How Many Cows Does It Take to Make a Sofa?
So where does that leather in your sofa or car come from? It takes the skins of many cows to make one sofa. That leather from cows comes from cows raised for both beef and milk. Cows raised for beef are fed an unnatural diet chicken feces, rendered remains of other animals, high-bulk grains, and other fillers, including sawdust, until they weigh 1,000 to 1,200 pounds.
Leather is not the environmentally friendly product that the industry has suggested. The adverse environmental and health impacts of the leather industry are huge. Animal skin is turned into finished leather by the use of many dangerous mineral salts, formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, and cyanide based oils and dyes. These chemicals prevent the leather from being naturally biodegradable as the industry claims. Leather products can last thousands of years and the toxic chemicals with which they are infused leach into the environment during that time. Leather pieces found in Northern Germany were estimated to be 12,000 years old, dating from the Neolithic and European Bronze Ages!
People who have worked in and lived near tanneries have died of cancer from groundwater contaminated by the toxic chemicals used to process and dye the leather. A New York State Department of Health study found that more than half of all testicular cancer victims worked in tanniers.
Sports use huge amounts of leather. It takes 3,000 cows to supply the National Football League (NFL) with enough leather for a year’s supply of footballs! It takes the leather of 3.8 steers to make the 72 footballs used in every NFL SuperBowl alone.
It is so easy for us to break the chain of separation from nature that has allowed such cruelty to exist. All we have to do is stop buying leather.