View Full Version : Leather

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Apr 22nd, 2004, 11:17 PM

does anyone in here know if the leather that is used in shoes, clothes etc. is produced from the same animals that are killed for food? If it is, and no additional animals are killed for the purpose of producing it, does it really make a difference if we avoid using it?

Whether or not the leather was made from cows (which I'm pretty sure it is) or any other farm animal, for that matter, you are still buying an animal product and that animal had to die for it.

Apr 23rd, 2004, 04:59 PM
some people argue that it is ok to wear leather since the leather industry is just using the "waste" of factory farming. but, just think about how profitable leather is. look at how expensive leather jackets and purses and leather shoes are. these corporations are still making a huge a profit off of animal products.

i don't see anything wrong with wearing old leather shoes that you bought before you were vegan. just like i don't see anything wrong with wearing an old wool hat from before you became vegan. but to continue to buy new leather goods is pumping more money in the machine that uses, abuses, and destroys lives for profit.

Apr 23rd, 2004, 05:04 PM
This is close to the question I was going to ask when the vegan forum crashed. Does anyone know if animal ingredients (like things you'd find in shampoos, or non-meat foods) come from animals that were killed for food, or if some animals are killed for the express purpose of extracting those ingredients?

i'm not 100% positive, but i'd say that these ingredients came from animals that were killed for their flesh. with companies that use ingredients found in milk, i'm really not sure how that works. maybe the dairy companies are able to seperate the different components of milk (i know it's easy to this with whey), like lactic acid or glycerides and sell those individually to other companies. thats just a guess though.

Apr 23rd, 2004, 08:37 PM
From what I understand, the beef and dairy industries get about 10% profit from selling animal hides to leather manufacturers. So, even if the animals are not killed for the purpose of making leather, buying leather is financially supporting the animal product industries.

I havenīt been able to find out what the profit is like for other animal by products, but every little bit helps, as they say, so i am sure the selling of all the gunk to cosmetic and soap companies is somewhat valuable to the beef and dairy industries.

In my view, boycotting the industries is what makes me feel like I am part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.


Apr 23rd, 2004, 09:52 PM
Buying animal skins is buying animal flesh. Ethical veg*ns should refrain from bying leather items for the same reasons they refrain from buying meat.

Apr 25th, 2004, 06:15 PM
I totally agree...

Apr 30th, 2004, 10:28 PM
Most fur doesn't come from slaughterhouse animals anymore, but leather is still the most profitable by-product of the meat industry.

I personally want to be as far removed from that industry as I can.

May 1st, 2004, 01:40 AM
Yeah, I think fur is sold from animals that were killed specifically for the fur, but leather is a byproduct of the dead animal (a/k/a "meat") industry, last I checked.

May 1st, 2004, 03:28 AM
From my understanding (school with daughter of an Illinois dairy farmer), there are dairy farmers providing specific grades of milk: some are graded for drinking (and I would imagine for products like whipped cream?) and others are graded for cheese.

I would guess that the grading system is an "inverted triangle" approach, where the top grade is "suitable" for use in more products than the lower grades (i.e., drinking grade may be used for some cheese, yogurt, etc)

A Google for "milk grades USDA" turned up the following link:
"Almost all dairy products can be graded, but the service is used most widely for butter, Cheddar cheese, instant nonfat dry milk, and regular nonfat dry milk. Inspectors also grade other cheeses, dry whey, dry buttermilk, and dried and condensed milk."

and then a Google for "classes milk USDA" yielded:
"A classified price plan provides different classes and prices for milk of different uses. Milk used in fluid products is placed in Class I, the highest priced class. Milk used to produce ice cream, yogurt, butter, cheese, nonfat dry milk, and other manufactured products is placed in Class II or other lower-priced classes."

