When rock-and-roll socialite and jewellery designer Meg Mathews decided to go vegan at the start of 2013, she didn’t just dump meat, eggs and dairy products from her diet – she also shed all the exotic-skins handbags and shoes from her wardrobe.
Now, Mathews is going a step further: she is donating all the proceeds from her snake-themed collection of jewellery, Venom, to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). And from now through the end of the month, visitors to the PETA competition webpage can enter to win a Venom necklace worth £449.
“I have always been inspired by the beauty and exotic nature of snakes, but when I learned how these animals suffer when they are skinned for nothing more than a bag or belt, it gave me the creeps and I could never wear them again”, says Mathews. “I am proud that every purchase of a Venom item will help PETA fight the abuse of snakes and other animals, people often do not understand and so misuse.”
As explained in PETA US’s video exposé of the exotic-skins industry, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, exotic animals such as snakes, alligators and crocodiles are skinned alive, beaten to death or killed for their skins in other cruel ways. Snakes, for example, are often nailed to trees, and workers may ram hoses into their mouths and pump them full of water so that they can more easily cut off their tightened skin while they are still alive.