Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time

Outrage Over Dog Leather Opens Door to Discussion about Cow Skin Products

December 23, 2014 by Leave a Comment


In mid-December, PETA Asia released undercover footage of workers in China bludgeoning dogs with sticks and peeling off their skin in order to make gloves, belts and other accessories.

Media reports suggest that people around the world are outraged by the violence against the dogs, as they should be. But the dog skin trade is no more abusive than the cow skin trade.

cow leather

During their treacherous lives on factory farms and in feedlots, cows are branded, castrated and dehorned with no painkillers. Shouldn’t we be equally outraged by these abuses? And, if so, then how can we justify buying cow leather?

Some people argue that dogs deserve a free pass because they’re companion animals. Even if that could be used as a justification, it’s inaccurate. In China, dogs are food. Their skin is another source of revenue, much like cow skin in Western countries.

Dog skin gloves

Dog skin gloves are sold as “leather” in the U.S.

Skin belongs to the animal who was born with it, not to people who want to make things out of it. Suggesting that one animal deserves to keep her skin more than another is arbitrary. With all of the non-animal alternatives available to us, we simply cannot justify stealing anyone’s skin.

Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. Scarlet Shaw says:

    Goodeness, this debate is vast! In the UK the RSPCA uthnise thousands of animals (pets) as well as wildlife every single year. As well as having the power to prosecute people who have committed cruelty to animals. However like EVERTHING else in these cases, if the demand stops, eventually this nasty business in all it forms STOPS. Plain and simple, problem is, there are people farming these animals, cats, dogs, rodents, reptiles, cows, pigs, sheep etc., for consumption. Food or product. We as humans (again I used the term lightly) have a choice to make here. We either carry on regardless of the fact, suffering, barbaric torture across the globe, ivory trade, medicine trade, fashion trade, skin trade (I could go on) or we stop buying, we do our homework, we find alternatives, we demand alternatives. Let’s face it the companies, seem to love and favour supplying demand (yes?) so therefore if the demand per say changes, it changes. Unfortunately this process doesn’t happen over night. It takes many years to appeal to the consionce of every Homosapian in the consumption market! Together and over time we can change this. We can change thinking, we can change the demand. But only buy sticking together. There is always a ugly side to every beautiful thing on this planet, unfortunately humans are no exception.

  2. Vicki ginoli says:

    This has to be stoppef

  3. Helen Adams says:

    I have only just started to replace my leather products with non leather and really am impressed by their longevity so why on earth do we still justify the horrific abuse of animals in killing them for their skin…I have to be honest I couldn’t bring myself to watch the video. We are supposed to be animal lovers, yet we buy leather products as Christmas presents and it sickens me the number of my friends who wear Uggs…without any knowledge of how that boot was made. I have a great many friends who want to see China…I have no interest in visit a country that has the worst human and animal rights record. Just because we have used animal skin in the past as there was no viable alernative…heh there is now. THIS NEEDS TO STOP TO ALL ANIMALS!

    1. Jeff says:

      Why do you think that China has THE worst human and animal rights record? Just because you hear a lot about animal abuse in China (almost always focused on varieties of it that happen not to occur here, strange coincidence, huh?) from groups like PETA doesn’t mean there’s more of it there than here. 10 billion animals are killed for food every year in the US and they all suffer just as much as those dogs. Chinese people eat far less meat than Americans do.

      1. Dera says:

        Jeff, it is clearly obvious you are not aware that China does not have animal welfare laws nor inspectors. Animals are not captive stunned with a bolt, instead they dogs are often beaten to a bloody pulp, then hoisted up on a wire hooked pierced through their muzzle, then their skin is ripped off their body like peeling a banana. We don’t do this to animals in the US, so yes there is a huge difference. Please develop the courage to investigate this issue further, watch a few videos if you can stomach it. Surely had you watched the videos and read the reports of witnesses, you would not be commenting as you did. I’ve seen enough videos and don’t need to see them any more. There is plenty of evidence that shows how China and other Asian countries are the epicenter of cruelty and armpit of Hell on Earth. No wonder China, Korea and Thailand are developing horrible reputations with the civilised world. They are the most savage, they will eat anything with a back facing the sun. I hope you wil see the horrifying difference in how animals are killed in the US compared to China. We certainly have our own monsters, preying and torturing animals, however the FDA would not allow animals to be killed in US slaughterhouses, the way they are killed in China. All animals in China are sadly God’s forsaken creatures. In the meantime, may the world continue to shame China and other Asian countries for their barbaric cruelty and may they soon give up killing intelligent companion animals like dogs, cats and horses, for crying out loud. May the New Year bring humane welfare laws to Asian countries.

