The Blood, Sweat, and Tears Behind Suede
Many people are aware that the leather industry subjects animals to horrific cruelty. But not everyone knows that suede is a form of leather with a napped finish made of skin torn from the abdomens of slaughtered lambs, goat kids, pigs, calves, or deer.
Animals Are Slaughtered for Suede
To produce suede, many animals are subjected to all the horrors of factory farming, including intensive confinement to filthy pens. Babies are born through forced breeding and then torn away from their families, and animals are left to suffer from chronic infections and diseases caused by extreme crowding. At the end of their miserable lives, they’re transported to an abattoir, where workers cut their throats. Some are skinned and dismembered while still conscious.
Suede Is Bad for the Environment
Just as the leather industry poisons the living world, so, too, does suede production, which creates massive amounts of manure and slaughter waste, requires intensive water use, is a cause of deforestation, and contributes to greenhouse-gas emissions. According to the 2017 “Pulse of the Fashion Industry” report, cow leather is the most environmentally damaging material.
The demand for any form of leather also fuels the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, as Brazilian cattle ranchers supply skins to leading global fashion brands and retailers.
Suede Production Harms Humans
Suede production is toxic for human health, too. Tanneries use harmful chemicals to prevent animals’ skin from decaying. Unprotected workers, including children, stand barefoot as they soak hides in carcinogenic chemicals, and the noxious waste is then dumped into the river.
As tanning is such a dangerous process, it’s no longer undertaken in most European countries or the US, so operations are moving elsewhere – jeopardising the health of people in other parts of the world so that consumers in the West can continue wearing shoes and jackets made of animal skins.
How You Can Help Animals and the Planet
The best way to protect animals and the environment is to adopt a vegan lifestyle. In addition to combating deforestation, decreasing their carbon footprint, and sparing the lives of nearly 200 animals each per year, people who go vegan reduce their risk of suffering from heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and other health conditions.
Take the vegan pledge now:
Opt for vegan leather and suede when you’re shopping – there are lots of high-quality, animal-friendly jackets, shoes, and bags out there. The number of innovative vegan options for clothing, shoes, accessories, furniture, and car interiors is growing rapidly!
In addition to being abused all over the world for suede and other kinds of leather, cows are exploited for their bodily fluids, and thousands of bulls are killed each year in bullrings. Click below to take action to help these intelligent animals in multiple ways.