Written by PETA
I have but two great loves in life: animals and shoes. But there's nothing I hate more than when the latter causes the former suffering. So I was over the moon—and slightly jealous—when I heard that mayjah fashion house Dior had made special vegan shoes for the new face of its Miss Dior Cherie campaign, Natalie Portman.
Portman, a vegan shoe designer herself and a girl after my own heart, has been known to rock Stella McCartney on many a red carpet. (BTW, did you hear that I'm giving away a Stella McCartney bag on PETA's Facebook page?) But for her media appearances promoting Black Swan (my new favorite movie), she's been switching it up between McCartney accessories and her veganized Dior shoes.
"One of the things that's been so nice is that Dior made all of the shoes for me with no animals and no leather or anything, because I don't wear any leather," Portman told WWD.com. "They remade all my shoes so I can wear Dior shoes without taking lives." Ya, that's pretty nice.
Written by Royale Ziegler
Thanks to the efforts of PETA India and Maneka Gandhi—the daughter-in-law of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and a staunch animal rights proponent—India's Central Board of School Education has banned leather shoes from school uniforms.
Leather shoes are seen as a vestige of British colonial rule, under which they were introduced as a requirement for Indian school uniforms. But in addition to the obvious cruelty to cows, leather shoes are unsuited to India's hot, humid climate, and leather manufacturing also takes a tremendous toll on the environment. Leather shoes in school uniforms will be replaced with comfortable, environmentally friendly, and easy-to-clean canvas plimsolls (no, not those Plimsouls).
PETA's campaign against Indian leather started a decade ago when PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk traveled to India to investigate the transport of cows to slaughterhouses. Since then, dozens of international retailers have agreed to stop purchasing Indian leather, costing the industry millions in lost revenue. Find out more about Ingrid's investigation here.
Written by Alisa Mullins
While Nike the shoe company is named after Nike the Greek goddess of victory, unfortunately, in dogfighting, there are only losers: Even the victors end up in the grinder at the end of the day. Nike seems to have forgotten that little fact, as the company is reportedly now supplying Michael Vick with "product," although it says it has not signed a promotional contract with the disgraced former dogfighter and current NFL QB.
This begs the question posed in a letter sent by PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk to Nike President and CEO Mark Parker: Why is Nike giving free swag to a guy who admitted laughing when he tossed "family pets" into the ring and watched them get ripped to shreds by trained fighting dogs? Is this a guy you want parading around Philly displaying the Nike swoosh? Unless Nike aspires to corner the bottom-feeding dogfighting market, this plan seems designed to have the company's competitors cheering.
We hope you'll contact Nike, too, and let the company know that if it aspires to alienate anybody and everybody who's ever loved a dog—and to encourage them to change their brand away from Nike—it is sure to be, er, Vick-torious.
You may have heard about the incident this weekend in which an Iraqi reporter took aim at President Bush … by throwing both his shoes at him. The footwear was flung during a news conference in Baghdad, where Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki were just about to sign a security pact. Bush called it "a way to gain attention," which is why we've got an attention-grabbing idea of our own (without the projectiles, of course).
PETA has decided to gain some attention for an important issue by collecting more footwear to send to President Bush to decry his recent gutting of important regulations in order to benefit factory farms. Yes, that's in addition to his recent attack on wildlife protection regulations. Bush's changes would let factory farms continue polluting the earth with the waste that the animals create while they are stuck in those vile, feces-filled, cramped sheds. The bill allows factory farms to burn the waste instead of sending it off to an incineration firm. The waste disposal can be better regulated in the hands of incineration firms instead of being left to the notoriously dirty factory farms. Burning factory farm waste creates yet more air and water pollution, which affects the habitats of any living beings near the farms.
PETA has a better idea: Reduce the number of animals who create the waste in the first place! If you recall our recent undercover investigation of an Iowa pig farm, you'll know that pigs and other animals raised for food live in awful conditions, often spending their entire lives in cramped cages where they are abused before being led to the slaughterhouse. If farmers would simply stop breeding more animals, all these things could be avoided.
Written by Lianne Turner
Those boots may be made for walkin', but were they made from an animal's sensitive skin? That may be the big question in the minds of travelers shuffling through the Memphis International Airport in the coming months.
In lieu of the nation's financial crunch, the Transportation Security Administration has decided to allow advertising on the shoe/belt/bag bins at security checkpoints in order to bring in extra revenue. Well, you can bet we're already all over this one!
In PETA's letter to the CEO of Memphis International Airport, we are requesting the right to advertise an anti-leather ad (shown below) on the shoe bins. The ad features the photograph of a "missing" calf named Charlie, who was pulled away from his mother, most likely branded without any pain relief, and eventually slaughtered for his meat. And his skin was made into someone's shoes, belt, or jacket—the very same items that get tossed into the bins at security checkpoints.
Airport advertising has the potential to reach gazillions of people, and by placing our ad in such a highly visible location we can help high-flyers get the message that leather kills—and make them think twice about their next purchases. Gorgeous, durable, cruelty-free shoes await their feet. Besides, the production of leather is catastrophic to the environment; planting a carbon offset tree for flight miles won't cover that!
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
TMZ hypothesized that the folks at Chrysler "must have purposely wanted" to annoy us when they released this memo, which says that "all employee's [sic] shall not wear any shoe with open toe or open heal [sic], Canvas, Suede, Mesh, plastic, pleather or any shoe with a raised heal [sic] on it will not be allowed on the workplace floor. Only shoes / Boots of solid leather composition are allowed …." And what's more, those who don't adhere to these leather-only guidelines will be sent home to change—without pay!
TMZ might be on to something, frankly. Besides the composition of the memo itself (which is making me a little, ahem, sic), there's the fact that the Chrysler folks are totally ignoring all the many rugged, non-porous leather alternatives out there. Of course, nobody on a factory floor should be wearing peep-toe stilettos, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with a good pleather—which, you might notice, is specifically outlawed. Work boots work if they have steel toes and are made of a sturdy material; the skins of dead, abused animals are not required.
Plus, as PETA Director of Corporate Affairs Matt Prescott points out in his letter to Chrysler—oh yes, of course we wrote them a letter—this policy might "discriminate against employees whose religious beliefs forbid or discourage the wearing of leather such as Jains, many Hindus and Buddhists, and others"—not to mention those, for example, who refuse to wear skins for other ethical reasons (hmm … do I know anyone like that?).
So seriously, Chrysler, discriminating against employees while promoting an industry that is cruel to animals and toxic to the environment? Not cool. But the news this morning is cool: Chrysler did consider changing its tune and says that no one who doesn't adhere to the leather rule will be punished.
They might also want to consider hiring a proofreader, but we're content with the cruelty-free boots.
Written by Amanda Schinke
For anyone who's done animal rights protests before, you'll know that—no matter what the issue—the first thing anyone ever asks you is whether your shoes are leather (seriously, the question is almost a reflex for some people—I've heard of people being asked that at naked demonstrations). So it's always a bonus when the demonstration is focused on the treatment of cows in the leather industry—at least then, you can stay on topic.
And this particular topic is an exceptionally gruesome one in India (which, along with China, provides most of the world's leather), as today's protest in Bangalore showed to dramatic effect. The powerful demonstration was staged by a pair of PETA India members (in what appear to be canvas shoes, in case anyone's wondering) and was covered widely in the Indian media. Great work, guys.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.