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Interesting debate has always surrounded commodities and materials derived from animals, particularly on the production and manufacturing techniques used to make animal-derived products.

The meat industry, for one, has been widely chastised for its prevalent practice of “factory farming,” which is linked to animal cruelty. This is why certain “alternative” practices – such as vegetarianism and veganism – are being widely and aggressively promoted in the hope of encouraging the “lessening” of animal cruelty idea through a paradigm shift toward “ethical” living.

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Leather, being an animal-derived product, has not escaped this kind of scrutiny. At present, as the world becomes more and more conscious of environmental damage and depletion of natural resources, the inquiry is whether or not the leather is merely a necessary by-product of the meat industry.

This question has engendered certain “well-meaning” entities to promote alternatives to leather, an example being the so-called “vegan leather.” However, the production of vegan leather is also being scrutinized and criticized as being just as harmful or even more to the environment than the production of leather.

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What is the point of this discussion, as is true with all other discourse? Consumers, rather than joining proclaimed revolutionary movements or latching on to trendy or fashionable earth-changing concepts du jour against a demonized idea, should examine their own choices on a deeper level and never join bandwagons for the sake of. Critical thinking is the only way to achieve truly beneficial paradigm shifts.

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