wearing your tags (as earrings, on a necklace, or otherwise), and post it online. Tag your hub members, and tag SOS at @petaxsos so we can share your pic.
Working to end speciesism means consistently finding new ways to bring our message of animal liberation to our friends. Let’s remind folks that animals have feelings, deserve respect, and aren’t ours to use. Share their stories today, tomorrow, and every day.