‘Skinned’ People Descend On Hermès Leather Exhibition
Body-painted to resemble “bloodied, skinned” people, three models representing PETA converged outside the opening of the “Hermès Leather Forever” exhibition at the Royal Academy of the Arts today. They held signs reading, “Hermès, Bag Cruelty: Ditch Leather”, while other PETA members handed out leaflets to passers-by and people attending the event. In addition to causing cows to suffer and die, the leather industry is toxic to the environment and a threat to human health. Unlike more progressive companies, Hermès also uses fur.
“There’s nothing remotely fashionable about dismembering cows alive and fouling the environment”, says PETA UK Manager Mimi Bekhechi. “With all the luxurious faux leather and other high-fashion fabrics available, there’s no excuse for killing animals for their skins.”
Millions of cows and other animals whose skins will eventually be turned into leather endure the horrors of factory farming, including extreme crowding and confinement, disease and deprivation of food and water. Branding, tail-docking, dehorning and castration are all performed without any painkillers. At abattoirs, improper stunning means that many animals are skinned while they’re still conscious.
Turning animal skins into leather requires highly toxic mineral salts, formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives and various oils, dyes and finishes – some of which are cyanide-based. Tannery runoff contains large amounts of pollutants, such as salt, lime sludge, sulphides and acids. Animals on factory farms produce 10 times as much excrement as the entire human population – without the benefit of waste-treatment plants.
Please watch Stella McCartney’s shocking exposé of the leather industry, then share it with your friends and urge them to think about whose skin they’re in.