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Singer and animal rights activist Leona Lewis narrates a shocking PETA video exposé of Bangladesh's billion-dollar leather industry, which reveals who really pays the highest price for "affordable" leather: animals and workers, including children.
Long and Agonizing Transports
Every year, an estimated 2 million cows from India are bound, thrown onto trucks, and transported thousands of kilometers to Bangladesh in order to circumvent Indian slaughter bans.
Video footage reveals that many cows were emaciated, exhausted, and so malnourished that they couldn't stand up by the time they arrived. They suffered from broken tails and open, festering wounds. The eyewitness did not see any veterinary care given to the animals.
Skinned Alive and Slaughtered
Cows and goats are often illegally slaughtered for their skins on the streets of Bangladesh at night, and the animals are forced to watch as others' throats are cut with a knife. In official slaughterhouses, workers bind their legs and slit their throats—all while they're still conscious. As seen in the video footage, cows are sometimes still alive and kicking as their skin is torn off their bodies.
Dangers to Workers
Workers, including children, were documented performing hazardous tasks such as soaking hides in toxic chemicals and using knives to cut the skins, which are then used to make leather handbags, shoes, and other products that are sold around the world. Children even operate machinery. The unprotected workers stand barefoot in cancer-causing chemicals and use acids that can cause chronic skin diseases. An estimated 90 percent of these tannery workers die before the age of 50.
The eyewitness visited several businesses in the quarter of Dhaka where more than 150 tanneries are situated, and there isn't a single sewage plant within the quarter. Toxic chemical substances are dumped into the nearby river, killing animals in and near the water and posing a threat to public health.
You Can Help Animals and Children
No matter where it comes from—Bangladesh, China, or India—leather is the product of a cruel industry. Leona wants you to know the facts and pledge never to wear animal skins again. Your pledge will let designers, retailers, and others who profit from cruelty know that skin belongs on animals, not in our closets.
Fight cruelty to animals by pledging never to wear or buy leather. Learn more about the cruel leather industry and make a conscious choice to practice compassion and spare animals' lives.