Cultural barriers to a global industry

ILM Comment
Published:  08 July, 2022
Credit: James Waincoat

Indeed, in many ways the kangaroo industry is a far better alternative to cattle in Australia. Not only are the leathers some of the most durable and lightweight around, with a fine grain ideally suited for the fashion industry, but kangaroos produce less methane and require less transport than the ruminant alternative in the cattle industry.

Leading organisations agree. Money explained in her comment that The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) independently monitored the kangaroo harvest and has suggested that kangaroo harvesting could be one of the most humane slaughter methods possible, while the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) believes that the Australian kangaroo population is a unique and valuable resource and that harvesting is a legitimate and humane use of that resource.

As Money says: “Farmers have few options to reduce the contribution that livestock make to GHG production but using kangaroos to produce low-emission meat (and leather as a by-product) is an option for the Australian rangelands for the long-term benefit of both humans and kangaroos.”

I wonder if activists would not react in a similar way if Nigeria began exporting or promoting pomo, a foodstuff created by processing bovine hides and a cheaper alternative to beef. It would be an interesting solution to preventing hides from ending up in landfill and operates alongside the production of leather.

Disregarding the tenuous geopolitical situation, we live in an increasingly globalised world, almost entirely connected by technology at almost all times. Why then, are we still so insistent on fearing cultural norms we do not understand? Perhaps if we want to unite the world, then we should start by opening our minds to the realities of life in the rest of the world. I’m sure our very global leather industry would benefit.

Tom Hogarth, Deputy Editor