Group Urges Chief Minister to Follow the Lead of Himachal Pradesh and Give Cruelly Produced and Eco-Unfriendly Leather the Boot
Bangalore – Following Himachal Pradesh’s landmark proposal to ban leather shoes in schools in favour of animal- and eco-friendly canvas shoes, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has sent letters to Andhra Pradesh’s Chief Minister and officials of all other Indian states urging them to follow suit. In the letters, PETA points out that the Central Board of Secondary Education and the Indian Council for Secondary Education have responded favourably to the idea of switching to lighter and less expensive non-leather shoes for school attire.
“This measure would not only protect animals and the environment but also empower children – who have a natural empathy for animals – with the opportunity to help stop animal suffering”, says PETA India’s Himani Shetty. “Allowing schoolchildren to wear leather shoes teaches them the dangerous lesson that the suffering of others – in this case, the suffering of cows and other animals who are tormented in the leather industry – is of no consequence.”
PETA’s undercover investigations have revealed that cows used by the leather industry are often beaten and forced to march long distances in searing heat to their deaths. Many collapse from hunger, exhaustion, injury or illness. To get the cows back on their feet, handlers often twist the animals’ tails until they break or rub chilli peppers into the animals’ eyes. Other animals are transported in lorries, which are often so severely crowded that many animals suffer serious injuries or die when they are crushed or gored by the horns of others. At abattoirs, many animals are skinned and dismembered while they are still conscious.
Turning the skins of cows, buffaloes, sheep and goats into leather requires massive amounts of toxic chemicals, and runoff from leather tanneries poisons local rivers and streams. The toxic chemicals that tannery workers are exposed to on a daily basis have been linked to nervous disorders, skin and respiratory infections and even cancer.
A copy of PETA’s letter – along with video footage narrated by Hollywood actor Pamela Anderson documenting the cruelty inherent in the leather industry – is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.