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Cows are mostly raised for their meat and milk. Using their leather just means that there is less waste when the edible parts are harvested.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S095965262102120XThe leather industry is one of the most polluting and highly resource-consuming sectors. About 0.25 Mg of leather is produced from 1 Mg of raw material and requires 15,000 m3 - 120,000 m3 of water, finally generating 15–50 Mg of wastewater and 400–700 kg of solid waste (Hu et al., 2011), to say nothing of odors, greenhouse gases (CO2, H2S, NH3) and volatile organic compounds such as amines, aldehydes and hydrocarbons. The amount of chemicals emitted is influenced by the type of treatment and the technology used to process leather in a tannery (Fela et al., 2011). It is estimated that the global production capacity is approx. 15 Mt of leather per year, which shows the scale of the problem (Hu et al., 2011). Until now, landfilling and partial disposal were the only practices used in tannery waste management, mainly for economic reasons.
Me out here trying to figure out why my sleep paralysis demon is in an Apple Patent