“Gross!” is what I thought the moment I saw this image and I simply wanted to look away, until I realized that the beating heart was inside a leather purse. It is the heart of an animal that we actually choose to look away from when buying fashionable leather products, because the torture it undergoes for the sake of leather may not matter to us. But PETA wants us to face this reality.

They fashioned purses, jackets and shoes in a pop-up set-up called ‘The Leather Work’ in one of Bangkok’s choicest malls. To their horror, the moment people unzipped bags and jackets, what they found inside were beating hearts, flesh and intestines attached to the leather that acts as their skin. Anyone who tried on leather gloves or shoes was smeared in seemingly real blood. Despite all of this being fake, you won’t look at it and say it is not real, – and this is the message that PETA and Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Bangkok  want to give us.

Courtesy of PETA

Courtesy of PETA

Did you know that most animals are skinned alive for leather farming? This is the reality and as PETA explains, “every year, at least 440,000 pythons are caught in the jungles of Southeast Asia, where some are hung, decapitated, and then skinned. Some have their jaws forced open, a hose inserted into their body cavity, and then are pumped full of water so that their skin becomes easier to remove. The skin is then ripped from the animal’s body, sometimes while they’re still alive. A cold-hearted end for these remarkable, cold-blooded animals.” The skin stays luxe if they are still alive- this is a bigger concern than the torture subjected to them.

Courtesy of PETA

Courtesy of PETA

“Crocodiles in Thailand are being farmed in the most inhumane of conditions. They are crammed into putrid tanks and ponds before being subjected to the cruellest of slaughter practices; being shot or hammered to shatter their spines and cause paralysis. Some are skinned alive. And an average handbag requires the slaughter of not one, but four crocodiles. The blood, in demand for its purported medicinal properties, is drawn from the animal while the meat and hide is processed. Thailand also has the largest crocodile farming industry in the world where about 700,000 are raised annually. None are expected to survive.”

Courtesy of PETA

Courtesy of PETA

It may still not matter to a large fraction of society, as PETA says, “Beauty often blinds people into cruelty.” But if it does then PETA Asia wants you to “pledge to never wear or purchase exotic skins again,” on their website.

“It doesn’t have to be this way. You can play an important role in alleviating their suffering by raising awareness.”

Courtesy of PETA

Courtesy of PETA

Project Information :
Concept : PETA and Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Bangkok
Location : CentralWorld Mall, Bangkok, Thailand
Project Year : 2016

By : Sahiba Gulati

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