Meghalaya's Environment and Forest Minister, James Sangma, is all set to be conferred with the 'Progressive Business Concept Award' by the People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for his work towards promoting vegan pineapple leather. The animal rights organisation's Indian vertical made the statement on Wednesday, October 13, bestowing this honour on him. PETA's volunteers in Meghalaya will hand over the award to him soon.
Encouraging Farmers To Use Vegan Leather
Recently, James Sangma made an announcement in Hyderabad that made his plans clear about heading in the direction towards using methods that are cruelty free. News 18 reported that the state government wants the local farmers to make use of the pineapple that is available widely around the state to make leather. According to the International Society of Horticulture, the state is known for growing around 8 per cent of the total fruit in the country.
PETA India's Senior Campaigns Coordinator, Radhika Suryavanshi, said, "In recognition of his plans to help local farmers by encouraging vegan pineapple-leather production, a move that will also protect animals and the environment."
A website called 'Liberty Leather Goods' defines pineapple leather as 'an imitation leather called Pinatex.' The materials used to make is an amalgamation of cellulose fibres of pineapple leaves, thermoplastic polyester and petroleum-based resin. It has mixed properties of natural leather as well as faux leather. Nowadays, it is popularly used to make upholstery, shoes and many other fashion accessories that would otherwise involve fabrics made out of an animal by-product.
Climate Change Museum
Along with this endeavour, Sangma aims to open a museum dedicated to climate change. With this, he wants to introduce this all-important topic in the school curriculum as well. Suryavanshi further appreciated his initiative as he identified this as the 'defining challenge of our times'. "PETA India looks forward to seeing Meghalaya create new opportunities for farmers while helping save the planet and animals," she said.
According to PETA, animal slaughter for fashion purposes has been responsible for a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions, a piece of information which has further been corroborated by the United Nations as well. The organisation also maintains that chromium, that is popular used in the leather tanning process, is a carcinogenic chemical which is extremely harmful for those working in this very industry.