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Letter to the Pope: Leather Bibles

Written by PETA | July 23, 2007
detnews/Creative Commons

The good folks at PETA Germany just sent this letter to Pope Benedict XVI, asking him to encourage Catholics not to buy bibles that have been bound with leather. Pope Benedict is well-known for his compassionate stance on animal issues, having spoken out against the cruelty of factory farming (particularly the production of foie gras) in the past, and—being the pope and all—he’s in a position to make a huge difference for the billions of animals (including cats and dogs, btw) who are killed for leather. With as many as 168,000 bibles sold or given away every day, a large percentage of which are bound with animal skins, there’s a lot at stake here. From a religious perspective, there’s something particularly sick to me about wrapping a bible in a dead body, so I’m hoping this letter has an effect.


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  • Ariel says:

    Anonymous one and the same 72607 1211pm 1214pm I take it ? 1. At the beginning of time my friend animals and mankind were meant to live in harmony as God the Creator of ALL of us intended. Mankind was given the fruits of the trees and animals were given the grasses of the land to eat. It was mankind’s original sin the sin of pride that caused the fall from Paradise thus we needed to be clothed out of shame and not particularly with animal skins. That was mankind’s choice. So don’t put the blame on God in order to ease your conscience that His intention was for us to be spending hundreds of dollars on highfashion leather bags fur coats etc. materialism. That my friend is stupid! 2. What Bible am I reading? It is the Bible that teaches God’s Word which tells us in order to enter the Heavenly realm in the next life we are to strive for perfection through sanctity…and to that we must do God’s Will. Among our efforts to live according to His Will is not to be materialistic not be cruel to His other creatures and not to “kill and enjoy.” Trust me Heaven doesn’t have slaughterhouses testing labs on animals for lipsticks alligator shoes or animals as “tasty treats.” Keep this in mind too everything that God created belongs to God. That includes humans animals and our environment. And the animals who do not have a free will glorify God just by their being and He breathed life into them. Therefore they are completely innocent and their spirits return to God. per the Bible Now I’ll tell you about the “New Jerusalem.” At the end of the world the good will be separated from the bad and a new world will be created. And guess what? That new world the “New Jerusalem” as it is called will be the new Paradise that includes the humans AND animals just as God had originally intended. It’s your decision to live according to God’s Word or to “kill and enjoy.” Now do you want to tell me what Bible you are reading? OR will I not be hearing from you again?

  • MojoPuppy says:

    Honestly I Love All The Crap People Post In Comments. If You Don’t Agree Then Why The Hell Are You On The Peta Website? Seriously People Find Something Better To Do With Your Time. Infact I Know What You Can Do. Go Read The Bible. Doesn’t It Teach Compassion For All? So Why Are You On Here Calling People Stupid For Caring That A SoCalled Holy Book Is Bound In Dead Skin. It’s A Disgusting Thing. But Then So Is The Idea That God Put Animals On Earth For People To Use However They Want.

  • LEE says:


  • Russell says:

    Hey Rick if you would go ahead and read the letter PETA wrote I think it will be very clear that no one asked the…as you so eloquently put it…”asked the Pope to stop making bibles” The Bible shouldn’t be wrapped in leather that’s all. I am Catholic and like the rest of Catholics around the world I have the utmost respect for our Pope. I think the letter was as respectful as it would have been if a caring Catholic wrote it to the Father themself.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hey Areil? What Bible are you reading? Are you stupid???

  • Anonymous says:

    Since the beginning of time animals were here for us to eat and make clothers out of. Leather Bags and books alligator shoes fur coats and tasty treats lipstick and all sorts of other uses. I don’t believe an animal should be treated wrongly or abused on purpose but if your gonna use it then kill and enjoy!!

  • Daylight says:

    to stoptorture your statement is great i never got this idea before you really made my day!!!!

