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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i've heard a lot of people rationalize their use of leather with the idea that the skin is simply a discard from the cows that are slaughter for food.<br><br><br><br>
is that true, or are there cows specifically bred for leather and leather only?<br><br><br><br>
any links to info online about this would be appreciated.
 

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<a href="http://www.vegansociety.com/html/info/info22.html" target="_blank">http://www.vegansociety.com/html/info/info22.html</a><br><br><br><br><i>some extracts from that ^ link to a leather info page</i><br><br><br><br>
Fur is regarded as a cruel luxurious status symbol and little else. Leather does not always receive such condemnation. In fact it is often regarded as a practical by-product of the meat industry; environmentally sound; a quality product readily available to all. However, there is myth and ignorance surrounding its production. Here we provide the reasons why we should condemn leather as vociferously as we condemn fur.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Most leather in the UK is made from the skins of cattle, calves, sheep, lambs, goats and pigs. However, many other species are hunted and killed worldwide specifically for their skins. These include zebras, bison, water buffaloes, boars, deer, kangaroos, alligators, elephants, eels, sharks, dolphins, seals, walruses, frogs, crocodiles, lizards and snakes. Thousands of endangered olive ridley sea turtles are captured and butchered illegally in Mexico, solely for their skins. It is estimated that 25-30% of US imported crocodile shoe leather and other wildlife items are made from endangered illegally poached animals.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Leather & the Environment<br><br>
The amount of waste and pollution generated by the leather manufacturing industry is phenomenal. The stench from a tannery is overwhelming. Not only do they pollute the air, however, they also pollute the rest of the environment with the use of a multitude of harsh toxic chemicals. One estimate puts the potential cost of an effluent treatment plant in a tannery at 30% of the total outlay proving just how much of a major problem it is.<br><br><br><br>
Substances used in the manufacture of leather include: lime, sodium sulfate solution, emulsifiers, non-solvent degreasing agents, salt, formic acid, sulfuric acid, chromium sulfate salts, lead, zinc, formaldehyde, fats, alcohol, sodium bicarbonate, dyes, resin binders, waxes, coal tar derivatives and cyanide-based finishes. Tannery effluent also contains large amounts of other pollutants such as proteins, hair and salt.<br><br><br><br>
The leather industry also uses a tremendous amount of energy. In fact on the basis of quantity of energy consumed per unit produced, the leather-manufacturing industry would be catergorised alongside the paper, steel, cement and petroleum manufacturing industries as a gross consumer of energy.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
Meat & Leather<br><br>
The type of meat that is purchased in the UK has a direct effect on the type of leather available for the leather manufacturing industry. If everybody decided they only wanted to eat young lambs under a month old, then the skin made available for the leather industry would be very thin, soft and pliable.<br><br><br><br>
Soft Products or Better Leather from Babies<br><br>
The younger the animal at the time of slaughter, the smoother and finer the grain structure and the less likelihood of damage due to scratches, parasite damage, ringworm, dung contamination, improper flaying or inadequate salting. The skin of a female is usually finer grained than that of the male and has a looser fibre structure giving a softer, stretchier leather.
 

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yes leather is a by-product of the meat industry.<br><br><br><br>
I've gotten the question before "do they breed special "leather giving" cows?" and, the answer is no.
 

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Does the 'byproductness' of leather justify its use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
for some people, i guess it does, as i've heard it used as an excuse in debates about leather.<br><br><br><br>
they say that the skins would simply be 'wasted' if people stopped buying leather.
 

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But as Spud pointed out, the tanning process might produce more waste than simply throwing out the hides would.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
right. so then you end up in the whole ecological debate about whether the tanning process of leather, or the production of synthetic "leathers" (like PVC or plastics), creates more waste and pollution.
 

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from the Vegan soc leaflet-<br><br><br><br>
The general public buy millions of tonnes of plastic products each year with very little thought. However, when it comes to purchasing one pair of synthetic shoes or boots, the very idea appears to be an anathema! Think of the number of washing up liquid or shampoo bottles every family uses in a month and one pair of good quality synthetic footwear really doesn't seem so bad after all! This isn't to say that purchasing a pair of synthetic shoes is going to be one of the most environmentally friendly acts of the year. However, those shoes or boots may last several years of heavy wear and tear before they have to be replaced. Good quality non-leather footwear is now easy to purchase. The days of a pair of plastic shoes lasting several weeks before they fall apart is over providing you choose well-made products. Of course, the best thing about non-leather footwear is that no animal suffered to produce them.
 

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Personally I think that if we are going to kill an animal, we should use as much of that animal as possible.<br><br><br><br>
But I'm not a vegan, so maybe my opinion doesn't count (or matter).
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by VealPrincess</i><br><br><b>But I'm not a vegan, so maybe my opinion doesn't count (or matter).</b></div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
talk about a cheap shot..<br><br><br><br>
but anyway, i agree that if animals are to be used, they should be used as much as possible. but as has been said, if using more of the animal includes a very large increase in toxic chemical usage or energy consumption, then it might not be the best thing. despite not being vegan, i would assume that you do still care about the environment, correct?
 

