In the next episode in our series, the focus of attention shifts to the clothing industry which has found a multiplicity of ways to exploit the bodies of animals to satisfy a shallow desire for possessions, irrelevant of the horror behind their provenance.
Leather is the first “material” discussed and we are taken to cows from rural India who are sold in a specific region of India, where such transactions have been legalised. Of course, the selling of cows is totally prohibited throughout most of India due to the species sacred status. However, this dynamic has meant that the cows must undertake an horrendous journey before ultimately making it to the markets where they will then be sold, slaughtered and turned into a jacket or upholstery.
Due to the utterly arduous nature of the journey the cows are expected to make, they frequently collapse due to a multitude of factors. In an attempt to “motivate” the cows to go on living, those transporting them break their tails. Keep in mind this is done to “encourage” them to get up after they have collapsed. The “handlers” use other methods on the cows that are essentially torture. Almost anything is done, no matter how cruel, to keep the animals going during their journey to slaughter.
The manner in which these cows are murdered is difficult to compute as it appears that almost everything is done to make it as traumatic as it possibly can be. As Joaquin goes on to articulate exactly what leather is, we come to appreciate how little thought and consideration most of us give to the operations of an industry that makes profit off the skin of other species.
The episode also looks at the exploitation of animals for their fur (also known as their pelt). At the time Earthlings was made, 100 million animals a year were being killed for their furry skin. When you begin to add the numbers together across all forms of exploitation it becomes clear that things are totally out of control and drained entirely of the slightest hint of empathy.
Due to the fact that many of the animals murdered for their fur are hunted, they are therefore wild when they are caught and thrown directly into the most claustrophobic and catastrophic of caged conditions. This leads to the onset of “cage madness”. The environment on fur farms is as if Dante had described an alternative animal hell, which includes death by anal execution. A human devised procedure, which came from a place that we don’t often wish to face.