PETA Video Exposes Bangladesh's Leather Industry
PETA has released a new video expose that runs for just over two minutes and focuses on the billion-dollar leather industry in Bangladesh, and what it means for both the workers and animals involved.
The video is narrated by Leona Lews, animal rights activist and musician, and shows footage of cows from India who were completely emaciated and arriving with open wounds by the time they reached Bangladesh, and received no veterinary care. The cows, who are considered to be holy for the Hindus (therefore making it illegal to kill them in India), are smuggled to Bangladesh so they can be skinned to create leather. PETA estimates the number to be two million a year.
The cows were shown to be bound by their legs with workers slitting their throats. The video showed a cow who was not killed and therefore still completely conscious as her skin was being stripped.
However, the video also focused on the negative effects this industry has on workers–which includes children. Leather is treated with chemicals including formaldehyde, coal-tar, cyanide-based dyes, and more in order to prevent the skin from decomposing. The workers are exposed to all of these chemicals, and they–along with children, were shown doing dangerous tasks, which included soaking the skin in the chemicals, using large knives, operating dangerous machinery and standing barefoot in the chemical residues. It is estimated that the large majority of these workers will die before they reach the age of 50.
These chemicals also affect surrounding areas as well where there were no sewage plants, but over 150 tanneries, which means the toxins were being “thrown out” in the rivers.
The desire for cheap and abundant leather is not only an animal rights issue. Instead, PETA’s expose shows that it is a universal issue, which endangers humans, the environment, and animals. With so many alternatives existing, this video will hopefully create a sense of urgency in finally moving away from massive industries like these. You can see the video below: