The Truth About Animal Leather

Thank you Sentient Media for this article:

"A common myth about animal-derived leather is that it’s a harmless byproduct of meat production, a way to make animal agriculture more sustainable by using skins rather than throwing them out. Yet because animal leather brings in substantial profit all its own, and is responsible for its own environmental harms, ethical fashion advocates and researchers argue that it is better described as a co-product of the meat industry.

Animal agriculture as a whole is responsible for at least 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, as well as freshwater pollution, biodiversity loss, ocean degradation and deforestation. But animal leather production in particular is directly related to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, making up more than a quarter of the value of the Brazilian cattle trade and the most valuable sector of the region’s cattle industry.

What’s more, the process of tanning animal skins involves the use of toxic chemicals, such as chromium, generating hazardous waste and pollution and impacting ecosystems and waterways.

As an alternative to animal-derived leather, vegan leathers benefit both the planet and the animals by sidestepping the extensive natural resources required to farm animals, cutting water use and greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, vegan leathers are made without animal suffering, or slaughter."


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