‘Cow’ Ejected From Sunday Times Motor Show For Protesting Leather

Woman Chains Herself to DaimlerChrysler Vehicle

For Immediate Release:
27 May 2004

Poorva Joshipura 020 7357 9229, ext. 229

Birmingham – PETA member Yvonne Taylor caused a stir at the NEC Sunday Times Motor Show today when, dressed as a cow and holding a sign that read, ‘DaimlerChrysler Tortures Animals’, she handcuffed herself to the steering wheel of a DaimlerChrysler vehicle on display. Chanting, ‘Leather is murder’, and, ‘DaimlerChrysler is a killer on the road’, Taylor was eventually tossed out of the NEC after security staff removed her from the vehicle by cutting the chains of her handcuffs with bolt cutters.

Ms Taylor hopes to get DaimlerChrysler, maker of Mercedes-Benz automobiles, to offer non-leather upholstery options for all models of its cars. The campaign follows PETA’s successful efforts to pressure DaimlerChrysler India into making alternatives to leather interiors available for Mercedes cars manufactured and sold in that country.

PETA points out that leather is offensive to millions of people, including environmentalists, the many Hindus and Jains who help make up the UK’s wealthiest minority community and the growing number of vegetarians and vegans worldwide. PETA first got DaimlerChrysler’s attention when a well-to-do Texas shopping-centre owner tore the leather out of her brand-new Mercedes, replaced it with a luxurious synthetic and had PETA’s ‘cow’ mascot deliver the discarded skins to DaimlerChrysler headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.

What’s PETA’s beef with leather? It takes the skins of anywhere from four to 15 cows to produce the leather interior of just one car. While some automakers try to rationalize their use of leather by claiming that it’s simply a ‘byproduct’ of the meat industry, the U.S. Department of Agriculture more accurately states that leather is ‘the most valuable coproduct of the meatpacking industry’ (emphasis added). Production-line speedups and inadequate stunning measures at abattoirs in the United States and Europe leave many cows conscious for the horrible ordeal of dismemberment.

‘DaimlerChrysler could take a truly classy stand – instead of contributing to the slaughter of thousands of cows – by offering alternatives to cow skin in all its cars’, says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. ‘Many wealthy consumers find nothing luxurious about smelly, creaky preserved hides and want Mercedes to market luxury cars that don’t come equipped with misery.’

Photos of the action are available upon request. For more information, please visit LeatherIsDeadSkin.com.