... so it looks like there are both Classes and Grades of milk, where Class I is drinking milk, and Classes II and others would likely be graded as shown in the first link.

based on this information and some "hunches" from time in Wisconsin, I doubt there are dairy cows raised specifically to serve cosmetics industry exclusively (i.e., not food industry). I would guess that both cosmetics and dairy-derivatives companies may purchase the same class/grade of milk ... ?


May 1st, 2004, 04:43 PM
personally i dont want to wear no skin from an animal... thats jus gross... and definately not interested in supporting the meat industry

May 3rd, 2004, 08:33 PM
I also want to be as far from the meat industry as I can, and I'm not at all promoting use of leather. I'm against it. But I live in a town (country?) where vegan shoes are impossible to find, and I still haven't tried to order shoes by mail order... Veggie4Life, I don't think an animal had to die for my shoes, and frankly, I don't think using by-products makes such a big difference - for the animals. To me, it's a bit like wearing old leather shoes. The animals wouldn't have been reborn if I dropped using them, and an animal that is killed for food won't become alive if their skin isn't used.

I'm still avoiding animal products almost always. Some vegans seem to spend hours every month on figuring out how to avoid 0,0001% traces of animal products in their life, personally I think this time would be better spent writing an article in the local newspaper about whatever your reasons for being a vegan are.

But it really doesn't make sense to be against killing animals, and at the same time wear the skin from their dead bodies.

By the way, the reason I call myself 99% vegan isn't that I'm not supporting the vegan ways of looking at life. It's just a personal thing, I have tried to become 100% vegan, and have figured out that it's better for me to accept that I'm not a perfect vegan than pushing myself towards to become 100%. I guess I could be a 100% vegan for some months, but I have seen people forcing themselves into being something they're not ready for, and then - after a while, they dropped the whole thing. I would never start eating meat or dairy again, I just feels better to claim that I'm 99% (and maybe be 99.5%) than claiming that I'm 100% vegan if it isn't really true.

I read an good article about this subject a while ago - I have lost the bookmark unfortunately. It is written by a vegan who has been an animal rights activist for about 30 years. Although he spent many years diligently avoiding all traces of animal product in eveything he used, he says now, that he believes that energy is better spent talking with people about veganism - boycotting products that contain traces of animal products won´t stop the slaughtering, while talking to someone about veganism will lead to reduced demand for animal products.

i agree with him, although I still avoid leather and animal - products in just about everything I can - First, because I don´t really want animal products on my skin, in my hair or in my cleaning products. Second, because i don´t want to support the major corporations - even if the animal by product they use isn´t responsible for suffering, there is certainly other things that these corporations do that contribute to harming animals, environment and people.


May 3rd, 2004, 08:44 PM
There are of course several reasons for avoiding animal products. If you only do it to try to reach other people, than I can see how avoiding small traces of animal by product can seem very useless.

I personally am just so disgusted with the whole animal abuse industry that those little traces to me represent just pain and horror. For me it doesn't take a lot of energy avoiding them either. Scanning an ingredient list now and then takes very little of my time.

But what I believe is most important, is the person itself. If all depends on how you feel about something. If everything is just one big struggle, you won't stick with it anyway (or you'll just be miserable).

It will take a lot of people to move towards a more peaceful world. And I believe vegetarians, 99% vegans or even meat eaters can all help us towards that goal.

May 4th, 2004, 02:57 PM
hi budding 100%veg,
does it makes any difference? do you eat meat because some animals are killed for their fur?
yes, some animals are killed for their skin (leather or fur), they are raised in this purpose.

Jun 10th, 2004, 01:37 PM

Sep 2nd, 2007, 11:07 AM
'Vegetarian star's name used to promote leather handbags
By Susie Mesure
Published: 02 September 2007

Chrissie Hynde, the lead singer of the Pretenders, is an ardent vegetarian whose commitment to animal rights has led to her arrest. So imagine her horror at learning that a luxury Italian fashion house had created a line of leather handbags in homage to her rock star status. [...]'


