Avoid Being Like Putin or Jong Un: Don’t Wear Leather
As anxiety ramps up worldwide over war-hungry rhetoric from Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un, PETA has placed eye-catching messages near the Russian embassy in London’s Notting Hill decrying yet another way the notorious autocrats cause suffering and devastation: by wearing leather, a material that kills animals and the planet.
The digital billboards can be found at the entrance to the tube station at 76 Notting Hill Gate – a common stop on the route to Portobello Road Market, a spot known for the sale of leather items.
PETA urges the public to avoid being like Putin or Jong Un in any way by refraining from purchasing leather, which is always the product of violence.
Advertising agency Archer Troy created the visuals for the guerilla marketing campaign. PETA US will also display chalk art depicting the Putin ad outside the UN office in New York and the Russian embassy in Washington, DC.
A Violent, Billion-Dollar Industry
Leather is a billion-dollar co-product of the meat industry. Profits from leather sales drive the slaughter of hundreds of millions of animals each year, which perpetuates horrific violence towards animals along with water and air pollution and the destruction of land.
Animals raised on filthy, crowded farms are often caged and deprived of all that is natural and important to them, such as foraging for food and raising their young. Many are subjected to horrific mutilations – their teeth, tails, and testicles may be cut off without any painkillers. Female cows are repeatedly impregnated by artificial insemination, and their terrified babies are torn away from them shortly after birth. At abattoirs, many cows are still conscious and able to feel pain when their throats are cut. Luxury brands often sell products labelled “calf leather” or “calfskin”, which means the terrified babies torn away from their mothers may be killed in this way, too.
Leather Is Killing the Planet
Animal agriculture – which includes the leather industry – is responsible for nearly one-fifth of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. The World Bank reports that cattle ranching has caused over 80% of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest since 1970, and because of fires – many of which are deliberately started to clear land to raise cows and grow crops to feed them – along with hotter temperatures and droughts, parts of the Amazon are now emitting more carbon dioxide than they absorb.
In addition, turning skin into leather requires significant energy and dangerous chemicals – including formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, and cyanide-based oils, dyes, and finishes. Sustainable vegan leather made from apples, cork, corn, grapes, mushrooms, paper, pineapples, soya, or tea mimics the properties of leather without the cruelty to animals or the environmental devastation.
Choose Non-Violence – Reject Leather
Avoid being like Putin or Jong Un by staying away from leather. Everyone can choose non-violence and good over evil by rejecting the leather industry – which drives the climate catastrophe, kills cows by the million, and even raises cancer rates among tannery workers and those who live downstream from tanneries’ effluent.
Let’s dress in a way that promotes peace for every living, feeling being by choosing vegan materials that also protect the planet. Vegan leather is widely available, and when you make this compassionate choice, you show major retailers that violence isn’t in fashion.