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Are Your Shoes Leather?

Written by PETA | December 18, 2007

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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  • Jen says:

    I think sometims Peta is a little out there and that is why its not main stream. I get that. I know lots of animal lovers who think whew they are out there. BUT LET ME SAY I am an animal LOVER… I have a rescued shelter dog that I adore I grew up with animals and love them. And lately though I do think some things are extreme I have been watching and listening to what is going on in slaughter houses in a way I never did before and it makes me ILL. I loved meat. I am the first person to order a filet or make grilled chicken but I never THOUGHT about how it got to my kitchen. I never witnessed the slaughter. I am looking at this stuff and I feel SICK and ill and horrible and I want to rescue all these animals and take them in. I dont think anyone is bad for eating meat or having leather. I have these things too but now I am starting to realize HOW we obtain these things and this food and basically a sweet innocent animal has to suffer and endure pain and that sucks and its wrong. If you’ve ever loved a pet before you wouldnt wish that on any living thing. And so for the first time in my life I am going to see what life is like wihtout meat and without leather. Its not that hard I dont think. Im not sure how I’ll do but it breaks my heart to see animals suffer like this. You dont have to love or agree with everything Peta does or all their tactics but I think if you are a human you have to appreciate and love an animal and you wouldnt want it to suffer so just at least watch a video or read about what goes on in slaughter houses and you might change your mind about wanting to eat meat. I eat eggs from my moms little home farm. Her chickens are her pets. They are fed veggies and grains and live there forever. Let me tell you something THEY ARE THE BEST EGGS I have EVER tasted. You know why? They are all natural. Laid by healthy happy chickens. They also have their own cute little personalities. I will not buy nasty store eggs anymore. Its worth the money to at least by cage free eggs when my mom is out. I encourage people to just expand your minds not be so insulted by Peta and find other alternatives to eating and find other ways to dress so that we wont torture and terrify innocent animals. This is coming from a person who EATS or ATE ALL meat and loves it. But after seeing this torture a few times and making myself see what REALLY goes on NO MORE. Its so WRONG. And regardless of what people say I think Kudos for Peta for making people or some people aware of whats going on. Would you want your sweet pet dog or cat tortured and murdered? I would freak. So why would I let this happen to a sweet cow or chicken? Not COOL. TRY TO STOP BUYING LEATHER because its a good thing to do

  • Gemini says:

    As I read these comments I can’t help but to be slightly amused by the Ego of the PETA criticsThey so proudly leave their comments about how we should fight for our country or worry about more important things like humans I bet after they click post they leave feeling like they won somethingthey “Showed Us”…do you guys feel vindicated now?Do you feel better about the mass murder of animals you contribute to? whatever helps you people sleep at night…..

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Great post Michele. For all the whining the antis do about having someone force their beliefs on them I don’t recall anyone ever being stopped from going into a grocery store and buying what they like.

  • Jay says:

    Why is the first response of so many of you to attempt to kick off those with opposing viewpoints? It seems ironic that PETA supporters who pat themselves on the back ad nauseum for having “openminds” can’t handle opposition in an intellectual manner. Seeing as the title of this section is “Comments” and not “Comments in Support of PETA” it seems only logical that anyone can post here. Believe it or not PETA and the animal rights movement is relevant enough for people to care about and to passionately disagree with. Not everyone who disagrees with PETA lacks compassion or nurture by the way. Some people simply have the ability to watch videos of death and not respond with feelings of guilt. Those videos are intended to be shocking. and as such they are terrific marketing tools for PETA who can recruit those who are kneejerk emotional respondents to join the cause.

  • Christopher Cochran MD says:

