PETA sent Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce a gift that’s sure to turn a few heads: a vegan crocodile-skin wallet containing a $2 coin, with an accompanying card that urges the government to “put Aussie dollars into Aussie vegan ventures”.
The deputy PM is always espousing Australian ownership, so we thought he might appreciate this beautiful accessory, made by Melbourne brand Sans Beast. It comes in the wake of video footage released last month by the Kindness Project showing the appalling conditions endured by Australian saltwater crocodiles held captive on farms owned by luxury French fashion house Hermès and its suppliers.
French fashion labels Hermès and Louis Vuitton own or control the overwhelming majority of crocodile farms in the Northern Territory. In late 2020, PRI Farming – a group controlled by Hermès – purchased more land, with plans to build a facility capable of imprisoning 50,000 crocodiles at one time, which would be Australia’s largest crocodile farm and would increase the number of farmed crocodiles in the Northern Territory by 50%.
While Joyce is preoccupied with foreign ownership, there are much more sinister problems with crocodile farms. Footage supplied to the Kindness Project by Farm Transparency Project revealed that crocodiles on skin farms are confined to cramped cages or small concrete pits filled with filthy water before being electrocuted, dragged, and mutilated – while some are still fully conscious. In the video, one animal is seen still trying to get up after a worker has cut the back of his neck open with a blade and inserted a screwdriver into his skull in an attempt to scramble his brain.
Crocodiles have beautiful skin, but they’re also sentient beings who feel pain and fear. They are protective, attentive parents and often amuse themselves by blowing bubbles.
How can the Australian government permit these native animals to be farmed and mutilated for bags and boots?
Hermès’ expansion plans come at a time when crocodile skin is falling out of fashion. Chanel, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Mulberry, HUGO BOSS, and Victoria Beckham have all banned crocodile and other exotic skins from their collections. Please join us in asking Hermès to follow suit!