Where do you think leather comes from? If you’re anything like me, I never used to think about the life my shoes had before they were, well, my shoes! I caution readers, for after reading this you will know the truth, a truth that will put a serious damper in your next big shopping spree.
Here are the facts:
The top 4 countries producing leather are: Italy, Indonesia, China, and Pakistan.
Many different animals are used in the production of leather- cows, horses, pigs, lambs, sheep, exotic animals and yes, even cats and dogs. An estimated 2 million dogs are killed in China to meet the high demand for leather.
A French police-raid of a tannery in Deux-Sevres France turned up the skins of 1,200 cats. Approximately 20,000 cats are stolen in France for the skin trade
Animals are an easily exploitable asset used for our entertainment, food, and accessories. While a cow should live a good 25 years, dairy cows regularly die around 4 and are ancient if they live to be 6. Despite our disregard for ‘certain’ animals, science has proven all animals share the same 5 senses we have. They feel pleasure, pain, happiness and misery and yet millions suffer only to end up on a store shelf.
An undercover tape by the Washington Post exposed that some cows were still conscious while their hide was being stripped away. All employees who have reported this have been fired.
Yes, I know animals eat animals. What they do not do is cage, confine, abuse, prolong suffering, and kill for materialistic purposes in outlandish numbers. The bunny was having a great day till he became dinner for the coyote. The coyote kills the bunny swiftly not causing the bunny to have years of misery; only humans seem to do that.
A few more important facts:
1) Meat production is responsible for 18% of man made greenhouse gasses, in comparison to transportation- which globally is responsible for 13% of greenhouse gasses.
2) In India leather industry is more harmful due to toxins than textile, medicine, fertilizer and paper production industries combined.
3) Leather makers claim their product is biodegradable however the process of tanning stabilizes collagen fibers so they stop biodegrading
4) Ground water sources close to tanneries consistently have higher levels of lead, formaldehyde , and cyanide. This increases the risk of disease and hurts already impoverished towns.
5) Our current tanning methods waste 15,000 gallons of water each year while producing up to 2200 lbs. of solid waste for every ton of hide produced.