What do you accept to find in a leather shop? Exotic leather bags, flashy jackets, 'ready-to-flaunt' shoes, stylish belts and more. But this wasn't what a few shoppers found when they stepped into a leather store in Bangkok this week.One shopper was stunned to find a beating heart inside a leather handbag, another was dumbstruck to find fake intestines inside a leather jacket.
This unique, albeit unnerving shopping experience was created by PETA to raise awareness about the cruelty meted out to animals in the leather goods industry.
PETA Asia set up a fake shop named Leatherworks, in a Bangkok shopping mall, with items on sale containing fake blood, sinew and even a beating heart. The animals rights charity then filmed the horrified reaction of shoppers
"Every year, hundreds of thousands of reptiles are crudely bludgeoned and skinned alive, all for the sake of so-called luxury shoes, belts and bags," PETA Asia's vice president Jason Baker said in a statement.
"Crocodiles in Thailand are being farmed in the most inhumane of conditions. They are crammed into putrid tanks and ponds before being subjected to the cruelest of slaughter practices; being shot or hammered to shatter their spines and cause paralysis," Baker said.
The cruelty is not just restricted to crocodiles. Every year, at least 4,40,000 pythons are caught in the jungles of south-east Asia, where some are hung, decapitated, and then skinned.
Baker said that PETA's gruesome pop-up shop will remind shoppers that the only way to keep blood and guts out of our closets is to choose vegan clothing, shoes and accessories.