Los Angeles banning fur is great, but why not leather too?

The city of Los Angeles has banned the sale of new fur products. This is a fantastic outcome – there is no justification for the harms caused to animals raised for their fur when so many perfectly fine alternatives exist. The state of California is relatively progressive on issues relating to animals (San Francisco also banned fur sales earlier in the year), but one must wonder how best to use this momentum to have fur banned in other cities in the US and globally.

I also wonder how this momentum might be used to gain traction on related issues, such as banning the sale of leather. I have always found it interesting that the wearing of fur has been so strongly disdained by the public for so long, while the wearing of leather is seen by most (besides probably just vegans) as being benign. I’m quite unsure why this is the case, both involve the killing of a non-human to turn their bodies into clothing.

The only meaningful perceived difference I can think of is that cows, the animal leather is most commonly taken from, are also exploited for their flesh and milk, while fur animals are generally not (although I doubt most people think about it this much). However, the production of leather isn’t really a by-product, according to the documentary Dominion. Leather production is an economic factor in its own right, and thus buying leather should be expected to result in more cows being farmed.

If you have celebrated the banning of the backward practice of selling animal fur as clothing, please also consider not buying animal skin for clothing. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even consider not engaging in the ultimate unnecessary use of animals – using their flesh and excretions for food.

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