Skinless protestors from PETA created quite a stir at the “Hermès Leather Forever” exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts today. Clad in little more than body paint, three models were decorated to look as if stripped of their skin, showing only the gore of muscle and blood. Along with PETA, the models creatively protested Hermès continuous use and support of the leather and fur industries.
As the skinless models posed and flexed their painted on muscles, PETA protestors handed out leaflets to exhibition visitors, and held up signs reading “Hermès, Bag Cruelty: Ditch Leather.” PETA’s beef with the exhibition is its blatant support of an industry that not only kills cows, but also heavily pollutes the environment.
PETA argues that with today’s textile technologies, sumptuous synthetic leathers, quality faux furs and luxurious fabrics are available, totally ending the need to kill these animals for their skins. The protesters brought attention to the inhumane conditions and cruelty of factory farming, all for the sake of an expensive hand bag.
Leather tanneries also flood dangerous chemicals into the environment, including toxic mineral salts, formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, and dyes that can contain cyanide.
PETA is no stranger to using shock to get their message across, and their nearly-naked skinless models grabbed the attention of more than just a passerby.