Saturday, January 10, 2015

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE LEATHER INDUSTRY


LEATHER 
Most people believe that because farm animals are slaughtered for their meat, it would make sense to use their skin remains to manufacture leather so that "leftovers", are not wasted. The truth is that much of the leather sold comes from animals killed primarily for their skin.

Leather is made because of the high demand for it and not as means to prevent or reduce waste. It helps sustain the meat industry as skins are more profitable than meat itself.

WHERE DOES LEATHER COME FROM?
In the U.S., leather often comes from cows used for meat or milk. However, if you wear leather chances are it came from China or India where the majority of leather is produced.

CHINA
China is the leading exporter of leather where 2 million dogs and cats are skinned annually. These animals are often skinned alive.
Because China has no law that forces an accurate description of material origins on it's product labels, many consumers are mislead. Although a product is labelled as having been made in the US or Italy, it more than likely has come from China or India.

INDIA
Because India prohibits the slaughter of cows, the animals are forced on an agonizing journey. If traveling by train, the animals are crammed into carts where 400 to 500 out of every 900 die because of strenuous circumstances. If traveling by foot, they are whipped in their protruding hip bones where no fat or "cushion" is found. They are not aloud to rest or drink and upon exhaustion, their tails are broken as means to force them to rise and move on. Hot peppers and tobacco are rubbed into their eyes as means to torment the animal when they collapse from exhaustion.

USA
Some leather comes from cows farmed in the US. The life and fate of a US cow is no less agonizing. The majority of US cattle is subject to mass abuse including beatings, castration, branding, dehorning, electric pod shocks and confinement to name just a few.  Cows are taken to the slaughter where they receive a bolt to the head to stun them. Regardless of the stun, they are alert as their bodies are forced to endure a frightening and torturous kill by machine. These machines tear, rip and cut their bodies piece by piece. Other cows are slaughtered by means of hoisting their bodies by rope and slitting their throats. Undercover investigations have video footage of these animals skinned alive before they are dead.

ANIMALS SUBJECT TO THE LEATHER INDUSTRY
Cows, cats and dogs are not the only animals subject to abuse and use of their skin. Sheep, goats, pigs, snakes, alligators, deer, kangaroo, horses and elephants are all victims of the leather industry. These animals are often skinned alive, beaten, electrocuted, tossed in boiling water so that skin "falls off" etc.

ALTERNATIVES
I personally love faux leather options. Here are a few stores of many which offer leather alternatives.
  • MooShoes
  • Beyond Skin
  • Vegan Essentials, 
  • Vaute Couture
  • Alternative Outfitters
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LINKS:
STELLA MCCARTNEY TALKS LEATHER
14 THINGS THE LEATHER INDUSTRY DOES NOT WANT YOU TO SEE 
LEATHER CARE2.COM
HELL FOR LEATHER
ONE MANS STORY, "I CAN STILL HEAR THEIR SCREAMS"
CAT'S AND DOG'S SKINNED ALIVE FOR FASHION ARTICLE #1
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