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um, that wasn't a cheap shot, that was me referring to the fact that my opinion may not have been wanted in this discussion since I am not a vegan and this is a "safe" area of VB.<br><br><br><br>
don't y'all go gettin' yer pants in a knot....<br><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)"><br><br><br><br>
and what about all the toxic chemicals used to produce synthetic clothing? I know nothing about the production methods of leather vs. synthetics, but I would imagine that synthetics use a ton of "toxic chemicals" in there production.<br><br><br><br>
I'm not looking for a debate here. The fact is that cattle are killed everyday for meat. We may as well use their skin. If you don't want any part it- then enjoy your veggies and synthetics- more power to you!<br><br><br><br>
P.S. I mean the last line in all sincerity<br><br><br><br>
 

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Mah pants are unknotted VP!<br><br><br><br>
But another thing about leather, and I know dozens of vegetarians who wear it, including 4 in my family, is the tannery. There was one in the city nearest to me (Canterbury) until recently. It was disgusting. It stunk the whole city out on a bad day. No way could I have eaten within a mile of that stench. And some poor sods had to work inside the building.
 

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Eating the innards makes it neccesary to find a use for the outards (the skin)....where would all of that skin be disposed of and how if they hadn't found a use for it? I partially see the leather industry as another way to stretch the profit further and not have to deal with the disposal issue.<br><br><br><br>
And if you are using the animal as much as possible what about downers or cows that died prior to slaughter or were deemed unfit for slaughter? The ones that end up on the dead pile. I don't believe they are used for anything are they? Sure, they had an intended use at one point, but now are useless for 'food' because of mistreatment or neglect. They were killed in another way. Shouldn't they be responsible for using the cow to it's full potential? Shouldn't the dead ones not slaughtered be used for their skin in this scenario too. If you believe that they should use as much as the animal as possible, then they would use the skin. The fact is, that the skin alone doesn't bring enough profit. It's the 'meat' that they're being killed for; skin is a bonus. You definitely help support the beef industry and the slaughter of innocent creatures by purchasing leather products, IMO. ANY support of the beef industry is wrong in my book.
 

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Oh and another disgusting by product of meat. Soap. There is a rendering factory near me. It's famous for dumping waste liquid into a nearby well and with the BSE scares, and five people nearby dying of nvCJD people do wonder what the hell is going on. And does it stop them buying animal fat soap? Like hell. Again the stench is vile. The kids on the school bus were issued with clothes pegs to put on their noses for many years until the new chimney went in to the plant. And lorries used to drop bits of corpse off the back of their trailers as they went through a village.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by Kreeli</i><br><br><b>right. so then you end up in the whole ecological debate about whether the tanning process of leather, or the production of synthetic "leathers" (like PVC or plastics), creates more waste and pollution.</b></div>
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<br><br><br>
Vegan shoes are more ecological than leather shoes.<br><br><br><br>
Hides requier cooled transport (to asia and back) and lots of chemicals.<br><br>
Hides are not standard size/thickness. Some parts of the hide cannot be used (for shoes)<br><br><br><br>
Alternative fabrics come in straight pieces with even thickness.<br><br>
This material is more efficient to use and so better for the environment.<br><br>
Did you know that old leather shoes actualy have to be seen as toxical waste?<br><br><br><br>
I've heard that some cows are specialy bred for leather.<br><br>
Don't know the name for this kind of leather (for cars and briefcases and so on).
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by 1vegan</i><br><br><b>I've heard that some cows are specialy bred for leather.<br><br>
Don't know the name for this kind of leather (for cars and briefcases and so on).</b></div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
True. I've actually viewed pics. If I can find the site I'll post it (I woke up late and don't have the time right now). These cows are pathetically thin....since they are not being used for 'food' there's no reason to worry about feeding them to much I suppose.
 

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What about the story that some leather comes from unborn calfes?<br><br>
Is that a hoax?<br><br><br><br>
It's hard to believe, but then again, I've learn't that (some) people will do anything for money........
 

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"Bentley Motors is previewing the 2002 edition of its Arnage sedan, which will retail for about $300,000. The car features a leather interior made from the hides of 15 Scandinavian cows, specially bred on barbed-wire-free farms to prevent nicks.."<br><br><br><br>
- <a href="http://www.offkilter.org/jan302002.html" target="_blank">source</a><br><br><br><br><br><br>
"Inside you're wrapped in leather. Specially bred cows from Sweden, where there's no barbed wire to scratch their hides, sacrifice their lives to the tunes of four per Maserati. It's everywhere, including the evocative facia, complete.."<br><br><br><br>
- <a href="http://www.whatsonbristol.co.uk/reviews/maserati_4200_coupe.html" target="_blank">source</a><br><br><br><br>
It appears many other manufacturers of various 'top-end' type products speciffically breed for the purpose of leather.<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.cowsarecool.com/india.html" target="_blank">http://www.cowsarecool.com/india.html</a>
 

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breeding cattle exclusively for their skin does not happen in North America- and I seriously doubt it happens anywhere else in the world.<br><br><br><br>
breeding exclusively for leather implies not using the meat from that carcass- how many places does everyone seriously think that happens?<br><br><br><br>
and, raising cattle in none barbwired fencing systems is no big deal- it happens all the time. I'd be willing to wager that the person who writes for those car companies couldn't tell the difference between a "specially bred Scandinavian cow" from a tall dog with spots.
 
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