        1. Jeff says:

          “Jeff, it is clearly obvious you are not aware that China does not have animal welfare laws nor inspectors.” Wow Dera, how presumptuous. You have no idea what I am or am not aware of. First of all, although animal welfare regulations are pretty sparse in China as in the rest of the world, it is not entirely true that they do not have animal welfare laws. China passed a law against the use of animals in circuses three years ago. It is true that animal exploitation is mostly unregulated in China, but much of it is here too and the regulations that exist are weak, full of loopholes (for example, the slaughter regulations you mention don’t apply to chickens), and poorly enforced. It is of course true that China, Korea, and other East Asian countries are hell on earth for animals–and exactly the same is true of the US and every other country on earth. And although I don’t know how much you know about animal abuse in the US, if you really believe that the US or other countries in the world are meaningfully less cruel to animals than Asian countries then you don’t know as much about what’s being done to animals elsewhere as you should. There are animal abuses that happen in China but not the US such as the raising of dogs for leather, but the converse is true as well. A few of the horrific practices that don’t take place in China but are popular in other places include bow hunting, bullfighting, canned hunting, cockfighting, and dog fighting.

          And bear in mind that animal agriculture is where the vast majority of abuse of land animals occurs (60 billion killed annually worldwide including about 11 billion in the US). China is near the top in many categories simply because it has 1.4 billion people, but overall meat and dairy consumption is far lower in China than in the West and so others are ahead of it, sometimes well ahead of it. France produces over 100 times as much foie gras as China. China’s veal production is insignificant; more than 80% of the world’s veal is produced by European countries. The US produces almost 3 times as much milk as China and India about 4 times as much, and other countries are ahead of China in beef production as well.

          More than 99% of animals raised for food in the US, and a very high percentage in other leading meat-producing countries as well, are raised on factory farms. If you don’t realize that animals in such places suffer every bit as horribly as dogs raised for leather in China, I would suggest that you watch Earthlings or Speciesism: The Movie, or Meet Your Meat for a shorter look at how animals are usually raised and slaughtered in the US. And even on so-called “humane” farms the animals wind up in the same slaughterhouses as the factory-farmed ones in most cases, and standard industry practices such as castration, tail docking, branding, dehorning, debeaking, etc. without anesthesia, crowded conditions, etc. are overwhelmingly the norm on these allegedly humane farms. (And humane slaughter is an oxymoron.) Check out or watch or if you don’t believe that even so-called “humane” farms in the US rival anything that happens in China or anywhere else in terms of animal cruelty.

          Even if we could actually show that there was such a place, there is no point in singling out one country or region of the world as being “the worst.” It is horrible everywhere. And it’s actually worse than pointless, it’s counterproductive. Singling out China, Japan, Korea, etc. for practices that are supposedly not engaged in elsewhere or worse there only serves to reinforce the already virulent racism against East Asian countries that has existed for over 100 years in the US. And those focused on dogs or other campaign animals invariably reinforce our society’s speciesist belief that the lives and well-being of these animals are more valuable than those of pigs, chickens, cows, etc. I notice that you refer to the “intelligent companion animals” treated so cruelly in China. Do you believe that “farm animals” are any less intelligent (or, even if they were, any less deserving of being safe, happy and free) than “companion animals”?

      2. Donny Moss says:

        Jeff: I thought this article entitled “Every Nation is the Worst Offender” might interest you:

  4. Nancy says:

    peta kills dogs and other nonhuman animals then lies about it. Instead of making them into leather, they put their bodies in trash bags and dump them behind convenience stores.
    they steal them from their homes, murder them, then bring flowers to the distraught guardians.
    Shame on you Their Turn for still acting as if peta was an AR group. Bet you this wouldnt happen if peta’s victims were human.

