Many of us have seen shocking images of foxes or minks suffering in cages on fur farms or being gassed, electrocuted or skinned alive. As a result many people now reject fur. However, leather and sheepskin continue to be in high demand. Rarely do we question the fact that leather and sheepskin are also the skin of an animal, which has been tanned and treated with a cocktail of chemicals to avoid decomposition and obtain the desired colour. While many people would think twice before wearing fur, they make an exception for leather or sheepskin because it is usually thought to be a 'by-product' of the meat industry. In reality, they are far from being by-products: paying for leather and sheepskin adds substantially to the slaughterhouse value of the dead animal and financially supports the meat industry. The multimillion pound leather industry is such big business it would sustain itself even if the meat industry were to end tomorrow.
See inside a cow slaughterhouse, filmed by Animal Equality investigators:
During 'fur' production a significant number of animals, whether raised in cages on fur farms or trapped in the wild, are skinned alive. Approximately 35 animals are killed and skinned to make a single coat and the 'fur' industry currently kills around 30 million animals a year. The use of fur is now widely rejected due to raised public awareness of the misery suffered by animals on fur farms, and their agonising deaths: by gassing, electrocution or being simply skinned alive. However, we need to apply those same arguments for the rejection of any item of clothing made from animal skin or hair, such as leather and wool, since every case involves an individual sentient being's exploitation.
Watch Animal Equality's mink farm investigation in Spain (2010):