After receiving a letter from India’s sector of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Punjab government of India is encouraging students to wear canvas shoes, rather than leather, as a way to cut down on cruel practices used to create clothing out of animals.
Black leather shoes are mandatory throughout most schools in India, which is the primary urge for the letter sent by PETA. After reading through PETA’s suggestions, the board of directors issued a memo stating canvas footwear would be strongly recommended as part of the new dress code.
Aside from the fact that leather shoes are often uncomfortable and unhealthy for our feet, the cruel practices involved with slaughtering animals and using their skin for production is what has urged many cities in India to make the change. PETA India says that cows bought and sold in the leather industry in India are often beaten, suffering hunger, exhaustion, injury and illness. They’re brought to slaughterhouses where they are skinned and dismembered, often while conscious.
Cruel practices aren’t the only negative aspect of the leather industry. Toxic chemicals are used to treat and process the skin, poisoning local water supplies, even in countries such as India where clean water is less available.
Punjab is taking this leather-free approach as a way to show they are progressive and care about the well-being of animals, the well-being of children in their state and the condition of the environment.
For those who can’t bear to give up meat for the sake of animal welfare, their health or the environment, giving up leather or other animal-made goods is another simple step to take. Hopefully other schools or uniform companies will follow suit.
Do you carry or wear leather goods yourself, or do you prefer alternatives?
Image CC licensed by Sistak: Canvas sneakers