These ostriches want their skin back. Earlier today, PETA’s life-size “ostriches” stood outside Manila’s Hermès store in protest of the retailer’s use of ostrich leather.
Wild ostriches can live for around 40 years, but at slaughter companies that supply ostrich skins to Hermès, ostriches are slaughtered when they’re just 1 year old to be turned into fashion accessories.
The origin of the leather used for Prada and Hermès handbags would shock even the most hardened fashionistas.
South Africa – where these intelligent, sensitive animals are intensively farmed for their skins – is the ostrich-killing capital of the world. The farm featured in this PETA US investigation is the exclusive supplier of ostrich skins for Hermès Birkin bags. Investigators saw juvenile birds tightly packed into open-topped vehicles for the terrifying journey to slaughter.
Once the animals reach the slaughterhouse, workers forcibly restrain them, electrically stun them and then cut their throats. Moments later, the feathers are torn from the birds’ still-warm bodies – creating the bumpy-textured skin used in Birkin and Prada bags and other “luxury” goods – and they are then skinned and dismembered.
Your choices make a difference—the easiest thing you can do to help animals is never to purchase ostrich or any other animal skin or feathers.