Are Animals Killed to Make Leather?

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No, animals are NOT usually killed to make leather. reports that 99% of the worlds leather comes from animals raised for food. Leather is typically a secondary product of the meat and dairy industry. The process using leftover hides to create leather is part of a highly sustainable process known as upcycling.

In fact, According to and, the hide of the animal accounts for slightly above 1% of the entire value of the animal. It would not be practical to kill an animal just to produce a product that accounts for such a small percentage of the animal’s value. As long as consumers eat meat, there will be leftover hides. These hides can either be wasted and thrown into a landfill or they can be used to make a beautiful product such as leather car seats, furniture, shoes, handbags, purses, wallets and so much more! According to, Modern leather manufacturing actually recycles more than 270 million cow hides per year, saving landfills from over 7.5 million tons of waste annually! Leather honors the life of the animal by ensuring the hide does not go to waste.


By-product or not? the truth about leather. (n.d.). One 4 Leather. 

Leather Naturally. (n.d.). 

Sothmann, S. (n.d.). U.S. cattle hide value declines significantly in wake of COVID-19. LHCA.

Benefits of leather. (n.d.). Leather Naturally.

Meryl Siegman is a published author based in New York who has written numerous articles for trade magazines. With a B.A. in English Literature from Middlebury College and a certificate from the University of Cincinnati Leather Research Laboratory for completing its leather orientation course, Meryl brings a unique blend of education and experience to her work in the leather industry. Currently, she consults and writes content for clients in various sectors of the leather industry, including furniture and accessories. As the former owner of Cortina Leathers for over 30 years, Meryl gained extensive knowledge of leather making in Arzignano, Italy, where she lived for three years as a leather purchaser. During her tenure at Cortina Leathers, she taught sales reps and clients about leather technology as a certified Continuing Education Unit (CEU) instructor. She served as a guest lecturer at New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology. Website:
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