14 Things the Leather Industry Doesn’t Want You to See

1. Every year, the global leather industry slaughters more than a billion animals.

Cows on Feedlot

2. If you’re wearing leather, it probably came from China or India.

Indian Leather Cows on Truck

In China, there are no penalties for abusing animals on farms.

3. Along with cattle, other animals—including sheep, dogs, and cats—are killed for their skin in China.

Dogs in Cramped Cage

Cats Thrown from Truck

Dog and cat leather is often intentionally mislabeled, so you could be wearing dog leather and not even know it.

4. In India animals fare no better.

Indian Leather Cows in Truck

India’s animal-protection laws are also rarely enforced.

5. In India, cows are forced to march for days—without food or water—to their own deaths.

Dragging Indian Leather Cow

6. Cattle who collapse from exhaustion have their tails broken or chili peppers rubbed into their eyes in order to force them to keep moving.

Rubbing Chili Pepper into Cow's Eye


7. There’s virtually no way to tell where leather comes from.

Animals Used for Leather

Even if a product says that it was made in Italy or the U.S., the raw materials probably came from India or China.

8. Turning skin into leather uses dangerous chemicals, including mineral salts, formaldehyde, and coal-tar derivatives.

Leather Tanning

Without this process, the leather that your shoes are made of would rot right off your feet.

9. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the incidence of leukemia among residents near a tannery in Kentucky was five times greater than the U.S. average.

Leather Tanning

Studies of leather-tannery workers in Sweden and Italy found cancer risks “between 20% and 50% above [those] expected.”

10. In the U.S., leather often comes from cows who were used for meat and milk.

Cow on Filthy Factory Farm

11. Cows are subjected to cruel practices such as castration and branding.

And they rarely receive any painkillers during these procedures.

12. All animals who are used for leather have to face the slaughterhouse.


13. Cows are extremely intelligent animals who develop complex relationships, can perform difficult tasks, and even mourn the deaths of their friends …

happy cows

14. … But the leather industry allows none of that.

Please don’t buy leather and choose affordable and durable faux “leather” instead.

Will you stand up for cows? Help animals who are used for leather right now and share this page on Facebook.

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