Many people view livestock production as providing one simple output: meat. But when you add up the many products that source ingredients from cattle alone including tallow for beauty products, cartilage for osteoarthritis medications, and gelatin for foods as a few examples, it paints a much different picture of a cow’s contribution to our society.
Perhaps one of the most understated contributions that cattle make to our society is leather, which has been used to make everything from automotive interiors to clothing to furniture. Humans have been relying on animal hides for centuries with Egyptians documenting leather use as early as 1300 B.C.
But unfortunately, a rise in synthetic substitutes marketing themselves as animal-free, cruelty-free, vegan leather has given consumers a negative perception of leather.
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