50% of leather produced worldwide is used for traditional footwear, which translates to an immense number of animals losing their lives every day. It's a terrible fact that requires concrete actions.
Many people have given up using furs because of the suffering they conceal. However, when it comes to leather products, the connection with animals is not always as automatic. Leather is still considered natural and harmless. But it's not the case; just like fur, feathers, and other animal derivatives, leather hides dark realities.
Farmers don't sell every single part of every animal to minimize waste but to maximize income and profit. The leather industry is worth billions, if not trillions, of dollars annually. Leather is the most profitable co-product for farmers and supports intensive farming and increased profitability in slaughterhouses. Those who wear leather, consciously or not, subsidize this type of industry.
The leather industry is as brutal and violent as the fur industry. Millions of cows and other animals, killed for their hides, endure the horrors of intensive farming every day—excessive crowding, deprivation, as well as castration, branding, and tail docking—all without pain relief. In slaughterhouses, animals are regularly slaughtered, and some are even skinned and dismembered while still conscious. By purchasing leather products, you are contributing to this suffering, which often takes place overseas where major companies go to get cheap leather, resulting in not only animal suffering but human suffering as well.
When approaching businesses that profit from animal lives, the theme of "Animal Welfare" always emerges sooner or later. This is closely tied to all those businesses that are not genuinely interested in safeguarding the well-being of animals, except for economic reasons, often masked as they claim to have taken measures to support captive animals (such as enlarging their cages to allow them to lie down). It's us, with our actions and our purchases, who choose whether we want to support the protection of truly free animals.
By purchasing a leather product, you increase the demand in the market, financially incentivizing farmers to produce more leather and raise more animals in increasingly worse conditions. Choosing what to buy and how much to buy is a revolutionary act today, a clear stance against practices that do not satisfy us and that habit leads us to subsidize as if there were no alternative.
The time has finally come when being vegan no longer means settling for the few alternatives available in the market. Today, you can find many products made from high-quality natural, recycled, or synthetic materials: there are many materials based on corn, apples, pineapple leaf fiber, cork, cotton, and linen. Your favorite vegan products exist; you just have to look for them!