    The human animal does has a relatively puny body compared to most predators. Each animal has evolved the ability to procure food with advantages specific to that animal. To try and prove or disprove our predilection to eat meat by comparing us to other meat eaters or vegetarian animals is always circular and pointless. As the continent of Africa dried up and the forests were replaced by savanna the genus Homo separated from our Australopithecus ancestors around two million years ago and immediately began using it’s much larger brain to procure both plant and animal foods with tools not fangs or claws. Many scientists believe that the growth of our brains was promoted by a more animal based diet. One evidence for this is patterns of tooth wear in our small brained vegetarian cousins other primates not your aunts son that differ profoundly from our direct ancestors. We do not have fangs and canines and we can’t run particularly fast but we do have giant brains. I contend that any use of said brain to procure food is the equivalent to any other animal using it’s evolved advantages fangs claws etc. I am a human animal and if I try to use physical advantages that I do not posses I will starve. This does not mean that a human animal can not live healthily on a completely vegetable based diet but this as a result of our giant brain is a technological construct. I believe strongly in following the owner’s manual recommendations on what kind of gas to use in my car so it follows that I would like to ingest the kind of food that I was designedevolved to use. This is why I choose the diet for my family and myself that I do as a lot education and study have led me to these choices not because I enjoy killing things for the sake of killing or wish to promote suffering out of some pure inherited evil. I know who I am and I know that I am neither cruel nor evil. All right now let’s see if anyone can come up with something better than beating breasts and gnashing teeth because that gets boring.

  • Sherry says:

    So… what about the animal in the picture…? We should all wear crocs

  • boo says:

    Renee are you really from India? I know many people who don’t eat beef because it’s a sacred animal!!! IDIOT if you fucking people think so negatively about peta why waste your time even visiting this site? animals are abused because of you cowards who don’t have the guts to pick on someone your own size so you pick one someone who can’t defend themselves. Go get a life and don’t waste time here. This is for supporters. Go peta you’ve changed many people’s lives.

  • Tracey says:

    Why do people that hate PETA come to this site anyways? Just wondering…

  • Michele says:

    I am constantly amazed at the people who are so vocal and PROUD about how they LOVE their leather and how they will keep supporting the killing of animals and then they tell animal rights supporters that we are crazy extremist though that one is not really an insult… losers and dumbfucks. Well I am just not sure how you can say this about a group of people who are COMPASSIONATE about animals and usually also about humans!! who are dedicated who are often involved in the fields of social services health or education as a career or as volunteers and who are VERY strong and intelligent. I think that PETA India has done another outstanding job with this demonstration they always have kickass demos!. There is just NO excuse for wearing leather. The leather is not something that just happens to be lying around after the animal is slaughtered for food. There are animals who are used primarily for their leather and the rest of them probably ends up in “meat” soups stews or hot dogs eww! and they are treated horribly. The chemicals needed to preserve the leather yes it is the skin of a corpse so it basically needs to be embalmed just like a dead human being does when being prepared for burial are harmful to the environment. There are PLENTY of alternatives out there and they are usually WAY cheaper than the leather versions Payless is a great place for footwear and handbags. Just watch the video footage or watch “Earthlings” if you dare… Jaclyn I know what you mean about the whole microscope thing. One of my best friends had not eaten red meat in more than 10 years generally for health reasons. No one ever questioned her about it or inquired as to how she was getting her daily proteiniron needs met. Well she became vegetarian this past summer and immediately everyone was asking her “well what DO you eat then?” and “is that healthy?” and “but do you eat fish?” It is ironic that the anti’s often tell us that we are “forcing” our opinions on them but when we make a change in our diet for the sake of the animals suddenly everyone around feels like they have the right to inquire about one’s health and tell us what WE “should” be eating. When a former coworker of mine found out I had gone from being vegetarian to being vegan she asked “did you research this?” “how are you getting your B12?” and the best one of all “does your doctor know about this?” She was never a close friend at all just someone who sat in a nearby cubicle and she was following the Atkins diet!! I wanted to tell her that her ohsowonderful diet was invented by someone who died of heart problems and was morbidly obese but I held my tongue.

  • Caboose says:

    What do you use then petroleum?

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Paul You’re delusional if you think your piddly fingernails and teeth come anywhere near a real predator’s claws and fangs. Have you never owned a cat? If you have teeth like that you’re a freak. True carnivores can’t develop atherosclerosishumans seem to have no problem. Also FYI there are vegetarians that have forwardfacing eyes such as sloths gorillas Colobus monkeys langurs etc.

  • Whitney says:

    Wow it us so pathetic how all these people put down PETA. At least they have something better to do than put people down for believing in something. Its really pathetic when an 18 year old girl me is more mature and centered than a grown manwoman. Keep it up PETA you inspire me!!!

  • rojo says:

    Susannah This article states no known cases of MRSA from food animals and cases found in animals have come from humans. httpwww.bmj.comcgicontentfull33175271219?ehom If Michael Pollan had a medical or scientific background I’d be more inclined to believe him.that doesn’t mean he’s wrong. If his brother in law Michael J Fox says it I’ll believe him because he’s a celebrity. Well maybe not.

