I don’t wear fur, but I do wear leather

Fashion Victim - Leather

Most peo­ple with an ounce of com­pas­sion think it’s bar­bar­ic to kill an­i­mals for their fur, but we of­ten don’t give a se­cond thought to those an­i­mals who are killed and skinned for their ‘leather’.

I was at a bar the other night and a wo­m­an walked in wear­ing a fur coat. My group of friends were dis­gust­ed and spent the next ten min­utes won­der­ing (loud­ly!) how any­one could be so cru­el and tacky. But then I re­alised that most of my friends were wear­ing leather and I thought, what’s the dif­fer­ence?

cow fashion victim

The an­sw­er is not much. Both the fur and leather in­dus­try in­volve the death of mil­lions of in­no­cent an­i­mals ev­ery year. Whether they come from a Chi­nese fur farm or our lo­cal slaugh­ter house, an­i­mals suf­fer im­mense­ly for our fur jack­ets and trims as well as our leather jack­ets, belts, shoes and bags. At fur farms, an­i­mals are suf­fo­cat­ed, elec­tro­cut­ed, gassed, poi­soned, blud­geoned and some­times skinned alive. Cows raised for their leather un­der­go una­naes­the­tized cas­tra­tion, brand­ing, tail-dock­ing and de­horn­ing, and at the slaugh­ter­house have their throats sliced open and skin ripped off, of­ten while ful­ly con­s­cious.

We are shelling out hun­dreds of dol­lars for the lat­est fashions, not even think­ing about the cost in in­no­cent lives, not even think­ing that ev­ery piece of fur and leather is bought with the un­ne­ces­sary suf­fer­ing of an an­i­mal.

There sim­p­ly is no good rea­son for the use of fur and leather cloth­ing in to­day’s so­ci­e­ty with the many trendy, hip and fashion­able syn­thet­ic al­ter­na­tives for men and wo­m­en. Be­fore you purchase your next fur or leather cloth­ing item, imagine hav­ing your skin ripped from your flesh whilst still be­ing con­s­cious and think again!

Make an ac­tive choice to cut an­i­mal prod­ucts from your cloth­ing by al­ways check­ing the la­bels. You can look great and wear eco friend­ly cloth­ing with­out harm­ing an­i­mals in the pro­cess.

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  • it makes a big difference that many people have the impression that leather is made from the hides of animals killed for food. people will offer the justification that the animal ‘was going to be killed anyway’. as activists we need to do a better job of finding out and communicating the facts, about whether (and how many) animals are killed ‘just’ for the leather.

    (if they are not (or to the extent that they are not), the message becomes more complicated as it involves the economics of joint supply.)

  • Thanks Matt. The whole leather is just a byproduct argument ignores the fact that leather represents a significant part of the profits of the meat industry. Without the sale of ‘byproducts’ the meat industry would be much less profitable, possibly unprofitable. This from the vegan society –

    “Those purchasing leather products may try to reassure themselves that the animal it came from had already been killed for meat, so it matters little that they ‘use up’ the remaining skin for a pair of shoes or a jacket. It matters because by doing this they will be helping to subsidise the meat industry. Purchasing leather ensures the continuity of a massive industry based on animal suffering. In the past 20 years, there has been a massive increase in the value of the leather industry. In the mid 1980s the global trade was worth about US$16 billion; it is now worth around US$100 billion.”

  • The argument “They’re going to be killed for food anyway” ignores the fact that even if meat were immediately toxic, there would still be people killing animals just to sell their skins for leather. There’s just too much money to be made.

    Also, that argument suggests that we could use the skins of dead humans. They’re not even killed- they just die. Would people not be repulsed by that notion?

    PS Penn Gillette doesn’t count as “people”.

  • It feels so good to throw or give away any animal products lingering in your wardrobe! I just did it a few months ago, after eating a vegan diet for two years I have realised that being vegan is not just about the food.
    It was fun shopping for vegan replacements too!