Leather tanning is the process of converting raw hides or skins into leather. Hides and skins have the ability to absorb tannic acid and other chemical substances that prevent them from decaying, make them resistant to wetting, and keep them supple and durable. The surface of hides and skins contains the hair and oil glands and is known as the grain side. The flesh side of the hide or skin is much thicker and softer. Tanning is essentially the reaction of collagen fibers in the hide with tannins, chromium, alum, or other chemical agents.
It is impossible to call leather a natural or more “eco-friendly” alternative, as the tanning process is about as un-natural as you can get.
Animal skins are only natural fibers when they are on the animal’s back.
While meat consumption is slowly decreasing, leather is still extremely popular. This is most unfortunate because leather is a co-product of the meat industry. Meaning even if your red-meat eating days are over, sales from leather support the beef industry.
I find leather to be the trickiest of all of the animal rights issues. I think this has mostly to do with its appearance. When you look at a piece of flesh, it’s easier to make the connection, but most people are disconnected to tanned skin, especially when it’s in the shape of a stiletto.
The more conscious we can be as consumers, the more we can help the animals and the environment. Shop leather-free! #VegansofIG
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