  • Maya, Master's candidate, wildlife biology says:

    Obviously there are some really backwards arguments here. Some seem to think that animals should prove themselves worthy of being treated with compassion by being more like humans or children. We need to learn the correct way of thinking the fact that humans ARE more intelligent and DO have a more complex brain means that we have an obligation to use it. What good is a more evolved brain if all we do is feel entitled to bad behavior? The fact that we are so blessed with technology and an advanced civilization means that we need to step up and be better beings for it. Children do not suffer because of their cerebral cortex. That is the thinking part of the brain. Children suffer because of the amygdala the part of the brain responsible for primitive responses such as the ability to feel excruciating pain and fear. That my dears is a part of the brain we share with most animals. We don’t suffer because we can write poetry but because we can feel the same things animals feel. Humans do not in fact have carnivorous teeth. We do not have “canines” as they are called. We are perfectly well adapted to be vegetarian if we choose. There goes that argument out the window. And animals by the way do not have the ability to feel reason or compassion towards their prey. Take some classes if you don’t believe me. Remember this “To whom much is given much will be expected”. Show some appreciation for your privellege on this Earth people. And here where my degree comes in handy Signe Maya Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator Certified Veterinary Technician Candidate Wildlife Biology.

  • Carla says:

    Frick you ambesh! I’m not saying anything against your culture BUT for the animals sake change your ways! They were “NOT” born for you people to treat them like you “own” them they deserve respect like “US” humans do!! You and I alike!!

  • Jodi says:

    Jeremy Can’t you express yourself and write with some class? Why all the “F” bombs. Clever!

  • ambesh says:

    hahaha. you guys are losers. seriouslyim from india. we dont kill just for leather. we use ALL of the animal! especially for a certain thing called FOOD! if you eat meat who cares what kind of shoes you have on! ALL of my shoes are leather and i look damn good in them!!!! lol. idiots

  • Renee says:

    Peta you guys are ridiculously excessive. No matter what you do people will NEVER stop eating beef. What do YOU suggest they do with all the skin that they take from the dead cows? Waste it. You’re so radical. P.S. That Mike Vick snowglobe is in such bad taste. he’s already serving Jail time for his dog fighting so was that really neccesary. And you gfuys wonder why you will never get mainstream support.

  • Melissa says:

    I hate leather. ButI have a 12 month old baby and would love to find cloth soft soled shoes for my little boy.I haven’t had any luck. I hate having him wear that nasty stuff especially when he keeps trying to chew on themYuck!! Any suggestions? Help!

  • Mio says:

    You’re one small step from being the same as abortion clinic bombers. Extremists.

  • Jaclyn says:

    Wow Chad and Jeremy you have very strong views. I’m not sure if you know this or not but when yelling at people for being “fucking nuts” and “dumbfucks” it may help our your cause if you didn’t act like one yourself. And to every person out there not in Iraq GO FIGHT FOR YOUR COUNTRY. Everyone right now leave your jobs drop what you are doing and lets go fight for our country. If you have a life and if you have an opinion drop everything and lets go fight for our country. LOL!! Thanks Jeremy and Chad you gave me a good good laugh. I needed to laugh!

  • brody says:

    Eating animals make people angry just like you are

  • Ricky says:

    Not just shoes but handbags cell phone cases digital camera cases and the like. It is a mess out there with all the leather products. Wonderful demonstration! We change minds one at a time.

  • Carla says:

    Hang in there PETA India!! Keep up speaking for the cows! The leather industry is “SICK” there. They tie them up by their noses and together body by body!! No regard for their well being not to mention the suffering that goes on behide the open doors! What makes matters worse is that these animals are so docile there is no need for this inhumane treatment to ever be part of their daily life Shame on those life forms called humans!!

  • Paul says:

    People eat cows big deal. Lions eat cows why aren’t you protesting them? Guys humans are predators. We have sharp tearing teeth like a predator we have sharp nails like a predator we have eyes in the front of our heads like a predator. Guess what predators eat prey.

