Is it possible to have a closet full of leather and still call yourself an animal lover? The answer may soon be yes! According to recent news reports, laboratory-grown leather could be commercially available in five years—and lab-grown meat won’t be far behind.
While stylish synthetics are already on the racks and there are so many delicious mock meats in supermarkets that many people are switching over to, lab-grown options are a good choice for those consumers who insist on the “real thing.” That’s one reason why PETA is offering a $1 million prize for the first laboratory to use chicken cells to create commercially viable in vitro (test tube) meat.
Why Lab-Grown Leather?
Raising animals on factory farms means the clearing of forests to create grazing land, the overuse of soil that turns fertile land into desert, the increased use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and the increased use of water—at a time when we are still feeling the effects of this summer’s extreme drought conditions.
As Andras Forgacs, CEO of Modern Meadow, the company behind the lab-grown leather and meat, explains, “If you look at the resource intensity of everything that goes into a hamburger, it is an environmental train wreck.”
Caring consumers, who already give fur the cold shoulder, are also starting to realize that leather is just as cruel. After being transported hundreds of miles in all weather extremes to the slaughterhouse, cows raised for their flesh and skin are shot in the head with a bolt gun, hung up by their legs, and taken onto the killing floor, where their throats are cut and they are skinned. Some cows are still conscious throughout the entire process.
Until lab-grown leather is a reality, stylish synthetics are the kindest choice. With so many cruelty-free options available in stores and online—whether you’re looking for vegan shoes for men, an animal-friendly “It” bag, or a foxy faux-leather jacket, finding compassionate fashions is a breeze.
Check out PETA’s style guide for chic, cruelty-free clothing ideas.
Image Credit: Leather photo via Shutterstock