While most vegans understand and acknowledge the ethical dilemma over using leather, the true magnitude of what it takes to produce leather products might be more shocking than previously thought. Health I.Q. looked into the metrics and these were a few facts from 2015 that we found most shocking.
(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.