Is leather just a byproduct of the meat industry? The answer may surprise you. Learn about where leather comes from, what leather is made of, whether leather supports animal cruelty, and the environmental devastation and public health threat of leather production.
The leather industry is often viewed as purely supplemental to the meat industry. However, this is a total misconception. Far from being an incidental or auxiliary commodity produced through the production of meat, the leather industry is projected to grow to $743.50 billion by 2030.
The economics of the leather industry and the meat and dairy industries arguably cannot sustain themselves independently of one another. Without the sale of leather, the cost of meat would have to rise dramatically to make up for lost revenue.
Additionally, not all leather even comes from animals slaughtered for meat. So-called “luxury” and “exotic” leathers come from animals killed primarily or even solely for their skin, like ostriches, tigers, alligators, sharks, elephants, lizards, stingrays, zebras, and countless others.
The leather industry is responsible for severe environmental devastation entirely independent of the meat and dairy industries. The extreme toxicity of leather tanning chemicals also endangers the lives of tannery workers and those in surrounding communities.
Most leather products come from countries without even the most basic of animal welfare legislation or enforcement. However, no matter the country or regulations, the leather industry is responsible for abject animal cruelty.
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