Wearing head-to-toe yellow biohazard suits while standing in the Ganga and holding signs that read, “Stop Ganges Pollution – Go Leather Free!” members of PETA India protested the toxic leather industry in Varanasi to mark National Pollution Prevention Day i.e. 02 December. The deadly effluents from leather tanneries have helped make the Ganga one of the most polluted rivers in the world and are responsible for fouling water resources across India and around the world.
Upriver in the city of Kanpur, there are about 400 tanneries on the banks of the Ganges, and much of the dangerous waste that they produce – including carcinogenic chromium – is dumped directly into the river. In two districts of Tamil Nadu, tanneries ruined the farmland of more than 36,000 farmers. Run-off from leather tanneries has also been linked to cancer, respiratory infections, and other illnesses in humans. In addition, leather production takes a deadly toll on animals.
Leather also takes a massive toll on animals. PETA India and PETA US undercover investigations have revealed that cows and other animals killed for leather in India are often so severely crowded in trucks on their way to slaughter that many are injured or die en route. At slaughterhouses, many animals are skinned and dismembered while still conscious.
Want to save our sacred river and stop cruelty to animals at the same time? Then pledge to refuse to wear animal skins.