Leather is pretty, stylish, and a sign of wealth or a make pretend show of prosperity. It smells good and feels good and when you wear it or swing it over your shoulder or sink into it in your car or luxurious couch then for those few hours life doesn’t quite suck so much. The job that you hate perhaps became worth it because it gave you enough money to buy that thing that was leather.
While we are luxuriating in the smell of our jackets or rummaging in the many compartments of our handbags or falling asleep on the couch I would be highly surprised if anyone gives a moment’s thought to the animals who gave their lives and skins so that we can delight in the comfort and status we so crave. I am not preaching. I am equally as guilty as anyone else who owns a trendy leather jacket or leather shoes or a designer leather handbag because I had to have a feel good shopping day to take me out of my head from my sucky dayjob.
I gave no thought, not a moment, not one millisecond to the soul who was sacrificed because I hate my job and I needed to feel like I was someone. My thought was how I would “appear” to the people who I might meet at a party, perhaps they will accept me. Heaven forbid they think me poor or unfashionable. Heaven forbid I think that about myself.
We as humans have the power over the sentient beings that we share this planet with. Sadly most humans do not respect that power and many abuse it in the most heinous ways. One such way that has come to light is an undercover investigation by PETA exposing the killing of dogs in Asia so their skins can be used for all those impulse items that we can most likely do without. Man has used animal skins since before recorded history for warmth but to do so with horrific cruelty yet to think to do so with animals that many on the planet have brought into their homes as beloved family members is beyond my comprehension.
A picture says a thousand words and so rather than say more I will let a video speak for itself: https://investigations.peta.org/china-dog-leather/#video
We do not know if the leather we are buying comes from the bludgeoning of innocent dogs in China. How can we? A glove or a handbag looks like a glove or a handbag. As I look over at my dog sleeping peacefully in his bed it saddens me to think that he could have been one of those dogs if not for the grace of god perhaps. I adopted him from a foundation who rescued him.
And it is not just wearables.
“John Dalley, co-founder and vice president of the Thailand-based nonprofit, Soi Dog Foundation, recently told Bloomberg Businessweek that “factories use leather from dog skin for use in everything from drums to guitars.””
And for the golfers out there reading this…….
“Dalley continued stating that golf glove manufacturers “also prize dog leather” and will use “the skin of the testicles of male dogs” since it is rather soft.”
Here are some facts to digest as the floodgates of pandemic reopening and stimulus checks send you out into shopping frenzy:
“The global leather industry slaughters over one billion animals every year. While many people associate leather with animals like cows, these are hardly the only creatures who are victims of this cruel trade. In fact, many people are shocked and appalled to learn that in China, dogs are commonly used in the leather industry. Existing in parallel with the dog meat industry in Asia, the market for dog leather is incredibly high.”
“But just because dog leather is created in China, doesn’t mean that is where it stays; products made out of dog leather are sold throughout the world. As the world’s leading producer of cheap leather, Chinese leather producers have been known to sell dog leather under the label of “lamb” skin. The truth is, after it is processed and tanned, most animal skins look the same. Without conducting DNA tests, it’s practically impossible to specify what animal leather is made from.”
“While certain incidents where American retailers were cited for illegally selling dog and cat fur that had been imported from China under false labels, leather was a much lesser known issue.”
You might ask how they get the dogs? How would you like to be walking your dog and someone comes up and snatches your dog from you? Yes, that is what happens.
“Many of these dogs are often stolen pets from Thailand. Smugglers round them up for travel to countries like Vietnam and China where dog meat and products are still prized.”
“Stray dogs are extremely difficult to catch,” Dalley said. “It’s far easier to catch pet dogs or unwanted service dogs.”
And if the above has not made you cringe with horror to add insult to complete injury the annual dog meat festival in Yulin, China tortures and cooks as many as 15,000 dogs each year. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/yulin-dog-meat-festival-video-china-blow-torch-animal-cruelty-a8969361.html
“As many as 15,000 dogs are tortured, killed and cooked to be sold at Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival every year.”
“Canine meat is considered a delicacy in China, where about £10m worth of dogs and £4m cats are sold for their meat annually.”
I do want to add that most people in China are equally horrified by this practice of torturing dogs, do not eat dog meat, and are against this trade that takes their beloved fur babies away from them.
“Contrary to the assumptions by many in the West, most people in China don’t eat dogs and in fact they are horrified at the thought of a trade that takes their canine companions away from them.”
This article by no means is intended to communicate an anti-China or an anti-Asian theme especially in light of the horrific massacre in the Atlanta area spa shootings and the recent anti-Asian sentiment in this country. This article is meant to spread awareness about practices that need to be stopped for dogs and for all animals that are brutally tortured for fashion and food. I invite all readers to sign the petitions to stop these practices and consider buying faux fur and vegan leather, some of which are quite fashionable and and as expensive. I know that is my intention.
Author: Sherri Margolin (Dark Matters)