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No happy cows...

potr
Posted by potr at 02/07/2013

at this website: happycow.com.au
The website above is an Australian manufacturer of LEATHER bags and accessories. I am appalled. I wrote to them, well him really, Justin A H Snyder. Asking him to change the name and my reasons why. I am sure as a community you are all aware why.
He responded by directing me to this page...www.happycow.com.au/recycled-leather-bags-sustainable. he seems to be so deluded as to think that using OFFCUTS - not USED leather mind you. that he is free from creating or adding to demand. WE NEED TO ALL WRITE TO HIM please!. I cant stop people using leather or their offcuts....i wish i could. But i want people who are using these products to do so with a conscience, to know where and how their food and products are created, and to then make a decision based upon the facts. PLEASE HELP. numbers make a difference. I know this is a small fight and not directly related to welfare issues. but proliferation and misuses of terms such as cruelty free are an abomination. Spin misusing the meanings or inferred meanings like free-range and sustainable are wrong.here is the page for contacting him.www.happycow.com.au/contacts/

Responses

potr
potr02/07/2013 19:32:34
by the way, here is the reply i sent to him today
Justin
What if NO animals whose skins are used to make hide were killed for manufacturing purposes.....What would you do then?
You NEED that industry to exist, so that you can get your RUBBISH leather. You are complicit in the slaughter of sentient, feeling, emotional and thinking beings. Mammals as we are.
Sustainable means "the capacity to endure". The only reason why your business is sustainable is because the meat and hide production industries exist.

If you used gold and that gold was "recycled" from the teeth of people killed by the Nazis in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, would that be ok? Not sustainable, i grant you, but by your definition "cruelty free".

All i asked was that you changed your name. It is wrong.

No cow happily goes to be slaughtered for its meat, its skin and also other "rubbish parts" such as its entrails, bones, eyes, horns and numerous other parts. Your appendix is not necessary, shall we cut it out, stun you, not anaesthetise and then cut you open to get it out, then maybe we can use that as a purse!.

By the way, leather may have once been natural, but cannot stay that way as it would rot. Its treated with chemicals to change its composition and remove the smells inherent with the decay of any once living thing. Actually come to think of it, if you really want to be sustainable why not look into harvesting the skins of dead people and turning them into "leather" im sure the colours would be lovely, pale and capable of achieving any finished result you could think of it...and so sustainable. Unless of course they became too popular....then you might have to buy the offcuts from a serial killer. Wow you could call yourself happyjillmaegher.com.au.
Is your name trademarked by the way? where?
CHANGE YOUR NAME PLEASE.
yours nothappyjustin
webmaster
webmaster02/07/2013 20:19:57
Yes, we know about those guys and it's irritating. Your points are good. Not much we can do about it though. We have a trademark but it's for a different category than that and they're also down in AU.
I'm guessing the best thing people can do is not support them.
happycowgirl
happycowgirl02/08/2013 09:25:25
Thanks for letting the real HappyCow community know about this, potr. I hadn't heard of this site before. On his website it says "Happy Cow Leather - Sustainable and Cruelty-Free". How can leather be cruelty-free when it's the product of a murdered cow? I clicked on the link, and now I understand why he thinks it's cruelty-free. He says:

"At one stage during my journey, I found myself in New Delhi, India and became very close friends with a man who manufactures bags and belts from recycled leather. Brand new leather was extremely expensive and thus he had cleverly made contacts with furniture manufacturers and they agreed to let him take their scrap pieces which were too small to use for furniture but large enough to make numerous bags. From my point of view this was incredible, now I could make bags out of leather (the most durable and flexible material natural material) without compromising my morals and without damaging the environment. We drank a lot of Chai that day and discussed the Belt Bag concept and our plans for the future, my designs became physical samples a few days later.

I knew right away this was an incredible opportunity. Here I had access to Leather which was not just sustainable but also cruelty-free (as we were not contributing to demand for leather). On top of all this, the leather was also brand new and available at a price that would allow us to offer our bags at prices anyone could afford."

He reminds me of my thinking when I first went vegetarian and wasn't yet vegan. I reasoned with myself that it was okay for me to buy leather belts and leather shoes as long as I bought them at re-sale shops. I did that for a while until I realized that although this was a secondary market, I was still contributing to profitability of murdering cows. So my next step was to only get my leather goods from Freecycle (a website where people give away stuff they don't want for free). So much effort went into obtaining just one belt. Finally I reached the conclusion that this was ridiculous. I thought about where these belts and boots came from. I was wearing the skin of a murdered cow. Why would I want to do that? How absolutely disgusting. The more I thought about it the more I didn't even want to touch the leather on the belt. Once I started buying only vegan belts, shoes and purses I felt wonderful and wished I had made the connection much earlier.

In short, I think this fellow Justin's heart is in the right place. His ethics remind me of those of the Native Americans in the plains (U.S.) who were totally dependent on the buffalo for their existence. They had tremendous respect for the animals and after killing a buffalo would say a prayer for its soul and be sure they used every part of the animal and nothing was wasted. Unlike Justin, the Native Americans were not so deluded as to call the killing of the buffalo "cruelty-free".

The true test for Justin will be when the day arrives where he has to pay for the leather or go out of business. If he chooses to pay even one cent for the leather, so much for his moral underpinnings. Once a person has invested so much money and effort into a company, it can make it more and more difficult to do the right thing if making the ethical decision will put you out of business.

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