**FYI, my mom sent me this blog post. AND she ate much less meat, not buying any at the grocery store, during her recent visit. My mom rocks.
“Animals aren’t the only ones who suffer to produce leather. What most consumers don’t know is that even if a leather garment is expensive and made in the United States or Europe, the actual leather is probably still cheaply produced in China or the developing world.
In order to stop a cow’s skin from decomposing as it would naturally, it is treated with highly toxic chemicals, turning it into something that defies nature: an animal’s corpse that will never rot. These chemicals are horrible for the environment, for the workers in the tanneries, and for the populations living downstream. In the New Scientist, a lawyer for China’s Centre for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims describes conditions on one river poisoned by waste from a nearby tannery: “A few years ago, villagers could swim in the river. Now they get blisters on their hands and feet from touching the water. … When you stand close to the river you can smell rotting flesh because the leather factory dumps its sewage, made up of animal skin and meat, untreated into the river.” Is a leather jacket, belt, or pair of shoes really worth that?”