Continuing its tactic of capitalizing on sensational news headlines, PETA is using the fires in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest as backdrop for its latest campaign against livestock production.
PETA’s specific target is the Horween Leather Company in Chicago. The animal rights group has erected a new billboard near the tannery that shows a cow ripping off the flesh of a leopard next to the words “Wearing Leather Kills More Animals Than You Think.” The ad explains, “Ranchers Set Fires in the Amazon Rainforest to Graze Cattle and Grow Crops to Feed Them.”
PETA goes on to claim the demand for meat, dairy and leather is the cause of the fires in the amazon that are destroying the environment and contributing to global climate change.
PETA says the production of leather shares responsibility for the environmental hazards of the meat and dairy industries, and it claims leather accounts for 20% of the commercial value of a cow. But that number is vastly overstated.
Historical data show that leather – at most – accounted for 5% of the value of a cow, but today that value is less than 1%. Demand for leather has dropped around the world due to changing fashions and available alternatives.