Stepping away from the animal bit completely, I am going to try to go in the direction of showing people other aspects of the leather industry besides the animal cruelty one that they might not have considered. Leather is not only bad for the animals farmed in making it but also for the people working in tanneries and the impact the production has on the environment. Chromium pollution is the fifth most toxic pollution problem in the world and destroys the rivers and lands where it is dumped as a by-product of the tanning process and workers in the industry can be as young as five years old wearing no protection gear and dying too young from being poisoned for years from working with these chemicals.
I also found a report saying that one cow hide makes an average of 18 pairs of shoes and that each pair is accountable for the use of over 1.4 million litres of water (water that goes in to raising the cow and in the tanning process). This is equivalent to taking a bath every day for over 40 years.
Transforming 1.4 million litres to cubic meters to get a measure of volume it becomes 1400 m3, (that is about a third of the volume of Big Ben) of water to make one pair of leather shoes. It’s insane. These are the types of facts I feel people will probably respond better to as the numbers are so large and are put in a familiar context. Sadly, just showing images of suffering animals and pointing out how horrible and full of pain their lives are won’t do it.
I am going to have to go for a friendly shock option instead.