Skin Trade

Blog - Joyful Curmudgeon - Blog

Skin Trade - 16 Feb 2006

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 Investigation”:

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 asphyxiation.

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 are leather!)

We try to live what we “preach.” Talk is cheap. It’s how you live that counts.

Also See:
Skin Trade – Indian Leather Investigation
The Cattle - Animal Exploitation Photo Journal


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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