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Posted: Dec 19, 2006 1:25am
Dec 3, 2006
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WARNING: 2 graphic photos before sample letter

11/30/06: Tears Of A Cow - India's Leather Trade

The Horror of the Indian Leather Trade

Help Cows Skinned For Leather In India

Most American leather goods begin in foreign countries. In India, a top
leather producer, cows die miserably inside slaughterhouses swarming with
flies. Fallen cows drape their heads across each other in 100-degree heat as
they await inhumane death: Workers saw through their necks with dull
knives...  PETA investigative video:

Anyone who wears leather is likely clothed in leather from from India or
China. Shoes or other goods produced in Italy, the U.S. and other countries
use raw materials (skins) imported from India or China...

Feel free to use portions of our letter, but please add some original
thoughts. Hundreds of identical letters may lessen the impact.

Dr. K. Elangovan, IAS, Executive Director
Council for Leather Exports
3rd Floor, CMDA Tower II
Gandhi Irwin Bridge Road
Egmore, Chennai 600 008
ph: +91-44-28594367; fax: +91-44-28594363/64

His Excellency Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India
Room 152, South Block
New Delhi 110 001
ph: +91-(0)11-23012312; fax: +91-(0)11-23016857
web email:  
(maximum 500 characters - very short message)

Shri Kamal Nath, Minister of Commerce & Industry
Government of India
Udyog Bhawan
New Delhi 110 011
ph: +91-(0)11-23061008; fax: +91-(0)11-23061492

Dr. K. Elangovan, His Excellency Manmohan Singh, Minister Shri Kamal Nath,
Commerce & Industry:

Please initiate humane standards for the transport and slaughter of cows,
buffaloes, sheep and goats used in the Indian leather trade.

I urge the Council for Leather Exports to recognize ongoing animal abuse
within the leather industry and implement animal welfare guidelines now.

I respectfully ask government officials to enforce anti-cruelty laws and
penalize workers who batter and overload animals; deprive animals of food,
water and shelter; sell abused animals; or inhumanely slaughter animals.

Graphic documentation shows pervasive and unlawful abuse, including
unsanitary and hazardous conditions inside slaughterhouses. Fallen cows lie
on floors splattered with blood, feces, guts and urine. Workers drag animals
into abattoirs where they often cut them apart with filthy, dull knives.
Some animals remain conscious as they are skinned and dismembered.

Animals gouge and crush each other while transported hundreds of miles in
rickety trucks. Drivers break their legs and necks to cram in more animals.
Investigators have found bullocks and cows tethered by strings pierced
through their noses. They've seen animals whose tails were broken so many
times, swollen, tumor-like joints protruded from their tail areas.

Despite assurances from Indian officials, no visible improvements have been
made. Animals are still transported under wretched conditions. Slaughter
facilities are still unhygienic. Unlicensed abattoirs still operate. Small
calves are still illegally butchered to process as leather.

Please strengthen animal protections laws in India. I am eager to know about
any reforms that actually enhance the lives of animals.



Kinship Circle is a nonprofit organization. Donations help us meet expenses
for the literature, website, research and campaigns -- that let YOU take
action for animals. Please keep Kinship Circle in mind when you donate.

Kinship Circle - Action Campaigns I Literature I Voice For Animals
Nonprofit working in animal protection/cruelty + animal disaster relief campaigns or *

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        From: Kinship Circle  
        Sent: Monday, April 10, 2006 11:34  AM
Subject: LETTER/ Costco Brings Back Baby Seal Oil Capsules

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Posted: Dec 3, 2006 2:45pm
Nov 5, 2006
4. Christianity and Violence
Healing and Empathy – Raising Lazarus from Death


