Did you know leather is one of the main drivers of the deforestation of the Amazon, Cerrado and Chaco biomes? Not only does the production of soy and palm for cattle feed drive deforestation, every 18 seconds, a hectare of forest is lost to cattle ranchers. Brazil’s herd counts 215 million heads and has been grazing on 90% of the deforested land since 1970. More importantly, only 50% of the herd is grazing on legal land.
Leather is often labelled as a by-product of the meat industry because the word ‘cattle’ is often synonymised with ‘beef’. However, leather is far from just a by-product of animal slaughter for meat. Selling skins can certainly be very profitable for farmers – for meat, this is not always the case. By buying leather, we are subsidising the meat industry and contributing to the deforestation of the Amazon, Cerrado and Chaco biomes.
On our website, you’ll find a series of posts that shines a light on some of the disturbing hidden costs of leather production. If you haven’t already, check out our three articles about the impact of leather on animal welfare, human rights, and the environment.