Leather: Hell for Animals and Children in Bangladesh
Singer and animal rights activist Leona Lewis narrates a shocking PETA video exposé of Bangladesh’s billion-dollar leather industry, which reveals who really pays the highest price for “affordable” leather: animals and workers, including children.
Long and Agonizing Transports
Every year, an estimated 2 million cows from India are bound, thrown onto trucks, and transported thousands of miles to Bangladesh in order to circumvent Indian slaughter bans. Video footage reveals that many cows were emaciated, exhausted, and so malnourished that they couldn’t stand up by the time they arrived. They suffered from broken tails and open, festering wounds. The eyewitness did not see any veterinary care given to the animals.
Skinned Alive and Slaughtered
Cows and goats are often illegally slaughtered for their skins on the streets of Bangladesh at night, and the animals are forced to watch others’ throats being cut with a knife. In official slaughterhouses, workers bind their legs and slit their throats—all while they’re still conscious. As seen in the video footage, cows are sometimes still alive and kicking as their skin is ripped off their bodies.
Dangers to Workers
Workers, including children, were documented performing hazardous tasks such as soaking hides in toxic chemicals and using knives to cut the skins, which are then used to make hand bags, shoes, and other leather products that are sold around the world. Children even operate machinery. The unprotected workers stand barefoot in cancer-causing chemicals and use acids that can cause chronic skin diseases. An estimated 90 percent of these tannery workers die before the age of 50.
The eyewitness visited several businesses in an area of Dhaka that has more than 150 tanneries but not a single sewage plant. Toxic chemical substances are instead dumped into the nearby river, killing animals in and near the water and causing a threat to public health.
You Can Help Animals and Children!
No matter where it comes from—Bangladesh, China, India, or even the U.S.—leather is the product of a cruel industry. Leona wants you to know the facts and pledge never to wear animal skins again. Your pledge will let designers, retailers, and others who profit off cruelty know that animal skins belong on animals, not in your closet.
Take the Pledge to Be Leather-Free!
Fight cruelty to animals by pledging never to wear or buy leather. Learn more about the cruel leather industry and make a conscious choice to practice compassion and spare animals’ lives.
Places that sell and trade and keep this horrific industry running
The Gadhimai Festival of Bara district in Nepal takes place every Five years; savage attendees believe a fairy-tale that they will have good luck by hacking to death over a half a million animals. A thousand men are hired to do the killing and prior to the massacre they celebrate and drink heavily. When the killing begins the drunken men, inexperienced in slaughter and armed with dull, unsharpened knives and machetes cause the animals to die a long, slow agonizing death.
“Wielding swords, men enter a fenced yard where around 20,000 are kept, and start hacking at the buffaloes’ necks. As the killers cannot chop off the buffaloes’ heads at once, they first cut the hind legs. After the animal falls on the ground the men hack until the buffalo’s head is separated from the body. It takes up to twenty five attempts to kill a big buffalo. The suffering is unimaginable.” Pramada Shah, president of the Animal Welfare Network Nepal
During the slaughter the nearby lake is so filled with the blood of the animals that absolutely nothing can live in the water for years, it takes almost five years for the lake to regenerate; by then it is bloodbath time again.
Prior to the “Festival” The animals are made to walk up to 500 miles from India to Nepal; most are starved and deprived of water the entire trip, they are beaten and tortured to keep moving and many animals die along the way. Once at the site the massacre takes place in an open field with spectators, including women and children, watching and cheering on mother buffaloes are killed in front of their young. Animals sit in a pool of blood waiting for their own brutal end. Many animals try to escape but are hunted down.
The event is held in front of thousands of children and is nothing short of child abuse on the part of the parent who bring their children there to witness the continuous beheading and hacking to death of a half a million animals. This type of abuse normalizes insensitivity in children who can become numb to the suffering of living beings.
And as always follow the money; the Gadhimai blood bath profits the Indian meat and leather (industry) mafia, as well as government hired contractors from China. The Nepal government spent $4.5 million on the slaughter in 2009, the numbers are not in from this year as of yet.
It is time outdated traditions, rituals and habits are done away with. This Sadistic bloodbath referred to as The ‘Gadhimai festival’ is based on a meaningless dream that a criminal in a Nepali prison had during the 18th century. The delusional criminal, named Bhagwan Chaudhary, dreamed that all his problems would be solved if he made a blood sacrifice to Gadhimai, a mythological “Goddess of power”. Immediately upon his release from prison he and a local village healer started the ritual with drops of their own blood from five parts of their body. Apparently, a light then ‘appeared’ in a jar and the fairy tale turned horror story began. How it jumped from drops of their own blood to the mass slaughter of over a half a million animals is anyone’s guess. The slaughter is a made up superstition with hopes that they will receive good luck by hacking to death a scared, bewildered innocent animal.
Even if somehow religion would validate something so horrific, this atrocity has nothing to do with religion. The priest of the Gadhimai Temple himself is against the “sacrifice”. The savages claim that the bloodbath is in the name of their Hindu religion; Hinduism is based in tolerance, non-violence and humanity. Hinduism forbids animal sacrifice and meat processing, based on the doctrine of ahimsa.
A Kathmandu resident, Motilal Kushwaha had promised the ”Hindu goddess Gadhimai” that he would offer her a male goat if one of his children found a job. Last year his son found a job. This past week Motilal Kushwaha was one of the tens of thousands of drunken people in the field hacking to death frightened animals at the world’s biggest mass murder.
What ever happened to crossing your fingers, throwing a little salt over your shoulder or saying a prayer for good luck? These people have gone off the deep end of common sense.
The following video pulls back the curtain on this holocaust attempting to hide behind religion
“When I ask educated people why they don’t stop sacrifice, at least in their own family, they answer that bad luck could be the outcome and that a tragedy might occur. They feel it is better to continue the age old traditions and be safe. With such widespread deep-rooted superstition it is easy to imagine how hard it is for campaigners to address this issue. The superstitious nature of the stands in the way of abolishing archaic practices such as animal sacrifice as well as witchcraft, racial discrimination, women’s suppression and others” Akinwumi Adebola
Bibi Funyal, photographer who covered the festival in 2009, is quoted here as saying:
“I was assigned to film the festival. At first I seemed okay but when the killing started I suddenly found my knees shaking. In the beginning the butchers were able to cut the heads of the buffaloes in one stroke. Later they seemed to get into a frenzy and did not kill properly. I would take them a long time to severe the heads. The buffaloes were mooing – it was a terrible sound. The babies were searching for their mothers, not understanding what was going. At some point a baby buffalo came up to me and it touched my tripod. That was when I felt I would be passing out if I continued filming. When I left the place I had to step over thousands of bodies and heads and wade through animal blood. It was something I will never do again, even if they offer me an award.”
The must never take place again; and it is up to us as a species to stop those entrenched in superstitious ignorance from ever carrying out this event again. The details of this holocaust must be spread worldwide to make all aware of this atrocity.