PHOTOS: Here’s the Rest of Your Ostrich-Skin Handbag
Draped with a “corpse” and carrying a mock ostrich-skin handbag, these activists drew attention to the shocking ostrich-skin industry in a striking protest in London this morning.
The bag pictured mirrors those made by Hermès and Prada, which are “status symbols” for wealthy customers willing to part with thousands of pounds for a single ostrich-skin accessory. The origin of the leather used for these “luxury” handbags would shock even the most hardened fashionistas.
Protester Charly explained why she felt moved to protest outside Hermès’ flagship London store on New Bond Street today:
“Anyone who buys a bumpy Birkin bag or pockmarked Prada purse is responsible for the shocking, slaughtering, plucking and skinning of a smart, sensitive and curious young ostrich”.
South Africa – where these intelligent, sensitive animals are intensively farmed for their skins – is the ostrich-killing capital of the world. The farm featured in this PETA US investigation is the exclusive supplier of the infamous Hermès Birkin bags. Investigators saw juvenile birds tightly packed into open-topped vehicles for the terrifying journey to slaughter.
Once the animals reach the abattoir, workers forcibly restrain them, electrically stun them and then cut their throats. Moments later, the feathers are torn from the birds’ still-warm bodies, and they are then skinned and dismembered. Wild ostriches can live for around 40 years, but on these farms, they are slaughtered when they’re just 1 year old to be turned into fashion accessories.