India’s Cows and the UK High Street

Posted by 6 years ago | Permalink | Comments (6)

You may be wondering why I’ve been quiet on the blog, but as anyone at PETA will tell you, I’m never quiet. So while I haven’t been at PETA shouting out ideas for the next celebrity ad campaign or cheeky demonstration, I have been in India working on projects to help animals there. One of these projects is to encourage consumers in India and elsewhere to do away with leather in their wardrobes. Here’s why: We live in a global society, and what happens to animals in India is directly linked to consumer behaviour in the UK. Despite their sacred status, cows in India are amongst the most cruelly treated in the world, all for items such as handbags and shoes that are sold to consumers within India and internationally. The UK is a top buyer of leather from India.

Imagine these gentle creatures. Many of them would have spent their lives pulling loads in the field or being milked on a small farm. Then they would have been made to march to their deaths over long distances in the heat without a drop of water or an ounce of food to help them along. When these animals collapse from exhaustion or injury, handlers snap their tailbones or smear chilli seeds into their eyes in order to force them to move. Many of these animals are also sent to slaughter by lorry. Imagine how confused and terrified they’d be by the experience of being taken away from other animals they know – away from the only place they’ve known as home – betrayed by the only people they know and loaded onto a truck for the first time in their lives? These lorries careen down twisted, potholed roads at top speed, and as a result, the animals fall on top of one another. They become bloodied, their pelvises shatter, many suffocate and the living become trapped under the dead.

Those who survive this ordeal are killed in full view of one another on filthy slaughterhouse floors awash with blood, guts, and faeces. Calves end up at India’s slaughterhouses, too, and they cry for their mothers until the moment their lives are stolen from them by workers who hack at their throats with dull blades.

All this cruelty just for something to wear? Thankfully, fashionable people around the world are starting to recognise leather as hairless fur. During my trip, PETA India teamed up with fashion design duo Hemant and Nandita during Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in Delhi for a stunning “Wow, Not Cow” cruelty-free show. The event showcased alternatives to leather, proving that it’s easy to have a look that kills without killing animals. Hemant and Nandita join other Indian and international designers such as Stella McCartney, Hemant Trivedi, Anita Dongre and Marc Bouwer who show that compassion and fashion can go hand in hand.

If you still wear leather, please take a moment to watch the video narrated by Pamela Anderson exploring the cruelty of the Indian leather trade. I’m certain that after viewing it, you’ll join us in vowing never to wear leather again. For the sake of India’s cows, please share this blog and video with your family and friends. Let’s help Indian cows regain the dignity, respect and reverence they deserve.


  • Naresh Kadyan commented on July 6, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Don’t worry PETA, change your policy to run and manage treatment, care and shelter for these cows……..

  • Jared commented on July 6, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Sorry, but what do shelters have to do with this? People need to stop wearing cows, stealing their milk and eating them. If cows stopped being bred simply to be abused, there wouldn’t be a need to pack more and more cows into shelters. What needs to happen is to address this problem at its source and that’s what PETA does. Thank you PETA!

  • KT commented on July 6, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    When Blood, Sweat & Luxeries (on BBC3) showed them working within the leather industry I was more surprised that these people had no idea what was involved in the processing of leather – why doesn’t everyone know more about the industry?

  • Natalie Le Neve commented on July 12, 2010 at 9:49 am

    there is such terrible cruelty going on in the world i am ashamed to be a part of the human race!!, how staff at slaughterhouses can inflict such cruelty and pain on these poor terrified animals is just unreal to me, any person caught killing an animal without properely stunning it 1st so it doesnt feel any pain should be sacked immedietely and not be allowed to continue in that profession full stop. they should not be allowed to treat animals in this cruel way. There should be a law brought out in EVERY COUNTRY that states that in NO circumstances should the living animals be put in the same pen as the dead and should NEVER have to see the others been brutally slain like that it is sick and i would love to get my hands on the staff that are doing it!!!!!!

  • Marge scott commented on July 14, 2010 at 10:40 am

    To many people turn a blind eye to this treatment of animals in slaughter houses.Its time we got cameras in ALL these hell holes.and prosecute those who are inflicting this on animals.

  • gouthami commented on December 6, 2011 at 10:57 am

    i just can say that stop cruel to the most soft animals….they are need to flourish human civilization, lets protect our own house memebers from being killed… Lets protect our cows, rather importing our own cows from abroad…

    Our breeds are exported to countries like britian, brazil, and their they give high quality milk with good nourishing food, here we export other country cows, to get good yield of milk, lets protect our own cows, rather than exporting others waste.

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