If you’ve been paying attention to photo news for the past couple of days, you may have read about Leica’s special edition of the X1 featuring ostrich skin. The company is known to do very high-class and fashionable modifications to their cameras every so often and raise the price. Granted, they are collectors items, and in this case the rare X1 will go for $2,400. I contacted PETA to ask them about what they had to say about the cameras, here is their response.
Edit: Leica has since stated that they do not use Ostrich Leather in the manufacturing of the camera.
According to Danielle Katz, Special Projects Coordinator over at PETA:
“The thought of killing beautiful birds for a camera makes our skin crawl. Leica should follow the lead of H&M, Victoria’s Secret, and Nike and ditch exotic skins. The look of ostrich skin can easily be duplicated without killing any animals, and with so many synthetic materials available today, there’s no excuse for using real animal skins…ostriches are often slaughtered for their meat, feathers, and skin. We can’t imagine why anyone would find ostrich skin appealing. After all, ostriches who are killed for their skins are typically immobilized—but not stunned—with painful electric shocks to their heads. The birds’ feathers are then torn out of their bodies by hand before the animals are hung upside down and have their throats cut, sometimes while they’re still conscious. We hope that consumers will make the kind choice to buy products that don’t harm any animals.”
Amazing. After some research, I found that ostrich leather is often used in boots and handbag creation. It can actually be quite pricey, in 2006 the classic Louis Vuitton Keepall 50 (a purse) special ordered in an ostrich skin was $10,800. Demand for the skin was also extremely high during the 1980’s in America.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below on the issue.