Joaquin Phoenix Stars in Real-Life Horror Film: A PETA Dog-Leather Exposé

Inherent Vice Star 'Disgusted and Sickened' by First-Ever Look Inside China's Dog-Leather Trade

For Immediate Release:
February 25, 2015

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – “The footage that you’re about to watch of China’s dog-leather trade is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen,” begins Joaquin Phoenix in his new PETA exposé. Phoenix narrates over footage that reveals how dogs are kicked, are beaten over the head, and have their throats slit and their skin peeled off—all while other dogs watch before they experience the same cruel fate. The animals’ skin is turned into leather—commonly gloves and other small goods such as cat toys and coat trim—and is exported all over the world to be sold to consumers who usually have no clue whose animal parts they’re buying.

“If you buy leather gloves, belts, or shoes, remember,” concludes the Her star, “there’s no easy way to tell whose skin you’re really in. If you love dogs like I do, then please never buy or wear leather, whether it comes from a dog, a cow, or any other animal.”

The footage was captured by a PETA Asia investigator at a facility that bludgeons and skins 100 to 200 dogs a day. In China, there are still no penalties for cruelty to animals.

Phoenix, a vegan who shuns clothes made of any animal’s skin, wool, or fur, is fully committed to PETA’s motto—which reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear.” He famously wore vegan leather boots as Johnny Cash in Walk the Line and is one of a growing list of celebrities—including Olivia Munn, Charlize Theron, Eva Mendes, Penélope Cruz, and Dave Navarro—who have teamed up with PETA to promote kindness to animals in various ways.

For more information and to view the video, please visit

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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