Meghalaya’s initiative to produce ‘vegan leather’ is earning the state accolades from various sections of the society. The recent being, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Organization (PETA), India’s decision to confer Meghalaya Environment Minister James P K Sangma with the Progressive Business Concept Award, officials said on Wednesday.
The minister had recently announced in Hyderabad that the Meghalaya government plans to produce leather using pineapples that are found abundantly in the hilly state. He had said the administration is also planning to open a climate change museum and introduce the subject in school curriculum during an event there.
PETA volunteers in Meghalaya will soon hand over the award to the minister, a media intimidation from the organisation mentioned.
“In recognition of his plans to help local farmers by encouraging vegan pineapple-leather production, a move that will also protect animals and the environment, PETA India has decided to confer upon him the Progressive Business Concept Award,” PETA India Senior Campaigns Coordinator Radhika Suryavanshi said.
“The minister has rightly identified the climate crisis as a ‘defining challenge of our times’ and he’s already taking steps to address one of the biggest culprits — animal agriculture”, she further said.
“PETA India looks forward to seeing Meghalaya create new opportunities for farmers while helping save the planet and animals’ lives through a thriving pineapple-leather industry,” the PETA office-bearer said. PETA believes that animal agriculture – which includes animal slaughter for clothing – is responsible for nearly a fifth of human-induced greenhouse-gas emissions and this was also corroborated by the United Nations, Suryavanshi said.
“To keep the skins of cows, buffaloes, and other animals used for leather from rotting, tanneries use a variety of caustic, toxic chemicals, which pollute waterways. One of the most widely used chemicals in the tanning process is chromium, which can cause cancer in workers exposed to it,” she added.
The export of footwear, leather and leather products from India in 2020-21 was to the tune of USD 3.68 billion.