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During the times of the internet, there is nothing that can escape the eyes of surveillance. Animal cruelty has remained one of the major flaws of human civilization. And the internet age has brought forward many videos and images to show how poorly we treat animals. This animal cruelty is directed more towards cattle or livestock, which are mostly used as meat. A recent investigation called the Manfred Karremann investigation has revealed how cows and pigs are treated in the leather industry.
The findings were shocking.
Animal Transport For Leather
They found that animals were transported across half the world to get killed for the leather. This is called live export. Skin trading is quite lucrative in places like Turkey. Around 900,000 cattle and over 280,000 sheep were transported live. In Turkey, many of these animals are also killed for halal meat. Sometimes, these cows are transported from Brazil. Animals are also transported from Iraq on trucks. Turkey can also be reached via Bulgaria and France. Many cows in Germany and Austria could be traced back to Lebanon. This shows how distant and widespread the live export industry is.
Little Food, Little Water
The animals suffer due to lack of water and food during this journey and can also get trampled upon during movement. This live export is even more grueling for pregnant animals. They have to stick together, and even if one falls down, they will get injured or trampled. These animals are generally kept in filthy conditions, which promotes the spreading of zoonotic diseases. Due to increased security during this pandemic, there has been improved security, which leads to delaying these shipments and prolonging their suffering.
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Merciless killing for Leather
Dying animals are slaughtered mercilessly and illegally. Among the dying animals, pregnant animals are included too. In some countries, the animals are not stunned either. They are just tied up and their throat is cut with a dull knife, making it more time-consuming and painful. Cattle are social animals and they form bonds with one another when they are bred together or when they stay together.
Generally, the killing is done in front of other cows and sheep. They are often thrown into a pile where they bleed to death. The investigation also showed how mercilessly the cattle were dragged from the ship using cranes. They hang by one leg during this transport – one leg that holds the entire body. This could result in injuries and joint dislocation. If they are injured in the process, they are killed. Often the unborn babies are killed too.
Also, the consumers are kept in the blind. While some products may contain the term ‘Made in Italy’, the origin of the leather is difficult to trace. The labeling procedures are not very systematic, and so, it is not possible to trace the origin of the leather. The label is generally of the country or place where the finished product was manufactured.
Nature At A Loss
Animal cruelty does not extend only to animals. It can have a major impact on nature too. Many rainforests are getting erased to make place for livestock management. Animal crowding forms methane, which heavily contributes to climate change. Plus, the tanning process of leather includes harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and chromium, which can be harmful to both humans and the environment. Chromium-6 is a heavy metal and is carcinogenic – it is found in shoes and handbags.
It is time that we take a stand against this. Try to move towards more vegan-based products. Check the label of a product, and if it says that it is made of animal leather, reject it. That’s how we fight against animal cruelty. And if you are truly in love with the touch and feel of leather, you can always go for vegan options.