Kangaroos are not for shoes | Notice
By Raymond J. Lesniak
Each year, more than 2 million kangaroos are slaughtered to make shoes. That’s right, over 2 million shoes! Nike profits while the kangaroos die. And Nike isn’t the only company to profit from this kangaroo slaughter. Adidas makes kangaroo athletic shoes and Amazon-owned Dick’s Sporting Goods, Puma and Zappos sell kangaroo-skin athletic shoes, according to a comprehensive, months-long survey by the Center for a Humane Economy, an organization national nonprofit that promotes animal welfare in the corporate sector.
It is the largest commercial slaughter of wildlife in the world, ten times the size and much bloodier than the famous seal slaughter in Canada. Why kill the beloved Australian icon? Americans protect bald eagles. New Zealand protects kiwi birds. China protects giant pandas. Yet the Australian government sanctions and subsidizes the hunts, with kangaroo meat going for pet food and skins for manufacturers like Nike and Adidas for football boots, despite a growing chorus of protests from football stars. .
Imagine, wild kangaroos survive the horrific wildfires in Australia only to risk being shot by hunters. Imagine the estimated 500,000 Joeys who become collateral damage, caught in the pockets of their dejected mothers and killed by blunt trauma or left to starve.
The Australian government and kangaroo exporters worked for three decades to remove kangaroos from the United States endangered species list and to convince the United States government that commercially slaughtered kangaroos were abundant and that management practices were sustainable. The US federal ban was lifted in 1995 and trade resumed.
In 2007, the animal welfare organization, VIVA! International Voice for Animals, has sought to legally enforce the ban on the sale of kangaroo products in California. The California Supreme Court has confirmed that California can regulate kangaroos imports under a threatened species law, even though US federal law no longer lists kangaroos as endangered species. California now bans the trade in kangaroo parts to its 40 million consumers.
Help is also on the way in New Jersey. State Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg introduced S3774 to ban the sale or barter of kangaroo parts in the state to close a market for 9 million consumers.
Nike’s buying practices are driving commercial shooters to use searchlights at night to slaughter wild kangaroos, remove their heads, feet and entrails, club joeys found alive in pouches, and hang adult carcasses from trucks for storage. they bleed as they rush to the next stroke.
“We encourage and reward suppliers who meet the standards,” says Nike in its raw materials report, “and who care about animal welfare.” Is that so? Nike, the world’s largest sports apparel and equipment manufacturer, reported $ 42 billion in revenue last year, growing by around $ 4 billion each year. The company sells 300 models of athletic shoes in 900 styles for 25 sports. Kangaroo skin is used exclusively for one sport, soccer, in six patterns. He markets kangaroo skin under the name “k-leather,” widely regarded as a relic of past shoe technology.
Phil Knight, as Chairman Emeritus, is Nike’s knight on the corporate chessboard. He could end the massacre tomorrow. At the top of the Nike chessboard is the board of directors. Three of them sit on the “Corporate Responsibility, Sustainability and Governance Committee” which could, with a single click of the submit button, end Nike’s heinous practice of fueling the massacre of wild kangaroos in Australia, the largest commercial slaughter of its kind in the world.
“We believe that world-class manufacturing is built on standards that respect the environment …”, says Nike in its corporate social responsibility statement. “We have a responsibility to run our business ethically. “
Fine. Then put an end to the kangaroo slaughter. Do it.
Raymond (“Ray”) J. Lesniak is the founder and president of the Lesniak Institute for American Leadership. He served in the State Senate from 1983 to 2018 and the General Assembly from 1978 to 1983.
Our journalism needs your support. Please register today at NJ.com.
Here is how to submit an editorial or letter to the editor. Bookmark NJ.com/Opinion. Follow us on twitter @NJ_Opinion and on Facebook at Opinion NJ.com. Get the latest news straight to your inbox. Subscribe to NJ.com newsletters.