By Saurabh Sahni:
Every day we come to use so many leather products in our day to day life. But did we ever feel the need to know how these products are manufactured? Not really! Only a handful of people out of such a large population of the country care to find out how leather is processed.
The concentration of livestock in our country is among the largest in the world. And this livestock includes more than half of the buffaloes present currently in the world. Every year, a considerable number of animals, specifically buffaloes, are slaughtered because their skin comes in use of making leather. Even though leather-makers often term their products as “eco-friendly” but the process involves usage of animal skin and thus mass slaughter of the innocent animals. The process of leather processing involves turning animal skin into finished leather products, which further leads to creation of waste and also contributes to increasing pollution.
While it is clearly seen that the transportation and slaughtering of animals violates the animal welfare laws without any second thought, the leather industry is found to be practising it the most. To quote the exact figure, there is handling of as much as 230 million metres of animal skin by the leather industry in India. Earlier, there were no specific laws defined for slaughtering animals, which indeed led to great assaults on animals as mere means of production of leather. It was in mid-2000 that a standard plan was developed by CLE to punish those who violate the Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and this plan was then followed by the governments of 10 states of the country. Furthermore, there are volunteer organizations like PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) that look after attaining punishment for those who violate the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
There are a few alternatives to buffalo skin that the leather-makers could employ while processing leather. There are materials like cotton, rubber, canvas, synthetics, etc. that could be used in place of animal skin to produce leather. While a large section of leather-makers are not aware of it, the methods are also ignored by those who, on the other hand, do know about them. The best option is to do away with leather altogether and find substitute goods. Numerous animals suffer horrible assault by humans for the purpose of maintaining their luxury. But what humans are ignoring in the race of betterment is the fact that animals are decreasing in number day by day and it would not be long when they would all stand on the verge of extinction.
Image courtesy:Â http://in2eastafrica.net/ugandan-leather-makers-seek-govt-support/