Sep 2nd, 2007, 07:12 PM
She must be furious over that................if I feel angry about it........how must she feel?

flying plum
Sep 3rd, 2007, 03:46 AM
my personal view on leather is that i won't buy it new. i have problems with leather because, as others have said, it provides a large portion of funding to the meat industry as a whole. however, i also worry about buying man-made plastic shoes (new).

as a result, any shoes i buy i try to buy secondhand, and often these are leather. however, i don't feel that i'm contributing to the industry in this way, and although some would say in this respect that i am not vegan, because i am still wearing animal products, i try to maintain a universal moral compass that maybe includes more factors that just vegan ones (or my vegan moral compass has more points?).

i do occasionally buy new (non-leather and as vegan-friendly as i can be assured like my new work plimsols) shoes, but i try not too. i don't think non-biodegradable plastic is any better than shoes of dead (and so treated that they're not biodegradable either) animals.


Sep 3rd, 2007, 12:34 PM
See, my reasoning behind second hand leather, is that if I buy second hand leather shoes, those have been taken out of the market. Therefore, someone who might have bought those shoes, now has to buy new leather ones. For me, I can't separate second hand and new, it all increases demand eventually.

flying plum
Sep 3rd, 2007, 12:58 PM
imo if someone is looking to buy secondhand shoes, they will buy them secondhand, because they are looking at secondhand shoes for a reason, either ethical, or because they want vintage shoes.

personally, i don't think that anything i really do is completely ethically correct until i start finding recycled shoes. but like i said, i try to maintain an overall balanced view. i agree that there are probably SOME people who are trying to find a good bargain, and in not being able to buy the pink high heels i just got last weekend, they'll buy them new from office. however, equally those pink high heels could have been synthetic and they would have not been able to get them, and still gone and bought them new.

i just have a hard time justifying buying new shoes all the time when i can easily buy the secondhand. and yes, i could insist that all the secondhand shoes i bought were synthetic, but it starts to become almost impossible to get what i need. i finally caved and bought a new pair of plimsolls for work because i couldn't deal with working in shoes with holes in anymore and i'd been unable to find a replacement secondhand.

anyhoo...i realise lots of people don't agree with me on this...


Spud Addict
Sep 3rd, 2007, 01:00 PM
I have to say I agree with Purple. I sold my old leather boots and shoes etc when I first became vegan. My reasoning was if people want to buy leather boots, and they buy my used ones they at least wont go out and buy new ones.

Everyone's going to have their own personal preference on this one I think.

Sep 3rd, 2007, 01:25 PM
Exactly my feelings.
I also think that given that omnis and lacto-ovos are constantly looking to pick holes in veganism to make themselves feel better, wearing any animal product, however previously used, can reinforce their comfort zone and hinder their possible progress away from contributing to animal cruelty.

Guacamole Gal
Sep 3rd, 2007, 06:59 PM
I had the misfortune to work with someone a few years ago who claimed not to know that leather actually came from a cow...What did they think (or not, as the case may be), that it grew on a "leather tree"?:mad:

Oh, and this person was supposedly a "mature adult" in their mid 30's. Mind you, she was a malicious, ignorant vile colleague to be around anyway!!..

Nov 8th, 2007, 01:50 AM
With the fact that we don't purchase any appareal and accessories with leather in it in mind, anyone know any stores that sell fake-leather items such as wallets/chain wallets, dress shoes(aside from planetshoes), belts, etc... ?

Nov 8th, 2007, 01:18 PM
www.veganessentials.com sells several fake leather items.

I admit, I still have one or two old leather items I've had literally forever which I haven't thrown away and still use. I've had the same belt since 2001, and I have an old spiked punk bracelet I've had since like 1998. I don't purchase any new leather items, though.

Nov 9th, 2007, 06:47 AM
cool, that has quite a few things i would like already. i appreciate it, if you come up with anything else please let me know!

thanks! d:D