Where’s the Leather?


Has anyone stopped to question:

WHERE is the world’s supply of leather disappearing to?

Of all my travels in the past few years, I’ve noticed a severe deficiency of leather goods in the world market. Even in countries noted for their leather goods, leather is becoming rare — and exclusive.

Though the phenomena is minimized in the west where “pleather” is still considered trendy, is is hardly noticeable — yet. In Egypt, I’m told by salesmen that when they call something Italian leather, it now means “pleather”. It’s common street code. And when I ask them where all the leather in Egypt went, they tell me Italy.

True, you can still find leather handbags and shoes in major U.S Department stores, back alley peddlers and boutiques worldwide, but prices have gone up, quality has gone down, and quantities are scarce. If you walk into a Macy’s, only 10% of their handbags are real leather. In the 80’s, 95% were real leather.

Does it make a difference? Yes.

It would be great to see a world dressed vegan. However, since the prehistoric days of cavemen, Sumerians, and Indians, animal hides have always provided warmth from the cold. After hunts, the meat was used and skins were removed — since the physical bodies decomposed anyway after the spirit departed. It is not right to go kill living animals for their skin, but it is natural to use their hides after they are gone. Some people can only wear leather shoes for comfort purposes. Leather stretches. However, we also know big brands that produce leather goods DON’T wait for an animal to be “hunted and used” or die naturally. If an animal is killed solely for the purpose of taking its skin, and not used to be eaten (“hunted and used”), it’s death is not spiritually ethical. It is a crime.

Now back to the larger picture. Since there IS a decline in leather goods everywhere, though there still is a huge demand for them, yet a steady flow of meat in our grocery stores, then where is the leather going?

Or, is our meat not coming from COWS?
Or, is leather being hoarded to be used or saved for something we know nothing of?
Or, is leather being faded out of our markets for GOOD reason and intentions?
Or, are they creating android armies and using animal leather to create human looking skin?
Or, are animal rights activists finally winning their war on fur?
Or, is China creating premium leather-looking products for dirt cheap that only an insane business would turn to manufacturing costly leather in these times?

YOU DECIDE.

— Suzy Kassem

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