Leather is such a product that has captivated the attention of many people, from various regions. However, it is made in a not so animal family way, the skins of various animals such as cows, pigs, sheep, alligators, dogs, cats, ostriches and kangaroos. Due to the increasing awareness regarding animal rights many people have tried to ban the use of leather in various countries, but not in a large scale. Not many people believe that leather or fur should be banned. However, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is trying tirelessly to help create awareness regarding the mistreatment of different types of animals.
Most leather comes from developing country like India and China where either the animal welfare law is non-existent or not enforced strictly. In U.S millions of cows and other animals are killed brutally for their skins. The problem is that if humans continue to kill animals at such a fast pace as we are doing now, there won’t be enough left in the future.
Leather and meat without killing animal
Andras Forgacs co-founder of a bio-fabrication company called Modern Meadow found a solution which involves the cloning of animals from tissues; this process is called bio-fabrication. However, one of the problems today is the spread of diseases among animals. He defines leather as a “gateway material” that will introduce and make people comfortable about bio-fabrication. Using this method means we will have less control over the final product.
Since animal/animals cells are needed in order to generate an artificial cell with the same substance, they have to be used in experimental bases. He claims that cells themselves can be used to grow biological products such as tissues. This method is already being practiced in the medical field in order to grow sophisticated body parts. It uses on cell type, two dimensional and less polarizing for the customers and regulators. In order to perform bio-fabrication, a simple biopsy would be done in order to tae the cell from an animal. The cells would be later isolated and multiplied in a cell culture medium. This will take millions of cells and expand them into millions. And then coax the cells to produce collagen which they naturally do. The last stage is that they will take the multilayered skin and through a short and less chemical involved procedure make leather. Plus the properties of the materials can be changed accordingly.