  • Ariel says:

    I am absolutely fascinated by ALL the wonderful comments on here that are addressing the anti’s. Wondering though if they will come back and read these comments because they might have a fear of education…OR…their egos are so inflated that they wouldn’t want to be proven wrong with the truth which would expand their narrowmindedness andor detract from their cruel ways…much to their dismay. Yes I believe this site is for the educated the animal advocates and for those of us who don’t have a problem with becoming more educated or enlightened. I was particularly enlightened by “stoptorture” who brought to my attention that Adam and Eve were clothed in skins for their sinfulness. So yes that’s right why would the Word of God the Holy Bible be “clothed” in animal skins. Although the Holy Bible tells of MANY of mankind’s sins nevertheless it is God’s Word which was inspired by the Holy Spirit…and holiness should not be “clothed” with the symbolism of Adam and Eveet al mankind’s sins. Yep leatherbound Bibles just another selling feature that shouldn’t be.

  • Michele says:

    Thank you Ariel and other likeminded folks. Ariel in particular has done a great job of summarizing what I and others have been trying to articulate on the various topics on PETA’s blog site. PETA and its supporters are amazing people even those who do not necessarily agree with everything that PETA says or does and it is so uplifting to think about the animals that get saved every time someone does even the smallest thing for animals. By the way Sarah G. that is wonderful that you love animals so much. Your dogs must get a lot of affection from you and your family. I hope that you can make things complete by becoming vegetarian. You obviously know how easy it is to do so since you only eat meat once a week. You alone would be saving almost 100 animals every year by not eating meat. Just think how many animals could be spared if everyone did the same! Isn’t that amazing?

  • stoptorture says:

    Having “leather” on your Bibles won’t save you but not having leather on millions? of Bibles will save many animals from torture and help reduce that industry. Bibles come in hardcover and even as software now and they work just fine that way.

  • stoptorture says:

    Also in Genesis skins were given to Adam and Eve to cover their sinfullness with the death of an innocent which in Christianity is now accomplished by the blood of Jesus the Lamb of God so when I see the foul skincovered Bibles I think why is the word and revelation of God being covered like Adam and Eve in Genesis? And when I see it in Christian book catalogs leather BIbles are always more expensive and marketted as if that glorifies the Bible and that is how people talk like “I’m gonna get a leather covered Bible!” I think it is a Sen. Byrd “barbaric” disgrace and an irony due to how the Bible itself tells of the original use of such a covering as a result of sin! So God’s words need to be covered like Adam and Eve? Sounds more like a Satanic tradition and vanity than a good Christian understanding and caring for such victims.

  • animalfriend says:

    it’s for people like nick that years ago i turned to hinduism and found my peace!

  • rosario says:

    nick people like you make me freeze let’s hope that paradise is not an ice palace!

  • Christ says:

    This is SAD the “holy” book is wrapped in a dead animal. Even Jesus stated in the Gospels killing an animal is a sin I don’t think any church actually follows Jesus. “For I tell you truly he who kills kills himself and whoso eats the flesh of slain beasts eats of the body of death. For in his blood every drop of their blood turns to poison in his breath their breath to stink in his flesh their flesh to boils in his bones their bones to chalk in his bowels their bowels t o decay in his eyes their eyes to scales in his ears their ears to waxy issue. And their death will become his death. For only in the service of your Heavenly Father are your debts of seven years forgiven in seven clays. But Satan forgives you nothing and you must pay him for all. ‘Eye for eye tooth for tooth hand for hand foot for foot burning for burning wound for wound life for life death for death.’ For the wages of sin is death. Kill not neither eat the flesh of your innocent prey lest you become the slaves of Satan. For that is the path of sufferings and it leads unto death.” Jesus

  • Ariel says:

    Hi MARK I think I can address your question to some satisfaction as to why these antiPETA people bother to blog on here with their nonsense or say snide comments in person otherwise about animal activists. An friend of mine who is a child counselor and VERY strong animal advocate told me the reason is because we hit a nerve with them. Think about it they have no clue about what animal advocacy encompassesie they spout out narrowminded andor unintelligible views as reflected in their comments above by Thomas Jim Nick and Rick. I read a saying recently that also would address this something to the effect ‘the heart cannot keep a secret of what someone is like because it reveals them with their actions or words.’ Let’s take Jim’s comment for example. He is clueless about the types of people from all walks of life involved in animal advocacy particularly mentioning professionals doctors teachers athletes celebrities etc. They have more of a “life” than he probably does and those of us who are not in such high status are nonetheless very intelligent capable and industrious people. So Jim is displaying some type of inferiority complex by saying “peta needs to get a life.” Nick’s comments reflect a restricted vision of which the Pope does not have. The Pope respects ALL life because he knows ALL life is created by God. Thomas is just an attentionseeker. Rick is revealing that he is just being ignorant and has cruelty in his heart towards other living beings who are particularly innocent. On the whole the antianimal activists are telling us that they not educated about animal advocacy but instead would rather display their lack of knowledge about it with crude comments…because we hit a nerve. Otherwise they wouldn’t bother commenting on here. And may I say to them BELIEVE US when I say that we are NOT affected by your opinions. Our TOTAL focus is on the animals and the humananimalenvironmentalsocietal relationship to which we are VERY welleducated.

  • Sarah G. says:

    Thomas you need to go get a life an stop being such a dumba! Ur comment did not even make sence!!!!! I LOVE DOGS!!! I have 4 an i would never do anything to harm them. Im not a vegeterian but i promise to god that i only eat meat once a week. Everytime i watch a video about cruelty to animals i cry. To all the people that dont believe in trying to stop cruelty to animals…. i hope an pray you will soon realize that there is animals EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!

  • Brianna Fritchey says:

    Gee this never seems to get old… why do people that hate animals come on to the PETA website and talk about how much they hate animals? You don’t go to a website about children with diseases and say you hate kids because they’re too loud! And don’t you DARE try and use that to say I don’t care about human children with diseases my brother has been in a wheelchair all of his life because of disease. And then you try and act surprised that some people that go on this site do so because they CARE about animal welfare! Ah and then you say that we waste all our lives doing this when it takes what… 8 seconds to fill out a petition and save millions of animals’ lives? I once signed over 500 petitions in one hour using time that I otherwise would have used to sleep my way through a Sunday! And I’ve noticed that most animalhaters don’t go out of their way to help out people either they’re way too busy bitching about people that give a damn about the suffering of innocents! So why don’t you all just go back to your sad repetitive lonely animalhating crueltysupporting problemignoring hypocritical completely ineffectual existence?

  • emma says:

    rick your a fatass douche bag and i beg you. please please kill yourself. use a knife a gun a rope maybe even a speeding car or truck. just…die. you piece of shit fuckup

  • anon says:

    Hopefully Peta gets through to the Pope. Some of these comments are coming from truly disconnected christians. If they wanted to get a true education please go to the photo gallary at

  • VestaGirl says:

    To those of you who are proleather bibles ALL of your commentary was predictable and BORING!!!!!!!!!zzzzzzzzzzz Please go find another site on which to bore the pants off people. This site is for educated people and for those who wish to be educated. Not for common close minded plebs such as yourselves. Yawn.

  • Ana says:

    nick The Catholic Catechism are manmade mandates they are not the Word of God nor of Jesus. Your calling the pope a holy man is an opinion not a fact. He is the Head of the Catholic church. He does love cats has said so publicly so you are misreading the comment about cats. As a vegan Catholic I firmly believe my Faith should be concerned about all of Creation and that includes human and nonhuman animals. Also read the Bible where it says in the Second Testament that Jesus advises us not to judge. Try to be respectful even if you disagree with compassion love and respect for animals.