    1. Donny Moss says:

      I understand your anger, but not sharing their undercover investigations doesn’t help animals. Their investigations, along with those of MFA, HSUS and other groups, have exposed the world to horrific abuses and have effected change. Countless people have gone vegan b/c of PETA’s Meet Your Meat, which shows footage from their undercover investigations.

      1. Carol mac says:

        I agree with Donny Moss on this one. I watched the video in horror. Seriously? We really need to do some changes here when it comes to importing goods from other nations. Just what is crossing our borders and what is it made of ?? Of course it is easier for them to use dog and cat for leather than a larger species. I’m very glad that this was exposed and eyes are opening. This shows us a small part of what really is going on. Being a dog owner and knowing that some of these dogs are stolen pets also is heartbreaking. Thank you for being a Voice!

      2. Jeff says:

        Take a look at the thousands of racist comments on PETA’s video of the dog leather industry that this article is about, and then explain how PETA’s campaign helps either humans or animals, Donny: Focusing entirely on animal abuses (some) people who look different from us in a faraway place are committing that don’t happen here purely because of what species it is, while ignoring the fact that the US and other countries are just as horrible to animals (only not usually dogs) as China and that there is an animal rights movement there, too, only reinforces speciesism AND racism. It does not help animals one bit, as this article explains in more detail:
        And Nancy is right–for PETA to attempt to provoke outrage over the treatment of dogs in China when they clearly have no respect for dogs’ right to life and are killing massive numbers of them right here in the US is, at best, hypocritical, and it may well be an attempt to divert the public’s attention from the recent scandal where they kidnapped and killed a family’s dog (which PETA has refused to comment on).

