Why is it unethical to use leather derived from animals who are not killed for leather?

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catmanmugdho
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Why is it unethical to use leather derived from animals who are not killed for leather?

Post by catmanmugdho » Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:35 am

I am completely against killing animals for their skins. But what about skins of animals which died in natural causes, is it unethical to use their skins for products? And what about the skins of animals which are killed by meat industry? Because this leather is not contributing to slaughtering animals or supply-demand for meats. Skins of leather would otherwise go to waste or into the soil.

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Jebus
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Post by Jebus » Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:07 pm

catmanmugdho wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:35 am
I am completely against killing animals for their skins. But what about skins of animals which died in natural causes, is it unethical to use their skins for products?
The only issue I can think of is if someone sees and likes your clothes, doesn't know how you acquired it, and then goes out and purchases something similar.
catmanmugdho wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:35 am
And what about the skins of animals which are killed by meat industry? Because this leather is not contributing to slaughtering animals or supply-demand for meats. Skins of leather would otherwise go to waste or into the soil.
You would be increasing the profits of an unethical industry.
How to become vegan in 4.5 hours:
1.Watch Forks over Knives (Health)
2.Watch Cowspiracy (Environment)
3. Watch Earthlings (Ethics)
Congratulations, unless you are a complete idiot you are now a vegan.

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brimstoneSalad
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:22 pm

Jebus wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:07 pm
catmanmugdho wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:35 am
And what about the skins of animals which are killed by meat industry? Because this leather is not contributing to slaughtering animals or supply-demand for meats. Skins of leather would otherwise go to waste or into the soil.
You would be increasing the profits of an unethical industry.
Right, which subsidizes meat and increases consumption at the lower price (more animals die).

Interestingly, we can say the same about soybean oil, because when you consume the oil you leave behind the protein which is used as animal feed (a crucial feed source) and subsidizes meat. In contrast with buying soy protein, which competes with the animal ag industry for materials and drives the price of meat up.

It would be interesting to look at how different consumer choices either subsidize or compete with animal agriculture, but that's hard to do and most effects are going to be very small. Leather is significant.

Jamie in Chile
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Post by Jamie in Chile » Wed May 01, 2019 9:38 pm

A key question here would be whether the meat industry gets money for leather, or whether it gives it away. If the meat industry gets NO money at all for the leather, then it is fair to say that using the leather doesn't cause suffering directly (except a little bit in the type of way Jebus mentioned above).

However if the meat industry gets even as little as 5% of its money from leather and 95% from meat (I'm simplifying here, in reality there may be other animal parts sold e.g. bone) then I would argue that you are adding to demand and you are increasing suffering by giving the meat company extra profits to reinvest, the ability to sell more by lowering the price (as mentioned above) or maybe that 5% has kept a few companies from going bust.

I saw a movie, and it may have been Earthlings, where they also mentioned that leather cows and meat cows are different cows, so some cows are actually bred for leather as the major product in some cases! And they showed the India case. However, I could be remembering wrong, can anyone confirm or deny this?

In the case of animals that died of natural causes I don't see much of a moral issue, a minor one at best. But I doubt there is any leather for sale of animals that died of natural causes so unless you can point to where you would actually buy this it's a moot point.

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Lay Vegan
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Post by Lay Vegan » Thu May 02, 2019 1:13 am

Jamie in Chile wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 9:38 pm
A key question here would be whether the meat industry gets money for leather, or whether it gives it away. If the meat industry gets NO money at all for the leather, then it is fair to say that using the leather doesn't cause suffering directly (except a little bit in the type of way Jebus mentioned above).
It's a mutual benefit, but leather production is a far more lucrative business on its own. Animals skins are generally profitable, whereas meat is not always so (typically as with exotic animals).

At least in Western countries, there isn’t a high demand for crocodile and snake cuisine. So yes, revenue from their skins only makes their meat production more sustainable.

Even with respect to dairy cows, you’re kidding yourself if you believe farmers are selling their skins out of some altruistic desire to minimize waste. The reality is that cowhide generates massive income (billions) for factory farmers, which helps to keep meat cheap (thus increasing consumption). i.e., purchasing leather means helping the meat industry remain solvent.
Jamie in Chile wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 9:38 pm
I saw a movie, and it may have been Earthlings, where they also mentioned that leather cows and meat cows are different cows, so some cows are actually bred for leather as the major product in some cases! And they showed the India case. However, I could be remembering wrong, can anyone confirm or deny this?
That seems rather dubious. At least in the US, most leather comes from dairy cows who are unable to produce milk at a level that is profitable. I think India forbids the slaughter of cows, so they just have them exported to be slaughtered for leather. That's not the same scenario as Indian farmers raising cattle exclusively for their hide.

Minos
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Post by Minos » Thu May 02, 2019 1:44 pm

Jamie in Chile wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 9:38 pm
A key question here would be whether the meat industry gets money for leather, or whether it gives it away. If the meat industry gets NO money at all for the leather, then it is fair to say that using the leather doesn't cause suffering directly (except a little bit in the type of way Jebus mentioned above).
More accurate question would be how much money they get. There are more uses for skins than fashion industry, for example gelatin which is then used in food, photography, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

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