Ava Dash, daughter of fashion designer Rachel Roy and music executive Damon Dash, has been making a name for herself in the fashion world. Holding a Rivers Eight vegan bag and wearing only VEERAH vegan heels, Ava collaborated with PETA for a striking print ad campaign with a powerful message against the use of exotic-animal skins in fashion.
Snakes, alligators, crocodiles, and other reptiles who are killed for their skin suffer immensely. Snakes are commonly nailed to trees and their bodies are cut open from one end to the other. Their mutilated bodies are then discarded, but because of the animals’ slow metabolism, it can take hours for them to die.
Footage from a 2021 PETA Asia undercover investigation into a snakeskin supplier in Vietnam reveals that violence is the norm. At this facility, workers tied off snakes’ mouths and anuses, cut a hole in their head or tail, inserted a hose, and pumped the live animals full of compressed air, crushing their internal organs—just so that it would be easier to peel off their skin.
Rather than exploring lush jungles and swamps and experiencing all the sensory pleasures that snakes are so keenly attuned to, those in captivity are relegated to dirty wire cages in which they can’t even stretch out to their full length, much less move around or climb. Confining snakes in this manner is common practice in commercial slaughter facilities.
Another undercover PETA exposé showed workers electroshocking crocodiles then attempting to kill them by cutting into their necks and ramming metal rods down their spines. The animals shook vigorously as this happened. One crocodile’s leg was seen rising after he was cut open. Then workers left him to bleed out. This method of killing has long been shown to be inhumane, and experts have found that crocodilians remain conscious for over an hour after their spinal cord has been severed and their blood vessels cut.
PETA’s investigation into one of the world’s largest exporters of Nile crocodile skins in Zimbabwe found tens of thousands of crocodiles confined to concrete pits from birth to slaughter. They were deprived of the opportunity to engage in natural behavior, including digging tunnels, playing, protecting their young, and using tools. In their natural habitat, Nile crocodiles can live to be 80 years old, but at this facility, they’re slaughtered at around age 3.
“There are so many other beautiful options. Why would we not go with the vegan version?”
It’s Time to Shed Exotic Skins
Crocodiles amuse themselves by blowing bubbles. Snakes are intelligent, quick learners, and some cobras even “play possum” until potential threats have passed. Just like us, animals have emotions and feelings. They want to enjoy life, and they feel fear when their lives are threatened.
Using animals for clothing or accessories is a dying business. As people everywhere learn how animals suffer in the fashion industry, companies, fashion design universities, and even entire cities are banning animal-derived materials. You can do your part by always opting for stylish and sustainable vegan fabrics.