100% NOT LEATHER2017-05-05T17:20:58+00:00


What impact does the slaughter of animals, raising lifestock and the leather industry itself, have on your life and well-being?

Polluted water per ton

First and foremost, leather is not just – as some consider it – a byproduct of the meat industry, as an animal’s skin easily represents 10% of its total value.

Leather may originate from cows, pigs, goats or sheep; But also from exotic animals such as crocodiles, ostriches and kangaroos. Surprisingly for some, leather can also be made from dog or cat skin. In Thailand, an average of 500 dogs are slaughtered each week. Because leather is rarely labeled, you are never sure of where (and who) it originates from.

In addition, leather production is also an important source of pollution. Tanneries are often located near rivers as tanning requires a constant supply of water. At the end of that process, various pollutants (such as chromium, coal tar, cyanide, paint, grease, hair, etc.) remain in the water as it is discharged back into the river.

of greenhouse gas emissions

In addition to the ethical aspect, where opinions can differ widely, meat consumption is also relevant to sustainable development.

Intensive meat production has massive impact on our environment. In Brazil for example, large quantities of the Amazon forest are being eradicated to make room for soy bean production used in animal feed. Furthermore, production on the huge scale we are currently experiencing also affects biodiversity among cattle.

But perhaps the biggest problem is the billion tons of manure and methane gases that are produced by these 1.5 billion cattle. For example, these gentle animals are responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gases and that exceeds all cars, planes and other forms of transport put together.

Besides that, we should also count all fuel consumed to grow livestock, to produce and transport their meat, and to remove vegetation for grazing. That sum amounts to another 9% of all emissions of carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas.

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animals killed per year

If so many people still suffer from war, famine and poverty, why should we also have to worry about animal suffering?

On a personal level, because we can. Our consciousness, our inventiveness and our empathy give us the opportunity to make choices other than that lion in the savannah. We have the option of causing less suffering, you just have to choose to.

On a larger scale: for our society. We ourselves influence the nature of the society in which we live through our daily actions. When we tolerate animal abuse, we tolerate cruelty in our lives, our environment, and in our society. Violence is contagious. How can we expect to solve major social problems within “our own kind” if we remain completely insensitive to the suffering of others?

Leo Tolstoy said it better: “As long as there are slaughterhouses there will be battlefields.”