Isn’t leather better for the environment than synthetics?

Although leathermakers like to tout their products as “eco-friendly,” leather production actually harms the environment, and tanning prevents leather from biodegrading. The Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology states, “On the basis of quantity of energy consumed per unit of product produced, the leather-manufacturing industry would be categorized with the aluminum, paper, steel, cement, and petroleum-manufacturing industries as a gross consumer of energy.” (By contrast, plastic wearables account for only a fraction of 1 percent of the petroleum used in the U.S.)

Tanneries use toxic substances to tan leather, and tannery effluent contains large amounts of other pollutants, such as protein, hair, salt, lime sludge, sulfides, and acids.

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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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind