Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

It’s the Steel Toes, Not the Skin, Stupid!

Written by PETA | October 17, 2008
jalopnik / CC
Chrysler

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

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  • Kurt K says:

    Good point Rick. You can’t really argue with that. The fact is the people at Chrysler do not take decisions on safety lightly. They choose to mandate leather soled shoesboots for a reason.

  • Rick says:

    I must again remind all of you if the mod is brave enough to post a comment that he or she doesn’t like that if it weren’t for animal skins our forefathers would have frozen during the last ice age. Think about it. Wake up and smell the bacon!

  • Jess says:

    That is insane. What difference does it make if the shoe is leather? Open toed shoes are still dangerous in certain environments regardless of what they’re made of. What’s next? You can only wear sweaters if they’re made of fur?

  • Eric says:

    The same thing happened where I work. Ironically its an animal hospital and they required us to wear leather shoes because according to them leather is the only shoe material that is acceptable to use around animals and their messes. I explained how ironic and stupid it was and they changed the rule.

  • Shari says:

    EXCELLENT PETA ya did it again!! There’s a FINE line between ignorance and arrogance and they BOTH must be BATTLED!!! Peace Love Truth

  • liz says:

    could be worse you know.. like those so called ‘Croc sandals’.. now those should really be outlawed !!

  • Matt says:

    While shoes made from dead skin leather can absorb toxic chemicals and trap them next the surface of your foot many pleather work boots repel chemicals and keep people’s feet safer. And as you said it’s the steel toe that is going to protect people from heavy objects not the dead flesh.

  • Michele says:

    In Canada this could be a Human Rights violation discrimination based on religious beliefs. And anyone in a unionized environment could file a grievance immediately based on the same grounds. Stupid stupid stupid… not to mention cruel cruel cruel….

  • Canaduck says:

    That IS stupid. My workplace required us to get nonslip shoes but a couple of the ones available were fortunately not made of leather.

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