[This series reflects my views and not "official" CVA positions.  It is being archived at]
    The Bible relates that Jesus was, with God’s help, able to raise Lazarus from death (John 11:41).  Jesus wept upon visiting Lazarus’ grave (John 11:35), and this illustrates how sentiment inspires action.  All healers care about those who suffer, and caring relies on empathy.  How do we come to empathize with those who suffer, and, conversely, how do our hearts often become hardened towards those we victimize?    Most of us reject historically prevalent forms of prejudice, such as racism, sexism, and homophobia.  If we aim to explore how our hearts become hardened, it may be more instructive to look at animal abuse, which is much more prevalent in our culture.    Nearly all children have a natural empathy with animals, and (except children who have had traumatic incidents involving animals) children generally like animals.  While adults consider children’s kindness to animals a virtue, most adults wish to limit children’s affections for animals, most likely because nearly all adults participate directly or indirectly in animal suffering and death.  Many people, and many business interests, want to maintain animal use in agriculture, clothing, experimentation, hunting, entertainment, etc.  In order to garner public support for these activities, animal use proponents emphasize the supposed benefits of their industries, and they denigrate the animal victims as well as the animals’ human defenders.  Why do so many people uncritically accept self-serving claims from animal-use industries?  How do animal-loving children grow up into adults who acquiesce to or even endorse animal abuse?     Many children, upon learning that hamburgers come from cows and that “chicken” is actually a part of a chicken, refuse to eat the meat.  In many households, parents sternly reply that the child must eat the meat or forgo dessert.  When this happens, most children resolve this conflict between their heart and their stomach by training their minds not to equate the meat on their plate with animals.  However, as Christians we must acknowledge that whenever we hide the truth, we open the path to sin: “For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (John 3:20).    Those who live with farmed animals can face particular difficulties.  It is easier to suppress mental images of animals when one only sees flesh under cellophane; children on farms must interact with and come to know the animals who will be killed and eaten.  I think that an important component of the 4-H program is to transform children from animal lovers into animal killers.  Many 4-H participants take infant animals and raise them to “market” size.  The children care for the animals, and often the children and the animals develop strong emotional bonds.  The children and the animals reciprocate affection, and they trust each other.    Then, many children experience an emotionally traumatic experience that will likely forever change their attitude towards animals.  Even though a given child has understood, intellectually, that the animal would be sold for slaughter, present-oriented children usually think about this unpleasant prospect only when that day arrives.  On that day, a child who has bonded with the animal bids a tearful farewell (often finding a private place to emote since adults often express little sympathetic understanding) to a trusting, loving animal, who is oblivious to the betrayal.1 Subsequently, the child will likely be either wracked by guilt and self-loathing, or (more commonly) will come to see all farmed animals as “things” meant to be slaughtered and eaten.

    Similar to institutionalized animal abuse, institutionalized human abuse typically involves demonizing victims, a common manifestation of the scapegoating process.  Demonizing victims helps quell natural human empathy by using terms that rob victims of their individuality.  For example, killers during the Rwandan genocide called their victims “cockroaches,” and animal names such as &ldquoig,” “chicken,” and “cow” are often used as epithets to express contempt.  Importantly, humans choose these names to express disregard, because these are the animals that humans eat or harm in other ways.  Demonizing people and animals compromises truth, and the consequence is injustice.  Calling a person a &ldquoig” depicts them as glutinous and overweight and ignores their full humanity.  Also, using &ldquoig” as an insult helps people forget that actual pigs are intelligent, sociable, and have individual temperaments.

1. See, for example, Animal Place. The Emotional World of Farm Animals. Vacaville, CA, 2003; Robbins, John. The Food Revolution. Berkeley, CA: Conari Press, 2001, pp. 153-164; “Shnookey”. “New Piglet. I’m in trouble” [and subsequent discussion]. Farm Life Forum - Gardenweb; Hurley, Blythe; Bernheim, Erica; and Mesaros, Angela. Where We Once Were: Stories of Childhood.; Lush, Tamara. “Cakes, shakes, and livestock”. St. Petersburg Times 2/28/02


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Posted: Nov 5, 2006 9:36am


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colleen o.
, 5
Vancouver, Canada
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