Leather Is a Coproduct – Not a Byproduct – of the Meat Industry. What Does That Mean for Cows?

Posted by on March 5, 2024 | Permalink

Don’t buy into misleading claims about leather. Each time you buy something made of an animal’s skin, you’re directly contributing to their suffering and the climate catastrophe.

Animals don’t want to end up in your wardrobe any more than they want to end up on your dinner plate. Most leather comes from cows raised for their flesh or breastmilk, but leather is a coproduct – not a “byproduct”, as is so often misleadingly claimed – of these unsustainable industries.

Misleading Claims

Companies often misrepresent the leather they sell as a byproduct of the meat or dairy industry to fool consumers into believing that their choices have no environmental impact. But that’s not true: leather is a profitable industry. A byproduct becomes a coproduct when its value increases, and as leather’s market value is over £300 billion, it’s safe to say that hides are anything but a recycling initiative.

With everything we know about the impact of animal agriculture on the environment, propping up the meat and dairy trade in any way is always destructive for the planet.

If You Buy Leather, You Are Sponsoring Cow Slaughter

Profits from leather sales drive the slaughter of hundreds of millions of animals each year, which perpetuates horrifically violent cruelty to animals along with the destruction of land and pollution of water and air.

At a time when we need to reduce meat consumption drastically to have even the slightest chance of combatting the climate catastrophe, there is no justification for supporting or promoting animal agriculture.

Many cows used for their skin are extremely malnourished and emaciated, with little meat on their bones at all. They are killed specifically to be made into jackets, bags, and shoes.

Never Buy Leather

Buying leather bags, shoes, and belts ensures that the cruel and unsustainable meat and dairy industries, which are pushing our environment to the brink of destruction, continue to turn a profit. With so many sustainable vegan materials available, there is no need to buy the skin of any animal.

Check out PETA’s guides:


And learn more about the devastating impact of the leather industry on the planet:

While You’re Here

Please also urge these brands to stop using leather: