For Immediate Release:
December 20, 2022
Lauren Kent 202-483-7382
Jackson, Wyo. – In a win for free speech, an initially rejected anti-leather ad campaign from PETA will take off at the Jackson Hole Airport. Airport officials tried for months to avoid running the animal rights message, until PETA’s lawyers pressed them regarding what appeared to be blatant viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment—and now PETA’s ad can be seen on hundreds of brochures available at the airport, just in time for the busy holiday travel season.
“The public deserves to know that behind every leather bag is an individual who felt pain and fear before they were killed,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Because PETA won this victory, travelers at Wyoming’s busiest airport may consider ditching the emotional baggage of knowing an animal was carved up for their leather carry-on by purchasing cruelty-free luggage instead.”
The Jackson Hole Airport first rejected PETA’s ad, without reason, in June 2022. Thanks to a public records request, PETA discovered e-mail exchanges between airport officials that hinted at why: “I support their work, but dang it, why does that bag have to look so much like mine.L ”; “[T]his can be offensive to some folks”; and “I just walked past the cow hide chairs reading this email … Not sure this message is quite right.” The airport reversed its decision in November after correspondence with PETA’s lawyers, allowing the anti-leather message to appear in its brochures.
Cows ranked as the largest “livestock commodity” raised in Wyoming in 2020, and because skin is one of the most economically important coproducts of the meat industry, buying leather directly contributes to factory farming and the slaughter of animals. Cows killed for leather may be skinned and dismembered while still conscious—having already endured castration, branding, or tail-docking without painkillers. Rather than supporting this cruelty, conscientious shoppers can easily find vegan leathers made of innovative materials like pineapple leaves, apple peels, cork, and cactus.
PETA was assisted in its efforts by Andrew Clubok and Tené Johnson of the global law firm Latham & Watkins LLP.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.