Stop Killing Kangaroos for Shoe Leather
By Paul Preibisius on October 26, 2011 12:25 pm
Target: Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer
Goal: To end the use of Kangaroo leather in shoe production.
In one of the largest ongoing wildlife massacres an estimated 3.9 million adult kangaroos (along with countless joeys) are killed for their leather. The primary usage of this kangaroo leather goes to shoes.
Many shoe companies such as Nike, Puma, and Umbro use the leather because it is considered thin and strong but the largest consumer by far is Adidas.
An Australian government desperate for the revenue it sees from kangaroo-product exports has proven unwilling to protect its own natural treasures. They instead use degrazing as a justification for culling wild kangaroo populations. This justification is used despite the fact that scientific studies have shown that nearly 90 percent of wheat fields in Australia will never see a kangaroo.
Even more disheartening is the fact that shoe-leather demands are especially prevalent for the largest and most threatened species—the red kangaroo.
The process by which these animals are taken can be equally as cruel. Oftentimes the killing takes place at night in unmonitored regions of the outback where animals are shot and hauled onto trucks by steel hooks while often still alive to slowly bleed out on the way to factories.
Tragically, because joeys are considered useless to the leather industry any mothers that are killed will have their offspring orphaned and likely to die at the hands of starvation or packs of wild dogs.
With modern advances in synthetic materials there is no need for this to happen. Products exist that are nearly indiscernible from natural leather today. As the industry leader Adidas needs to recognize the value of this and step forward to end its use of kangaroo leather.