Do you know how many cows it takes to create a single football, the interior of a Bentley Mulsanne, or even your favorite pair of leather shoes? While it’s easy for many vegans to avoid meat consumption in their diet, there are other more ubiquitous ways cows are “used.” Have you ever tossed around a non-leather football, for example? When you add up all the products produced from cow hides each year, the total magnitude of lives loss is staggering…so we visualized it.
Here is Health I.Q.‘s look into how many cows are slaughtered each year to make 3 of the most common leather products.
(1) 20 footballs take one cow hide on an average. In 2015, there were 700,000 regulation game day NFL balls made from natural cow hides, which equates to 35,000 hides.
(2) In 2015, over 7.7 million new cars were purchased in the United States, with 2 million of them being luxury models. Assuming leather graced 75% of the luxury cars, 1.5 million leather car interiors were produced. Taking PETA’s calculation—that it takes on average eight cow hides to create a leather car interior— we calculated that around 12 million cows were slaughtered in 2015 solely for the purpose of luxurious rides in America.
(3) 18 leather shoes take one cow hide on an average. In 2015, 2.2 billion shoes were sold in the United States. Assuming 25% of them were made from leather, 550 million leather shoes were produced, which equates to 30 million hides.