Actress Sunny Leone launched a powerful campaign with non-profit organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India to promote ethical fashion at the Lakme Fashion Week. The actress, who is the ambassador of the organisation, launched the "Leather is a Rip-Off" poster, which showed skin being peeled-off from her body to raise awareness against the use of leather.
Talking about the campaign and her association with PETA, Sunny said, “When they asked me to do this, it was a very easy answer to say yes. I did not think twice about it. It is something I practice in my life and I believe that we live in a time where we can make a choice of buying leather, buying products that hurts animals. We have other options and alternatives, really nice ones. Alternatives are nice and I really hope that people here, when you ho out and when you’re buying the new bag, you just take a second about where it came from, how it got into your hands.
It's something very emotional when I think about when something is being done and I do urge everybody here to take a look at what happens to animals when you are holding that beautiful bag, or that belt or those shoes or anything else. Because it hurts them, we don’t need to hurt them. I really hope you guys make the choice not to hurt them and buy other products where we are not hurting anybody. There is enough hurt and anger, so many different things are happening in this world. Why don’t we just one at a time be a little nicer.”
The actress got emotional while speaking about her decision to stop eating meat about five years ago, and the event that led to the decision. “I stopped eating meat about four-five years ago. It was when the light went on. I watched dogs at the Yulin Festival be poked, boiled alive, burned alive, killed beyond imaginable suffering that was happening. It was a really really easy choice for me to say I can’t do it anymore. I don’t want to look at it, I can’t eat it, I have no interest in it. I know what is being done to these animals, I would sit there and I would cry so much when I would see what would happen to these animals. They are innocent, they did nothing wrong and they have no voice.
That was when our relationship (with Peta) was also formed in India. The videos that I saw here, like people putting chilli in the eyes of cows to take them from one place to another. Animals screeching and crying is the worst sounds you will hear next to a human suffering. Our relationship did not start with that good feeling but now it is a good feeling that we are making a difference maybe one person at a time, we can help them make a different choice,” she said.
Talking about the steps she takes in her daily-life to ensure that she wore only vegan fashion, the actress said, My first question for any designer when I speak to my stylist is, ‘is this leather?’ when it looks like leather. And if they don’t know they have to verify. Same thing goes on with shoes and bags, anything I use for the shoots I do, or even walking around in my normal life. Leather is not a part of my life anymore. When you actually see what happens and I urge everybody to take a look. Ignorance is not something that we should have in our life."
“A lot of these animals are abused even before they get to the chopping block. They are caged, they are poked and leashed. They cannot stand up, they have never met their mother. A lot of these animals are pulled away from their families. Then they are pulled and then they are poked. Some of these animals are skinned alive. They are not even given the human approach of passing before they are skinned. All of us can get together and say, ‘hey, as a group let’s not use leather.’ This is what’s out there, these animals are shrieking because they are not treated humanely. Even for wool for that matter, it is unbelievable," she further added.
PETA's Campaign For Vegan Fashion event was held in collaboration with Lakme Fashion Week's Sustainability Day.
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