PETA has obtained disturbing eyewitness video footage shot inside a Thai slaughterhouse that offers a glimpse into the terror and pain inflicted on cows as they are being killed for leather and meat. The video shows workers repeatedly bashing them in the head with sledgehammers before finally cutting their throats—all while they’re still conscious and able to feel pain.
Their skin is then cut off to be sold by the global leather industry.
The Thai meat industry produces 170,000 metric tons of cows’ flesh every single year, and the skins of these sensitive animals supply the cruel international leather industry, which is expanding in Thailand as leather producers flee tougher environmental standards in China.
If you wear leather or eat meat, it could be coming from a place like this.
A groundbreaking report on the fashion industry’s environmental footprint found that leather does more harm than any other material. Since it’s an important coproduct of the unsustainable meat industry, this is hardly surprising. Using animal skins for fashion hurts humans, too: In order to keep them from decomposing, companies treat them with dangerous chemicals that end up in nearby soil and waterways, poisoning the environment and threatening human health. Tannery workers are dying of cancer caused by exposure to these toxins.
What You Can Do
Every hamburger or pair of leather shoes sold represents an animal who was sentenced to a lifetime of misery. PETA is drafting a complaint to authorities against the slaughterhouse and the workers responsible for the cows’ suffering, but there are easy ways for you to help, too.
First, go vegan, and you can help spare cows, pigs, and other sensitive animals a miserable life and a terrifying death.
And since leather is a direct contributor to the horrors of factory farming and the slaughter of millions of animals each year, please pledge to go leather-free, too. Choose your clothes and accessories from among the many fashionable nonleather shoes, jackets, belts, bags, wallets, and other items that are readily available. Whether it comes from a cow, crocodile, snake, or dog, leather is a product of extreme pain and suffering.