‘Under Their Skin’: A new report series on the cruel injustices of animal leather production
While at least some of the environmental impacts of leather production are increasingly acknowledged by the fashion industry, little relating to the impact of leather production on animals themselves is considered or reported on today.
COLLECTIVE FASHION JUSTICE: While leather has been used in fashion for millennia, its production today is an ethical and environmental crisis. Today, over 1.4 billion cattle stand on once biodiverse land, confined to feedlots and in planted pasture systems until they are slaughtered for food and leather…
While at least some of the environmental impacts of leather production are increasingly acknowledged by the fashion industry, little relating to the impact of leather production on animals themselves is considered or reported on today. Therefore, this report highlights the plethora of standard practices in the industry which inevitably cause distress and suffering for bovine animals, some of which are summarised below:
-> Cows are routinely and intentionally exempt from broader, global animal protection laws, allowing for the legal and routine mutilation of cattle by dehorning, castration, branding and so on, for economic reasons.
-> A growing number of cows are confined to feedlots where stress, disease and injury risks increase and natural behaviours cannot be met, before being transported to slaughter.
-> Transport by land and across seas are both stressful, and live export ships cause unacceptable suffering and cruelty to cattle, who often suffer severe heat stress, if not far worse outcomes.
-> Cattle are slaughtered following often ineffective stunning, with even ‘best practice’ slaughter resulting in distress for animals who recognise the similar distress of those further along the slaughter line than them, before they are hung upside down, shackled and bled out…
Cattle are recognised as sentient, capable of a wide range of emotions and cognitions. They enjoy playing, form strong social bonds, get excited when they learn, and show autonomy when fighting to escape slaughterhouses; kicking and even escaping. With so many more just and sustainable alternatives to leather available, it is time to move beyond the use of skins in fashion. SOURCE…