Nuts. If I Thought The Fur Industry Was Bad, Leather Isn't Much Better

@pyewacket (43962)
United States
August 18, 2008 4:56pm CST
This was kind of a rude awakening for me. I think it's been obvious from two former discussions I had about the "practices" that are done in the fur trade industry that I'm not an advocate of fur period and it infuriated me no end to find out that many clothing items that are labeled "faux" fur (fake) isn't necessarily true. Now it might seem very hypocritical of me that while I don't advocate wearing fur, I had no problem with the idea of leather or suede. Also, since I'm part Native American, I make a lot of Native American designed/based items that yes, uses suede in particular. For some rather dumb reason my logic was this. Thousands of cows are killed for the meat consumption of us humans, so I was under the naive delusion that the hides from these killed cows were at least used for the leather industry, right? A big wrongo. Okay I know that a lot of you don't care for PETA, but I did some digging about the Leather industry market...Most leather used not only in America but Europe as well comes from India and China...NOT America, despite all the cows killed here. And the way they are killed is not pleasant. Now before you roll your eyes and think, oh, no, more crap about PETA, I decided to do even more digging to verify this fact that PETA is spewing out. One of the biggest suppliers of leather, not only for "crafts people" like me but for the leather industry worldwide for coats, handbags, shoes, etc is Tandy Leather. You've no doubt have heard of it and I admit to having gotten some of my suede supplies from them in the past. So I decided to email them and ask directly where the source of their leather does indeed come from. My email to them was as follows: [i]Dear Tandy I was just curious as to the origins of where the leather/suede that you sell originates. I do a good number of Native American based and styled crafts that require the use of leather/suede. I just saw a rather disturbing video of how much of leather/suede comes from India and China and the conditions of the cattle are to say horrible. I would hope that any leather/suede sold by such a reputable company as yours is indeed American and not foreign in origin. Thank you Sincerely (my name)[/i] Their reply was thus: (I've edited it a bit to eliminate phone numbers) [i]Good morning I appreciate your concerns about animal rights. We do not condone the abuse of animals in any way. Our pig suede is imported from China . Our calf lace is made in India . There is very little leather being tanned in the United States any more. Best Regards, Jim Villwock Customer Service Manager http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com Tandy Leather Factory 1900 South East Loop 820 Fort Worth, TX 76140 [/i] Like WTF? With all the cows (and pigs) that are killed for the food market here in America, why the hell aren't the hides also used for the leather industry....does anyone see any ironies to this? Okay back to the PETA thing...So now I had watched the video....like I said it's not pleasant. Since cows are sacred in India, cows cannot be slaughtered in India but instead are taking on what is called the Death Walk where they are forced to walk many miles to the border. The cows are anything but healthy looking, emaciated, ribs sticking out, and if they become weakened or tired, chili pepper is rubbed into their eyes to "perk" them up....Prior to getting to the border of the next country, they are crammed into trucks that only are supposed to fit about five cows but instead up to twice that amount are shoved in. By the time they reach their destination many have died. When they are slaughtered they are not killed in the strict traditional Halal manner of the Muslim faith (in Judaism, they too have certain prescribed methods of slaughter to make it "Kosher"). Many of the cows are killed/slaughtered right in the presence of the other cows. Like I said...all this was an awakening to me, but just can't understand why the cows killed in our OWN country can't have their hides used for the leather industry. After all they are being killed for meat consumption. Also, as a btw...a lot of leather too, ISN'T made from cowhide or pighide...but from anything from frogs, ostriches, cats, dogs, you name it. Then I did a search of some of the leading Native American based website that sell craft items including leather/suede...Almost all are supplied by none other than Tandy...like sheesh For those who wish to see the video, even just a little of it here's the link..there is a petition one can sign as well at this link http://getactive.peta.org/campaign/US_indian_leather?qp_source=usindianleathergen So was anyone else aware of this? Does it now make you rethink about leather/suede? If I do continue to use suede for my crafts I'm going to do a real search for leather goods that are from THIS country at least
6 people like this
11 responses
@artemis432 (7396)
• United States
19 Aug 08
Hey Pye, I wasn't aware of this, but find it funny that they think outsourcing their pig and cow leather makes it somehow more consientious (spelling!). Also, aren't cows sacred in India?