      3. Nancy says:

        I notice that you did not address the second part of my statement- that you would not be thinking peta was anything but the murderers they are if their victims were human. According to your logic, if a human rights group- say People for the ethical Treatment of Humans(PETH) were killing homeless people, it would be morally acceptable to you because “their investigations have exposed the world to horrific abuses. . . and have effected change.” It would be morally acceptable to you if this organization kidnapped some people and killed them.
        It would be morally acceptable to you if they LIED and told people that those people under their aegis being taken away would be well taken care of and instead were murdered in a nazi style mobile killing van- young healthy children, nursing mothers, young adults, pregnant women. As peta did in 2005. Pictures used as evidence from peta trial:
        It would be morally acceptable to you to have this human rights organization state that individuals who suffer abuse and may be aggressive should be murdered because they are irredeemable as peta did with the pitbulls that Michael Vick abused:
        It would be morally acceptable to you If this human rights organization routinely rounded up communities of homeless people and murdered them as peta routinely murders managed feral cat colonies:
        It would be morally acceptable to you if this human rights organization lied consistently and were killing 97% of humans that came to them for help. If they bought an industrial sized freezer with donation money to store those they killed because they are “affecting change.”
        What kind of change is it that peta points to the abuse of dogs, cats and other creatures while kidnapping and murdering others? I am sure the intention of the human who killed them makes no difference to the victim. What kind of change is it for an “animal rights” group to partake of Meatopia as HSUS does
        to own stock in slaughter houses as peta does? PETA has partnerships with nonhuman animal exploiters, has bestowed awards upon slaughterhouse designers and sellers of “happy” animal products. They kill approximately 97%of the animals who are taken into its “shelter.” And constantly continues to foster the myth that you can “humanely” rape, torture kidnap, and murder the very beings they claim to protect.
        What kind of “Mercy for animals” are undercover videos if they are used to promote incremental welfare changes that have yet to beimplemented?What kind of changes are those when “animal rights groups collude with the abusers?
        Can you imagine the firestorm that would follow if our mythical People for the ethical Treatment of Humans signed up with rapists, sex traffickers, pedophiles, and other human rights abusers( all inherent in the flesh, secretion and embryo industries) to make conditions “better” for the victim as 17 major AR groups did in 2006
        More and more in my own nonhuman animal rights advocacy, people tell me they don’t have to become vegan because as long as animals are treated humanely”, they can still consume meat,eggs and dairy without guilt because peta, hsus mercy for animals and other mainstream “animal rights” groups say so.
        Again if a human rights group were killing humans, would you feel this way? Would YOU support an organization that claims to protect people while killing most of them in their care? If the answer is no then you need to examine your views on why it is acceptable for an organization that claims to protect the rights of nonhuman animals and kills them is STILL considered a nonhuman animal rights organization. If the only difference in making one set of atrocities acceptable and the other unacceptable is the species, then you have something to reconsider. Were these victims human we would not hesitate to cut ties with this organization but because the victims are nonhuman animals, people in mainstream animal rights groups make excuses for these murderers.
        We both know this hypothetical human rights group would be ostracized and its’ members jailed (as they should be) but because the victims are nonhuman animals, people who claim to be their advocates affect willful cognitive moral dissonance. This “some animals are more equal than others mentality” will never result in rights for other species. If we want rights for nonhuman animals we cannot condone killing some of them for the “greater good.” That has often been an excuse for countless atrocities.
        In 2005 two peta employees were caught killing animals and dumping their bodies in trash bags behind a series of dumpsters. These people had sworn to take care of the nonhuman animals surrendered to them and promised to find good homes for them. They callously fed them IAMS, which if you will recall,peta was campaigning against for testing on dogs. Then murdered them in their mobile killing van. Perfectly healthy puppies, mothers and their kittens, rabbits. .
        They then put the their victims bodies in trash bags and threw their bodies into a dumpster. How is treating them like garbage respectful? During the trial that ensued, peta claimed that the animals they had absconded were their property (yes they did that) and therefore they could do whatever peta wanted to do to them. Apparently for peta “animals are not ours to eat, wear experiment on, or use for entertainment or abuse in any way.” But animals are theirs to murder.
        Peta makes millions per year and they kill 97% of the nonhuman animals who are unlucky enough to find their way to peta headquarters or on their search and destroy missions. They make millions per year from unsuspecting donors,imagine the changes they could be implementing with this budget to further the cause of rights for nonhuman animals- Shelters, sanctuaries, true vegan advocacy, and education.
        The no kill philosophy may not be perfect yet(according to its detractors) but for peta to send gift baskets to a no kill shelter who wanted to become a kill shelter is inexcusable.
        The latest peta murder that we are cognizant to is a little chihuaha name Maya. Peta members were caught on surveillance tape taking the dog from her porch, peta killed her then came back with a fruit basket for her guardian without Maya and admitted to killing her.
        As non human animal rights activist we cannot condone the killing of the beings we are fighting for. It is indefensible that peta advocates for the”rights” of chickens, chimps and rats, etc. while killing 97% of all cats, dogs, rabbits chickens etc. that are unfortunate enough to encounter them. Peta murdered more than 29,000 non human animals over the past 10 years. According to them, (but contrary to what the pictures tell) all of them were sick, old and unadoptable. This is akin to allowing humans to be murdered because they are homeless, sick, old or unadoptable. This Orwellian mentality is dichotomous and harms our credibility as nonhuman rights activists. Also their constant lying reflects on the whole nonhuman animal rights movement.
        The definition of Euthanasia(good death) is a term reserved for someone who is moribund, when there is no hope and is the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy. Do these nonhuman animals look ill or dying to you? Also remember that peta murders nonhuman animals of all species, even when they are campaigning to save them. I will never forget peta’s victims, nor will I choose one set of victims over another by indulging in willful cognitive dissonance.
        I contacted the editor of the Roanoke newspaper, Cal Bryant who confirmed that he took pictures of the murdered animals himself that were used in the trial. The only time it’s acceptable to kill nonhuman animals is the same as the only time it’s acceptable to kill people: when their illness is painful and terminal.’
        During the trial, it was revealed that the PETA employees kept paperwork on all the animals they murdered before they dumped their bodies in trash bags in dumpsters: Here’s just a few of the actual inputs from them. You recently had an blog post entitled If Animals could Talk. Actually they can talk, they scream in pain and their cries go unheeded -including peta’s victims. This is what they would say as they looked into the eyes of their executioners:
        “Please I want to live, I am only a puppy”
        Breed: Beagle
        Sex: Female
        Age: 6 months
        Condition: Adorable
        how about this one:
        “Please don’t kill me- cant you find a home for me”?
        Breed: Schnauzer
        Sex: Male
        Age: New Born
        Condition: Perfect

        Breed: DSH [Domestic shorthair cat]
        Sex: Female
        Age: 7 years
        Condition: Pregnant : Please don’t kill my babies!!!

