I almost never get bored of criticizing Britain’s most annoying vegetarian, but this time, Stella McCartney has gone to far. This video for Peta, where she is trying to convince people to stop wearing leather, is a load of crap. Here’s why.
1. Stella offers no alternatives. She is saying “Don’t wear leather.” But what are we supposed to wear? Sure, I can live (a sad life) without a leather jacket, but what would I wear on my feet? Plastic? Pleather? No. Stella, show me a VIABLE alternative (that looks good), and I will consider your suggestion. (And by the way, fake leather shoes and bags made from un-pronounciable products like Polyurethane Elastomere, that are priced at crazy high prices ARE NOT alternatives to a good leather shoe or bag.)
2. She sells overpriced clothing made of petroleum products. Fake leathers, or pleathers, are made from petroleum based products. Last time I checked, this world was a lot worse off because of our dependence on oil, rather than our dependence on animal products. In the video, Stella says “anyone who cares about animals or the environment should become informed consumers on this issue.” I totally agree. And being informed means knowing where things come from. Where do Stella McCartney’s materials come from? Several of them come from petroleum-based products. I’d rather wear a cow, which is what we have been doing for thousands of years, than wear something made from a bunch of words I don’t understand (I looked up one of the materials of Stella McCartney’s overpriced shoes, and here is the description on Wikipedia. It is complicated, and sounds a lot more scary than an animal.)
3. The video contains lies. Animals are not skinned alive and here’s why: it is dangerous for the person skinning (the animal will be moving and might bite or scratch the person skinning), it takes WAY longer because the animals will be moving around and in distress (this is not economically viable), it is totally unethical (just because you are a farmer and you raise animals for meat or leather, doesn’t mean you want to see them suffer), and lastly, if an animal is alive, their heart wil be beating and that means blood will be ALL OVER THE PLACE. That is not a nice way to work, is it?
4. Showing gruesome images is a cheap tactic to gain attention. And she says “the toxic ground water near tanneries has caused health problems for residents in surrounding areas.” What about the areas surrounding the factories that make the Polyurethane Elastomere that her bags and shoes are made out of? Or perhaps she should post some of the images of the animals that died after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
5. The best thing for the environment is to use what nature has given us. And I don’t mean frivolously, I mean respectfully. We are much better off using the resources the earth has given us: plants, animals, and other materials from the earth, in moderation. And we should also buy smart. Buy fairtrade, organic, and cruelty-free when you can. Getting rid of leather is a ridiculous idea, it is simply not going to happen. But trying to convince poeple to buy “good” leather, from ethical sources, is a worthy cause. It is just like chicken, you can choose to buy free range chickens that live a decent life, or you can choose to buy battery chickens pumped with medications and who spend their lives in a cage. It is about making choices, not putting the farmers out of business to build factories that make weird synthetic fabrics.
And by the way Stella, let’s get real for a moment. You are a bloody hypocrite, your company is owned by the Gucci Group, who makes almost ALL of their money from animals products. So if you are going to preach all this bullshit, at least distance yourself from a company who is know for making leather bags. Jeez.