At the beginning of every new year, we always resolve to do better things for ourselves and for others. This year, let’s not forget the simple things that we can do to help animals. Refusing to buy leather is an easy way to help both animals and the planet.
Every year, more than a billion animals are slaughtered for the global leather industry. What we’re really doing when we buy and wear leather jackets, shoes, belts, and bags is covering ourselves in the dead and rotting skin of another animal—and that’s barbaric.
Leather is part of a revolting multibillion-dollar industry in which animals suffer all the horrors of factory farming, including extreme crowding and confinement, deprivation, and castration, branding, tail-docking, and dehorning without any anesthetics. The cruelty continues during transport and slaughter—some animals are even skinned alive.
Leather production is also hard on the environment. Toxic chemicals are used in the tanning process, and runoff from tanneries often pollutes nearby rivers and streams. A recent news report documented that some tannery workers are exposed to these chemicals on a daily basis, usually without any protective gear—sometimes without so much as a pair of shoes.
Humane non-leather options, such as pleather, nylon, cotton, canvas, and rubber, can be found just about anywhere you shop. Popular brands such as Adidas, Nike, Steve Madden, and Forever 21 all offer an array of non-leather shoes, handbags, wallets, and clothing items.
Whether it comes from a cow, pig, snake, or kangaroo, it’s all skin, and the animals are the ones who can’t live without it. This season, pledge that the only skin you’ll be in is your own!
Posted by Edwina Baier