  • Marceles Fisher says:

    To Brent Harley Chad and Jeremy I can’t help but notice that you are all male and have been well programed by apparently undereducated and compassionless role models. Everyone has a right to express themselves but I wonder why you bother posting here. Ten percent of Americans are proanimal rights plants don’t have feelings millions of animals are killed exclusively for their fur and the UN states that our consumption of animals is one of the 3 highest threats to the planet. If you have the guts watch some videos. If that doesn’t change your mind you must be either immune to compassion or inherently cruel by nature or nuture. Grow up and by the way go away.

  • Tracy says:

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Those of you who swear and put others down for what they believe in are very immature and cruel. I hope that someday you will find something meanful in life and embrace it. I respect the work PETA has done for animals and will continue to do so. PETA shows the public what really happens and its shocking but it works to spread the word. If only other organizations would do the same….

  • Nico, Giovanni, Earl says:

    Jeremy and Chad here is our support for PETA because of their great ad We swear that we shall never again put leather shoes all our life! That’s it!

  • Nancy says:

    Great demo! Nonleather shoes bags belts etc are becoming more available and there is no reason to wear leather at all. There was a time when nonleather items were ugly and felt like plastic not any more. People cannot believe my bags are not made of leather! I recently bought my hubby a nonleather briefcase from Matt and Nat. It’s awesome.

  • Susannah S says:

    Dear Jeremy and all of you who posted here about humans taking precedence over animals There was an article in the Sunday New York Times called “Our Decrepit Food Factories” by Michael Pollan where he discusses the new virulent strains of MRSA that are killing more Americans now than AIDS and that these strain is antibiotic resistent. One of the reasons why he asserts is that 70 of antibiotics in this country go to factory farms to keep the animals from dying of infection in their crowded conditions. Because of the heavy use of these antibioticsthe same ones used for people new bacteria have developed that are resistent to ALL KNOWN antibiotics and when you eat meat and drink milk you ingest these antibioticsalong with the bacteria which are resistent to them which makes it hard to impossible to find some way to treat YOU if you become ill from these infections. He suggests that the MRSA outbreak is directly related to factory farming. So even if you can’t come up with any compassion for animals maybe you can recognize in this a reason to require better living conditions for them? It’s in OUR best interests to take good care of animals and in theirsof course. What does this have to do with the cows in India? You were talking about the extreme crowding there. What do you think the effects are on such crowds when hundreds of cattle are slaughtered for their skins and then the rest of the cow is sold for cheap meat that is riddled with infection and disease? What affects the animals and the ecosystem ultimately affects US too! What goes around comes around. If we don’t stop mistreating animals in the name of the almighty buck WE are the ones who will ultimately pay for it. So if you can’t show a little mercy at least have enough awareness to be worried about YOURSELF! Wise UP!

  • Leo says:

    Its amazing to me that when I tell people about my views on animal rights the first thing they say is “what about humans” or “there are better things to worry about”. Think about this…What is the first thing doctors tell you to give up when you have high blood pressure high cholestrol or a heart attack? Thats right meat! What the biggest contribution to the loss of natural resources in the world? Thats right animal manufactoring for consumption! Who can eat more a cow or a person? Thats right so why not give the vegetables to more people than 1 cow? Whats the first sign of serial killer? That he tortured animals as a child. With that said animal rights is about human rights. Learn more before you critize.

  • Good Dog! says:

    Chad Since when is loving America synonymous with killing things????? Iraqis animals or otherwise? FYI I am a Vietnam vet US Marines and saw quite enough of how wonderful your approach to patriotism is. Harley Up to 30 of the profits from slaughterhouses come from selling the hides for leather. It’s not a trivial byproduct.

  • Jaclyn says:

    Peta India is so cool!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Good job PETA !

  • Kelsey says:

    This is awesome! Leather is destructive to people nonhuman animals and the environment I’m excited to finally see a demonstration against it! Compassionate people love learning the big impact that simply buying less expensive nonleather products has! GREAT WORK PETA!

  • Jaclyn says:

    Since I turned veggie I feel like I have been under a big microscope. People are so quick to try to catch me at fault with something anything… Well what about your shoes I bet they’re leather Nope check them out all man made materials nice right? Oh well what about milk surely you drink milk Nope I drink Soy milk and actually they make soy everything now Well YOU PEOPLE just pick animals over humans what about the starving children in Africa!?!? Ofcouse when they start talking about starving children I love to let them know just how meat based diets take away food from those hungry poor little children they are so bravely fighting for. Meeat eaters can be such bullies!!!