        I will never forget peta’s victims, nor will I choose one set of victims over another by indulging in willful cognitive dissonance. Anything else is speciesist double speak.
        For nonhuman animals,Their Turn will never arrive unless “social justice movements” realize that some animals are not more equal than others.
        This is what nonhuman animal rights advocacy looks like:
        In the end it’s up to your conscience whether you post this or not- to let others make an informed decision. After all, as a member of the perceived master species, you have the privilege of making a choice.

    2. joan silaco says:

      i don’t know why there seems to be this secret that peta at times euthanizes cats and dogs. i knew that, but it doesn’t take away the fact that if it wasn’t for peta, there would be more cruelty in the world, and maybe the type of cruelty that only peta could speak out in the open? but, like everything else, there’s good and bad in everybody and everything. i’m sorry, but in my lifetime, peta seems to be the one where the tide changed!

      1. kitty says:

        Peta kills 97% of cats and dogs it captures including adoptable kittens and puppies. This is worse rate than in any kill shelter and you are telling they “sometimes kill” – they ALWAYS kill or almost always. They couldn’t find homes for kittens and puppies? Hello? Kittens and puppies can almost always find homes. They don’t even have enough cages so what business do they have pretending they have a shelter anyway? They stole and killed a family dog, Maya, as the link in the post above yours showed, with a video clearly showing they are capturing a dog on someone’s porch. Even if they didn’t know the dog was owned, they should’ve waited 5 days to allow the owner to reclaim – this is what shelters do in case the pet is lost. I wonder if your pet is ever lost – can happen to anybody even an indoor only cat can get out – and Peta puts it down without giving you any time to reclaim it if you are still going to defend them.

  5. Klara Sabova says:

    you fucking yellow sons of the cunts!!!!! Whole world watching you!!!! Whole world knows now what you doing!!!!!! Stealing cats and dogs from homes and torturing them to death!!!
    You suppose to be punished even for stealing you yellow bloody faces!!!! I will come and I will skinned alive your fucking ugly children and meanwhile you are tied up they will tell you how much it hurts….and for example I will take skin from your dirty hands so you can know how painful is that and I do NOT give a shit if I will end up in prison!!!!! You yellow scums!!!!!!!! You all will end up!!!! Butchers and government too… guys disgust me!!!!! One day you all will pay!!!!!!
    And I hope it will be soon!!!!!! Whole world will make sure that it WILL BE SOON!!!!!!!!whole world hates you to death!!!!! Well done !!!!

    1. Nancy says:

      I understand your outrage, but there is no need to add racism to their speciesism.there are activists in these countries risking their lives. Many of these these countries have no human rights to speak of.
      I hope you are vegan because if you are not, you are also participating in the abject cruelty to nonhuman animals that is the present paradigm.

    2. Maureen Hurly says:

      Good grief. I hope you are a vegan and not contributing in any way to harm to animals yourself, Klara. And this kind of hateful racist tirade does not help animals in any way.

    3. Michelle says:

      Racist much, Klara? Your sweeping generalizations about the Chinese are ludicrous. Concluding that an entire population, regardless of their feelings on the matter, are responsible for the atrocities a subset of their people commit begs the question… What horrific acts are you responsible for? By your logic, every cow skinned and deer shot to death in your country is as much your fault as the people who did it.

  6. Terry says:

    There are so many non-animal alternatives to leather. Using and wearing leather, no matter what animal it came from, is never justifiable.

    This time of year, winter, is particularly upsetting to me. Every day commuting to and from work, I see people wearing coats and jackets with real fur collars. Again, coming from animals who died a horrific death. Although I don’t wear fur or leather products myself, it still breaks my heart every time I see so many people thoughtlessly wearing animal skin. It seems like the human race has a very long way to go when it comes to the humane treatment of non-human animals.

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