26 June, 2012

Stop wearing leather

It’s a common misconception that the leather industry is a by-product of the meat industry. It is not. Animal skins turned into leather are a $1.5 Billion dollar industry, which directly supports factory farming/ slaughter houses by accounting for 25% of their profits. The meat and dairy industry is not only heavily subsidized in the US by the government, but the profit from the sale of animal skins is essential to their business. The animals are forcefully bred in overcrowded hideously filthy, disease ridden, factory farms where they live in confinement and are subject to beatings, electric ⚡ shock, forcibly impregnated, endure painful mutilations without pain relief (such as castration, branding, dehorning, tails being cut off or broken, teeth removed, testicles ripped out) and harmful hormone and antibiotic injections. They suffer not only these physical abuses but mental as well - they are taken away from their mothers at birth and develop neurotic behaviors due to confinement and torture.

Leather is NOT eco friendly. In the natural process of biodegrading the skin is the first element to rot or decompose. In order for that not to happen the skin must be treated with toxic chemicals. There are 225 chemicals used in the tanning process many of which are mordents, better known for their association with the funeral industry. That “new leather smell” is actually a chemical reaction between the skin, formaldehyde and chromium salts. Other toxic chemicals used are lead, cyanide, arsenic, azo dyes, aniline and chlorophenols to name a few. These chemicals make the hide no longer organic matter, therefore it does not decompose. Historians have found preserved leather dating to 5000 BC. Leather requires more energy, much more space and a great deal more labor to produce than synthetics.