When going vegan some people have trouble giving up bacon or cheese, but my struggle was shoes (okay, so I struggled with cheese too!). Thanks to Cowgirl (see Vanity or Life for the story), I think I’m past it now. If I get tempted to buy leather again, however; I’ll reread this fab comment from the anonymous writer of An Untitled Press.
Here’s what anonymous has to say in response to Cowgirl’s story about meeting a friendly steer at the Farm Sanctuary:
“That friendly steer story reminded me of a documentary I had watched years ago about leather that’s made in Turkey. I was expecting for the documentary to show views of gorgeous cobble-step sidewalks, wine and cheese-making fields, and the whole Turkey-ish country scenes I had imagined the documentary was gonna show (I’m sure I was mixing the country up with another one; oh, now I remember, I thought I was gonna see Tuscany – hahaha!).
Anyhow, the documentary showed tourists going on a trip to see how the country of Turkey was able to make such soft leather, which they’re known for worldwide. It started off the ultimate of grossness, when they showed freshly stripped-off leather skins being washed in huge pools in some outdoor area (looked like some wayside street, instead of a factory). All of the goriness of bloody skins was already sick to see, but what was even worse was when some of the tourists watching the process had thrown up. Their barf was going into the bloody pools! Ah! Gag!
Then the saddest thing about how a leather-making father had wanted his son to grow up to have a better life, but his son couldn’t find any other work, but to make leather as well with his Dad. It was hard work! The son had to step on the leather skins with his feet in waist-high water for hours and hours. The documentary commented that if a person were to have any open sores, then they couldn’t do the leather-stepping part of the job because they’d get ill (infected?) right away.
And in the end, they showed what was the most valuable ingredient that helped to make their leather so soft: pigeon poop. It was incredible to me how the leather-makers were gathering pigeon droppings so carefully (with their bare hands), scooping it up as if it were expensive jewelry. I had no idea leather could ever be made in that process. I thought they were just dried out in the sun with some kind of softening oils brushed on ’em or something, ya know?”
Thanks to Cowgirl and An Untitled Press – I think my leather wearing days are over for good!
If this post inspired you to get some cruelty-free shoes, here’s some links to check out!
Photo courtesy of myshoestyling.com.