Over 10,000 people have a signed a new Change.org petition from a Michael Cohan of New York City.
The focus: Hermès and their popular “Kelly” bag, which cost anywhere between $10,000 to $40,000. In the posting, Cohan claims that the Parisian company is sourcing baby alligators and crocodiles to create the highly coveted luxury item.
Cohan’s petition states:
The single Hermès Kelly bag made from alligator skin baby costs $43,000. But the price these alligators and crocodiles pay is far greater. Their short lives are spent packed in fetid pools and dank, dark sheds without sunshine, fresh air, clean water, or basic medical care.
This misery ends with their inhumane and unthinkably painful slaughter, which only after their bellies are used for these luxury goods. Alligators and crocodiles are highly intelligent and social animals. They work together to capture their prey. They have even recorded using tools to hunt. They are devoted mothers, who stand guard over their eggs for months and stay with their babies for years. In the wild, their life expectancy is longer than humans’. But the fashion industry kills them in cold blood when they are no more than three years old.
Hermès has a die-hard and devoted following. They could do so much for animals welfare by ending their contracts with these cruel farms and announcing they will no longer use alligator and crocodile skins.
For the same cause, PETA created a petition that had over 75,000 digital signatures against Hermès for the brutal capture, mistreatment and killing of the animals. “Whenever animals are used for profit, corners are cut,” a PETA investigator told CBS News about the ongoing investigation.
The conversation of luxury retailers using animals for their product dates back to the last half of the twentieth century. It’s no new narrative. Organizations like PETA were created to combat companies from sourcing leather hides for profit. Since the beginning of time, humans have used animals for clothing, footwear, accessories and home decor. But when the conscious of a few influences the masses, everyone begins to question their actions.
Should we care that animals are being killed for the products afforded by our deposable income? And furthermore, should we boycott brands that don’t care?
Personally, I’ve never been a huge advocate either way. I’m not in a place to afford a $10,000 Hermès bag but I won’t pass on a leather sandal sale. With modern technology creating a way for leather to be replicated through man-made materials, there really is no need to buy animal-made goods. But we all know good and well, leather –of any type– lasts longer. A couple lifetimes if maintained correctly.
So here’s my simple stance: Think before you shop and research where goods are coming from.
I’m not here for animals being tortured, but I’m also not here for humans being overworked and underpaid in unsafe working environments for the good of a cheap product. I’m not here for factories locking doors on employees and controlling bathroom breaks. And I’m not here for designer made faux leather and fur items at an insane price. Just saying, Stella.
As with everything else in life, shopping holds accountability. The dollar is a powerful thing.