  • marina says:

    honestly i dont agree with this entire part of peta………..i mean i do all that i possibly can to help animals but bible is a wole other level that is gods words and i dont think that its okay for pople to order a POPE to stop making bibles just cause it has leather but i dont know thats what the people of peta belive and i could honestly care less..thats way too far

  • Rick says:

    I joined PETA recently but thought I was a member of PETA all my life. People Eating Tasty Animals has been around as long as humankind. I love animals They truly are delicious p

  • nick says:

    I understand that leather bound books go against what you believe. I also think its great that you’re contacting the Holy Father. However a little advice from a Catholic that apparently has more knowledge then your org’s Vice Pres. The cathecism does NOT say we cannot buy leather. you have to be kidding and if there is anyone who knows what the cathecism teaches i dare say it would be the Pope. if you’re going to try selling him on your crazy idea then at LEAST dont misrepresent His Faith. Argument wo knowlege. seems PETA has been here before. You’re crying to a Holy man about the death of asian cats 50 of which will be killed by a disease they pick up in the streets while this holy man is dealing w the killing of millions of unborn babies and you want him to care about your damn cats. You people are about as blind and misguided as ANY group i’ve seen. No wonder you’re the laughing stock that you are. you’ve earned it.

  • jim says:

    peta needs to get a life

  • rojo says:

    not all christians are vegetarian so there is more than enough leather available from the animals they’ve eaten. I doubt that any animal has died solely to provide bible leather. Surely you wouldn’t advocate the wastage of leather when it could be binding something so precious.

  • Tamara says:

    You know it never even occurred to me that leather bound Bibles are “wrapped in a dead body”. I mean I know “Don’t wear fur” “dont’ wear leather” etc. That’s why I love PETA you continue to make me think and open my eyes on animal issues.

  • Anonymus says:

    I think it’s great that the Pope is against leather. There is still the issue however of gay people abortion contreceptives and so much more which digs into the core of my being. My best friend is Christian but I know for a fact that she has a deep respect for all of the above. I urge other Christians to do the same. Show compasion to people and equaly as important show compasion to animals.

  • Anna says:

    Ummm….Thomas? Anybody in there? Your comment didn’t make any sense. At least learn how to form complete sentences before you go around calling others “dumbasses.” Get an education and then come back. Plus what do leather bibles have to do with pet carriers?

  • Ana says:

    thomas You make no sense so please get help. As a Catholic I am really disturbed about leatherbound Bibles. I managed to find a nice one for myself not made of leather but I stopped purchasing them to give as gifts because I only found leather ones afterwards. Makes no sense to have the Word of God and Jesus bound in the skins of tortured animals especially when Jesus was born among the innocent creatures and the donkey saved him various times as a child. I greatly appreciate the effort PETA Germany is doing to try to eliminate leatherbound Catholic Bibles. Please take a look at Catholic Concern for Animals of which I am both a member and the sec’y in the USA. This is a Catholic org that actively promotes veganism using Catholic teachings. It is the only one I know of.

  • Mark says:

    Why do these antiPETA people read the PETA blog? I’m not saying they shouldn’t continue to enlighten us with their keen observations I’m just wondering what they get out of it. Maybe Thomas or one of the others could give me an answer.

  • Gabriella says:

    Thanks so much for what you do for animals! I hope the Pope addresses this issue to the world soon!

  • thomas says:

    PETA and everyone who has anything to do with it are the dumbest fucking people ever now i’m not saying that i treat animals badly i love animals but saying that a pet food company chain is bad just because and animal can’t run around isn’t cruel think about people that have pet carriers aren’t those “prisons” if you will…so think about it dumbass

  • argus says:

    this is really sick to wrap a socalled holy book into leather! i ask myself why all these millions of ‘good christians’ didn’t get exactly this idea! heavy heavy world what does it need to wake you up? christ already rose from the dead but apparently with small effect. anyhow it was himself who told us even if one rises from the dead they shall not believe! let’s hope that pope benedict makes a wakeup call even if vaticans small smoke signals didn’t show a great effect on this world uptil now but there’s still hope….