It is a popular misconception that all cattle in India are treated
humanely because they are considered to be “sacred.”
I used to think that, too. Then I had a rude awakening thanks to a
video that I got nearly six years ago, and should be shown far and wide.
This video documents the cruel and illegal treatment of cattle by
India’s meat and leather industries. Now, the next time someone tells
you that India’s cattle are well-treated, you’ll be able to tell him or
her the truth: thousands of cattle suffer horribly before being brutally
slaughtered in a hell on earth.
How much of that inexpensive leather clothing we see everywhere has
its origin in this horrible, sneaky skin trade? Because a leather coat
or other piece of clothing is labeled, for example, “Made in Italy” (or
any other country) does not necessarily mean that the leather is from
that country. No wonder there is such a glut of cheap leather goods!
Here is a little about the video “Skin Trade - Indian Leather
Indian cattle, once revered as symbols of motherhood and givers of
life, are now beaten mercilessly in forced marches over hundreds of
kilometers and transported to slaughter in appalling conditions, crammed
on top of each other in trucks in the stifling Indian heat. They trample
and gouge each other with their horns and suffer and die from
During the long journey, the cattle collapse from hunger, exhaustion,
injury, and despair. Handlers force them along by breaking their tails
at each joint and rubbing chilies and tobacco into their eyes.
By the time they arrive at the slaughterhouse, some are dead and many
are so sick and injured that they must be dragged inside. Once inside,
their throats are sawed with dull blades in front of other cattle. Some
have their legs hacked off while still alive or suffer the agony of
being skinned alive.
All of this is done illegally since Indian law forbids causing
suffering to animals, prohibits the slaughter of cows and calves, and
provides for stringent transport rules. Meat from these mistreated
animals is exported to Muslim countries and falsely sold as “halal.” Their skins are shipped
to clothing stores in Europe and the United States.
As long as people keep buying leather products, this gruesome trade
will continue. I deliberately buy purses that cannot be mistaken for
leather. Frank’s wallet is made of fabric and, of course, we buy only
non-leather shoes. (It’s almost predictable how, after telling someone
that you’re vegan, he or she will look down to check out if your shoes
We try to live what we “preach.” Talk is cheap. It’s how you live
– Indian Leather Investigation
Cattle - Animal Exploitation Photo Journal