My pals Jayasimha and Anuradha from PETA India have been busy little beavers this week, making sure the attendees of the Indian International Leather Fair (IILF) get an earful from the animal protection community, and they’ve held demos and press conferences of their own outside.
According to PETA India, 90 percent of all the leather exported from there comes from illegal slaughterhouses, which are completely unregulated and where the cruelty is beyond imagination. Despite the documented atrocities occurring daily at these hellholes, the Indian Council for Leather Exports says that it is premature to ask its members to source leather only from legal slaughterhouses. Wow, premature to stop breaking the law . . .
The kicker here is that nearly all Indian leather is exported overseas where it is made into everything from leather jackets and gloves to shoes and steering wheel covers, and it is almost always labeled as “Made in” the country where the final product is finished. So if you buy any leather products, there’s a decent chance that it came from India. And no, leather isn’t a byproduct of the meat industry—far from it, especially in India, where many of the cows are killed exclusively for their skins.
Sorry to get all preachy and heavy-handed in the blog, but this is just beyond the pale and it has to stop. Please don’t buy any leather and tell you friends and family to do the same.