The Cambodian meat industry slaughtered roughly 55,300 cows last year alone. The skins of these sensitive animals are one of the country’s top exports, supplying the international leather industry. After PETA Asia released video footage earlier this year showing workers repeatedly striking frightened pigs in the head with heavy metal pipes inside a Cambodian slaughterhouse, the Ministry of Agriculture responded by denouncing the practice as “violating Ministry policy”. However, the footage revealing the horrors of the country’s cow slaughterhouses proves that such violence is par for the course across the country.
If you buy or wear leather, it could be coming from a place like this.
Buying leather directly contributes to factory farms and slaughterhouses because skin is the most economically important coproduct of the meat industry. Leather production is also extremely toxic to our environment – it shares responsibility for all the environmental destruction caused by the meat industry as well as the pollution caused by the toxins used in tanning. In order to preserve animal skins, companies use tons of toxic chemicals that end up in nearby soil and water supplies, threatening human health. People who work in tanneries are dying from cancer caused by exposure to toxic chemicals that are used in processing and dyeing animal skins.
What You Can Do
Every hamburger or pair of leather shoes represents an animal who was sentenced to a lifetime of suffering. PETA Asia has sent a letter to Cambodia’s minister of agriculture calling for the immediate implementation of basic animal-welfare laws throughout the country, but there are easy ways for you to help these animals, too.
By going vegan, you can help spare cows, pigs, and other sensitive animals a miserable life and a terrifying, gruesome death.
But since leather is a direct contributor to the horrors of factory farming and the slaughter of millions of animals each year, please pledge to go leather-free, too. Choose instead from the many fashionable non-leather shoes, jackets, belts, bags, and wallets that are readily available. Whether it comes from a cow, crocodile, snake, or dog, leather is a product of extreme pain and suffering.