• United States
19 Aug 08
Sorry yeah. Still doesn't make sense. What a waste of all the cows slaughtered here. I so agree. Thanks for giving us the heads up.
1 person likes this
@Katlady2 (9925)
• United States
19 Aug 08
I agree with you hon. Why can't they use the hides from the animals in this country? That's just crazy. I couldn't bring myself to watch the video, but I will sign the petition for sure. Thanks for posting this hon.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
19 Aug 08
Thanks ever for signing the petition. Like nuts...doesn't anything come from this country anymore though?
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
23 Aug 08
It is very interesting... something to think about... Without having done any research about it... It sort of make sense... Good leather is extremely expensive... Million of cattles must be killed everyday in order to feed a ever growing world wide population. If the hide of those cattles were used for leather... leather would be dirt cheap. As a matter of fact... there would be so much of it that you would not be able to give it away. So there could be various reasons for it... 1) Maybe you are not allowed to use the hide of an animal used for meat consumption... for health reasons. 2) Maybe they use a special breed of cattle for leather. 3) Maybe a cattle needs to be a certain age for its hide to be of good quality. That would make it unfit for consumption if it is old. You only get good tender meat from a young animal. 4) Or they do it on purpose for not saturing the market with leather and keep the price high. But I would be incline to go with option 3. If you need to keep a cattle for several years in order to have a good hide... it would not be economical for a US farmer to do so. He makes more money selling his cattles for meat consumption. So... getting cattles from a country which don't eat beef is a much better proposition. It all makes sense. They don't have to feed them either to make them fat. They feed them just enough to keep them alive.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
24 Aug 08
Actually I think it's more economics than anything else...if you've noticed most items no matter WHAT they are seem to be cheaper that are made in China or India...and that could go for cowhide as well. The same exact items made say here in America cost almost double, triple even more than what is exported from China/India and again economics...they pay the workers there pratically nothing, while here we usually have minimum wage and unions...I'm just betting many of the workers in these countries like India or China aren't even unionized
• Australia
24 Aug 08
An union in China...
1 person likes this
@littleowl (7157)
21 Aug 08
Hi Pye it appalls me the way any kind of 'human' being can be so callous and cruel to our innocent animals and the horrific way they treat them it actually makes me physically sick and angry but what is there really we can do about it how can we truly make our voice heard to all of the atrocitys to animals...does anyone really want to hear? Why cant the human race see what they are doing-- seriously I give up hope at times especially seeing things like this bb littleowl
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
21 Aug 08
Maybe if just more people knew about all this...this kind of news isn't what one sees on the news on TV....and until I had my own computer and started researching things even I didn't know about it...the computer one can gain a lot more info. I still plan to write that article about the fur industry..haven't had the chance as I've been involved with a lot of other things..but yes, will write it
@littleowl (7157)
21 Aug 08
Hi Pye I really feel ashamed to be a member of the human race..so we are called..BARBARIANS I think is more the word us or thos who can do these things it so appalls me how can or do these countrys even allow such atrocities to carry on happening..there is other ways to make fake fur and leather etc and I mean fake there must be another way to make suede too that looks genuine...these things have me in tears and especially the link on fur seeing how they kill animals alive especially the dog in the beginning of it..the picture still remains in my mind of the anguish it was going through..please please write the article about this maybe it should hit the newspapers with clippings of the video as well as the link for it that way people would be able to see it and hopefully change their minds about what they wear...bright blessings littleowl
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
19 Aug 08
Where do the hides go in the ground? Thats awful wasteful. DId we send that trade over seas too. ! Where are out tanneries? I know there used to be alot have we lost that art! Yup I thought Tandy was all USA hides. hmmmmmmmmmmm As Native Americans we always used every thing we could from the animals we killed food clothing sewing and used all parts now to hear this makes me plum mad. I have noticred for years that the shoes I buy say man made matirals! Man made from what? got me wondering again about this
