For many of the cows and sheep condemned to the global leather trade, the suffering begins long before they reach the abattoir. Right now, thousands of these gentle animals are enduring a gruelling, weeks-long journey in dismal, crowded, disease-ridden conditions that will often end in countries halfway around the world from where they were raised. Soon after they arrive, each animal will be crudely killed and skinned – sometimes in full view of others, who cry out in terror as they realise they are next.
The reason for their misery? The leather shoes, handbags, dog leads, and other items made from their skin that are sold worldwide.
During their long journeys via ship or lorry, animals rarely receive adequate food and water or protection from the elements. Many cower amid their own waste with little room to move – and those who fall to the floor are often trampled to death by others.
When they arrive at national borders, animals may wait in misery and utter exhaustion for hours on end on faeces-crusted lorries. Then, workers may hoist the weakened animals into the air with cranes – causing them agonising pain as their legs break or their joints are dislocated – before finally dragging them into abattoirs and cutting their throats.
In the wake of this exposé, PETA is reminding the public that no matter where leather comes from, it is always the product of cruelty. And with your help, we’re urging consumers, retailers, and designers to swear off all animal-derived materials in favour of more humane and environmentally friendly vegan ones.