This One Photo Sums Up Everything Terrible About the Leather Industry

Published by Zachary Toliver.

There’s nothing chic, edgy, or sexy about a mutilated corpse.

This disturbing image comes from the leather industry in India, which is second only to China in leather production. However shocking this decapitation may be, the real horror resides in what this cow—and countless others—endured while alive.

Painful brandings, beatings, electroshocks, and a violent killing process are all standard practices in the leather trade worldwide. In India, it’s not uncommon for cows to collapse in exhaustion while being marched hundreds of miles—without food or water—to slaughter.

To keep these fatigued animals on their feet, humans rub chilies or tobacco into their eyes and anuses. Other methods of keeping them moving include deliberately snapping the bones in their sensitive tails and simply beating them until they walk.

Before he was bound and his throat was slit, this living being didn’t want to die. The photo captures his last moments of fright before he was senselessly slaughtered.

The more than 1 billion animals slaughtered for the global leather industry every year feel this same terror before death—take a stand for them today.

Please, never buy leather. In the 21st century, cruelty is a choice. With so many stylish, comfortable, and durable vegan leather alternatives, there’s no excuse to buy animal parts. Join the vegan fashion revolution , and help stop the global skins trade.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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