  • Human says:

    If you guys cared this much about people imagine the difference you could make. When did animals become more important than people? One last question do you go after aniamls that abuse each other because thats about as stupid as what you guys do now.

  • Jeremy says:

    You guys are nuts. Completely nuts…which is the reason why you WILL never ever gain popular support. I mean does your FAQ site seriously tell me that animals should be respected treated and cared for just like mentally ill people are respected treated and cared for? What type of moron insinuates that mentally challenged people and animals…ANIMALS you fucking nuts are one in the same. GET THAT OFF YOUR FAQ dumbfucks. There has to be another way to state it than to compare a dog to a mentally handicapped PERSON!

  • Chad says:

    You have got to be joking. My shoes are leather. Now What This makes me sick. What are you teaching our youth? That everything we eat and wear is wrong? Last time i checked this is USA. I have an idea for everyone that is a peta lover. Go fight for our Country. Thats if you want to do somthing that matters. And stop crying about people eating meat and what we wear.

  • Terriers Rule says:

    Isn’t it also true that China uses dogs for leather? Ugh gruesome.

  • Harley says:

    Canvas shoes my ass. They’re leather shoes…. then again I own leather shoes. Who hasn’t at some time in their life? Also… Peta very rarely are animals killed “for their fur” as they are killed primarily for their meat. Thank you.

  • Tamara says:

    One commentquestion I always get thrown at me is something about abortion I should be helping to stop all the babies being killed blah blah blah…must be a Biblebelt thing. My stock answer “ProLife is Pro ALL I emphasize the “ALL” Life.” Shuts them right up. Every time.

  • Niranjan says:

    Awesome! The fake calf looks so real! PETA need to expose the truth behind the Indian Chinese Leather Industry. It is really horribe to kill someone to turn them into shoes wallets belts! We humans need to be comfortable in our own skin let the cows keep theirs!

  • Brent says:

    Plants have feelings too you crazy plant murderers…

  • liliana says:


  • rojo says:

    My wife and daughter just got back from Bangalore last week. The people are just great there and it’s not full of tourists so it’s representative of the real India. Although as s foreigner you get charged about 3 times what a Indian pays for things. And we worry about discrimination! Even then things are inexpensive. Cows are everywhere in the streets grazing median strips on multilane roads and in the parks. They are generally respected. Now I don’t know anything about their transport and slaughter practices and I’ll take peta’s at it’s word and condemn those methods. No animal should be killed merely for it’s skin and definately not in pain. The thing is petaIndia is preaching to some of the poorest peoples on earth. Over half the population survive on less than a dollar a day. There are beggars in the streets some with missing body parts notably hands and feet. “Beggar Masters” basically pimp beggars for a commission and I’m told have been known to disfigure childrenlike chopping off feet to increase “sales figures” more income. There are people living in wooden crates by the streets and families under tarps. And thats all in Bangalore one of the major business hubs in India. The moral to my story such that it is is the majoriy of Indians face such hardshipquite happily I might add on a daily basis that would make this demo look like a picnic in the park to them. Peta India should put their efforts toward education on treating the animals better in their final days and not futiley expecting their own people to give up some of their already meagre incomes. Stamp out leather production in the wealthy western world first then progress to India and the like.

  • Susannah S says:

    An excellent demonstration! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if my shoes are leather. NOT! I wear boots that could pass for leather but they’re microfiber. From good old Payless. But it’s a “gotcha” type of question asked when someone is trying to trip you up on your vegan stance as in “aha!” The question to ask them “do you eat poop?” or “did your dinner have a face?” It usually grosses them out but they get the point.

  • Steven says:

    Last week I bought my first non leather shoes the cost like five times less and are easier to clean besides less toxic chemicals. The only bad thing is that I had to quit wearing my favorite brands.

  • rojo says:

    Hi jack here’s some trade statistics on leather httpwww.intracen.orgtradstatsitc33dep611.htm One is imports and you can click in top rh corner for exports. I realise it is in dollar terms where value adding would skew results but China imports twice as much as it exports and you would expect she is a big value adder. Anyway basically India and china combined export about half the amount from Italy.

  • Canaduck says:

    Great job PETA India! Leather is totally disgusting.