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
21 Aug 08
I was surprised too..at least when I wrote Tandy they were honest to tell me the truth about where they got there cowhide from...There just HAS to be USA tanneries..the problem is, it all boils down to money....the cow/pig hides from India and China are probably a lot cheaper to get than USA hides
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
21 Aug 08
was telling my daughter this and she said heck they might be sending the hides over there! just a thought but yup w should have some tanniers here somewheres
1 person likes this
@irisheyes (4375)
• United States
25 Aug 08
I've always woried about this. I can get by fine without fur but I can't mnage without leather and it's always made me feel like a first class hypocrite. The fact that it's less humane than it could be doesn't surprise me a bit. I really wish someone would come up with a good synthetic alternative to leather but for right now there is nothing so handsome or so durable. I'm already semi vegitarian and I could go completely vegetarian easier than I could get by without leather.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
26 Aug 08
I just can't understand why the cowhide for leather can't come from all the cows that are killed here in USA for meat consumption...seems like a stupid waste to me--synthetic leather/suede looks tacky...I could never use it for my crafts
@4mymak (1796)
• Malaysia
20 Aug 08
i dont use fur nor leather.. and never cared much about where they came from, or where they originate... learnt a lot from your discussion on the 'faux fur' + 'leather'... all the more reason why wont use them and tell my family not to...
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
21 Aug 08
While I'm kind of busy right now, I plan to write an article for Associated Content about the fur industry...might even do one about leather as well
• United States
19 Aug 08
That really, IS crazy! I always figure that if you're going to slaughter an animal, use everything you can off that animal, otherwise it's a pure waste of a GOOD product! I don't understand why it's so hard for people to realize the terribleness of WASTE. If people just used everything to it's full potential, there would be so much less trash, pollution, famine, and everyone would be healthier, richer, and HAPPIER!
1 person likes this
@James72 (26832)
• Australia
19 Aug 08
Well ultimately leather and suede is just fur without the hair on it! So in a sense it is somewhat hypocritical to openly condemn one yet embrace the other..... We could arguably state that we should all gove up meat as well becasue this too involves killing the animal. There are so many aspects to this that are actually all tied in to each other; yet many of us choose to focus in on one specific area! The only way to truly and categorically reduce the number of people eating meat, wearing leather and buying furs is to make them kill the animals themselves!
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
21 Aug 08
I just thought with all the cows that are killed for food consumption that the hides were at least used for the leather industry...that would make more sense. see one of the things I oppose to about the fur industry, more likely the animal is killed for its fur ONLY...I mean...when was the last time you went to a restaurant and could order mink burgers? LOL. I suppose killing animals ourselves for food AND to use it's hide is a good option for those who do live in the country..uh, but not too many cows, pigs, deer, whatever are walking around the streets of NYC
18 Aug 08
Hi pye, That is so terrible, the cruelty of it, I don't like the feel or smell of leather so I don't have any round the house because I never buy it and I don't have any swede either, but you cannot help having leather things around like shoes and furnitures like leather sofas, anyway they too expensive. The poor animals it almost just makes me want to live in the middle of the forest and have nothing and just live on vegetions. Bright Blessings Tamara
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
19 Aug 08
Unfortunately like I said since I do Native American craft work I rely on suede a lot...
@irisheyes (4375)
• United States
25 Aug 08
It doesn't surprise me that slaughtering animals for leather is less than humane. For me, leather has always been a stumbling block. I really love it both for its appearance and for its durability. I can get by fine without owning fur. It looks a lot nicer on a live animal and there are some nice alternatives (down, cashmere etc). I'm semi vegetarian and could with the right pasta recipes probably go all the way on that. But I feel like a real hypocrite when it comes to leather. I just wishsomebody would come up with a really great synthetic alternative.