The leather Rampage

As genuine as the reality, as natural as ones own skin, this material called Leather has been human being's companion since time immemorial, even before fire was discovered . Yet sometimes considered an article of luxury, for other times a subject of environmental-social opposition , it has maintained its identity despite all controversies. Trends according to Seasons come in and fade out, but style remains eternal and constant! Similarly, Leather is considered an everlasting thing, having which in one's closet is not only like a classic must have but also a style statement.

If one considers that using leather is equal to cruelty to animals, then what about meat industry? Animals are slaughtered for meat. There is a thriving slaughter houses spread all over the country. These animals that are killed for meat can be called a victim of cruelty and barbarism. Leather tanneries just utilize the dead animal's hide/skin to process and produce finished leather. Non Vegetarians can be held more responsible for this so called injustice to animals rather then Leather consumers in such a case. But then the question of maintaining ecological cycles of nature wherein often every organism is a food to another will be hampered. Everything is just so interlinked. A common connection binds every other thing into a single chain.
Consider a typical day in a mid suburban town. You step into your delicate Nu buck shoes hoping that you must not face dust and moisture for the day. On the streets you hear a rattle of leather boots walking along. A lady in her mid thirties standing near the bus shed, starts ransacking her leather tote to find out her mobile encased inside the classic cow leather pouch. Few steps ahead a teenager girl,all equipped with her latest gizmo's stuffed inside her colorful leather duffel constantly invites attention with her hyper activities. You turn your wrist to see the time on your watch attached to the original sheep nappa straps adding multi folds to its value. You can now comprehend easily how entwined leather/skin is with minute aspects of life ,nevertheless its versatility and beauty is not adequately explored!
Few years back, I had heard my Grand mom-who was an orthodox Indian Hindu lady, advocate for the taboo of not taking Leather shoes to any temple or holding the petty cobbler as untouchable in the society, but I couldn't figure out why is deity such as Lord Shiva allowed to sit on a deer/tiger's hide despite such prohibitions?! Although neither is Lord Shiva nor is my Grand mom accessible for questioning of course. Yet what I can conclude is that the versatility, flexibility, durability,strength,rub fastness,comfort, beauty of differently patterned natural skin, being a by product of meat industry makes leather stand apart of the rest. The water retaining Chamois leather, the music instrument's and lamp shade's goat parchment or the tough upholstery and saddle leather all have some unquestionable importance. Lastly,isn't plant products also a cruelty to plants?

After all it is the perception that matters the most!

4 Comments:

Alok K. said...

Genuine leather has got its own class, I agree.

Animals being reared for their skin is pretty close to the meat industry. We eat chicken and never complain about the poor lives...

But I have heard that the leather tanneries use a lot of corrosive chemicals and are a major source for polluting the rivers... What's your take on the environmental responsibilities of the leather tanning industry?

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid,I loved plucking flowers from my neighbour's grden. She never uttered a word until one day when I tried to pluck a rose. The point is you never mind loss of anything that is in abundance coz you dont care enough. Many times you even do not realize that you are wearing a watch with an original leather strap, all you know is that you have an expensive branded watch. suddenly one day if you realize that all meat providing animals are at the verge of being extinct, you will certainly start campaigning against being non vegetarian

Shivi said...

@Alok and Anonymous Arpi- I agree with you both , but everything has two sides. You cannot detach goo/bad from anything separately, Only ratio keeps on changing. If that pollution creating stuff is reducing the life span, then is it not providing livelihood-income for innumerable families? Pros-and-cons buddies. We cannot keep the balance stable!

Alok K. said...

hmmm. Agreed.