People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has put up a billboard promoting veganism at HITEC City in Hyderabad. It is a part of a nationwide fashion-focused campaign under which similar billboards will be erected in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai, encouraging shoppers to go leather- or wool-free or to steer clear of exotic skins.
The ad at HITEC City has been installed In honour of World Vegan Month that is observed throughout November. The billboard shows a cow and a buffalo next to the words “We’re Individuals. We’re Not Shoes or Belts. Wear Something Vegan”.
“When it comes to feeling pain and fear, loving their families, and valuing their own lives, cows and buffaloes are no different from humans,” says PETA India Senior Campaigns Coordinator Radhika Suryavanshi in a press release. “This World Vegan Month, PETA India is urging everyone to practise kindness by leaving all animals out of their wardrobes.”
Cows, buffaloes, and other animals used for leather in India are often crammed onto vehicles so tightly that their bones break. The throats of those who survive this ordeal are cut in full view of others at the slaughterhouse, and for many, dismembering and skinning begins while they’re still conscious.
Leather is also detrimental to human health and the environment: run-off from leather tanneries poisons rivers and streams, harming all life within, and has been linked to cancer, respiratory infections, and other health conditions in humans.
PETA India has placed a similar billboard on AR Rangnekar Road in Mumbai featuring a family of crocodiles, while those on Arcot Road in Chennai and DL Khan Road in Kolkata show a cow and a buffalo.
PETA India and its affiliates revealed that at the facility of one of the world’s largest exporters of Nile crocodile skins, tens of thousands of crocodiles were confined to concrete pits for the entirety of their short, miserable lives. In nature, Nile crocodiles can live for up to 80 years, but at this facility, they’re slaughtered at around 3 years of age.
The squalid and severely crowded conditions in which crocodiles, alligators, snakes, ostriches, and other wild animals are raised and slaughtered for their skins are similar to those that are believed to have given rise to the novel coronavirus, and they pose a potential threat of future pandemics.