Hermes Breeds Crocodiles To Make Handbags

In what can only described as sickening news, French luxury goods brand Hermès admitted it has resorted to breeding its own crocodiles to meet demand for its leather bags. According to Patrick Thomas, the company’s chief executive, it can take three or four crocodiles to make one bag, so they breed the animals on farms, mainly in Australia, to get enough to produce about 3,000 bags a year. And they can’t even make enough bags to meet demand.

You can’t really fault a company for doing what they can to take money without expressly hurting the environment — it’s not like they’re making crocodiles extinct to make bags — but do we really need to carry crocodile handbags in the first place? I suppose you could compare carrying a croc bag with eating foie gras. Neither is necessary to get through life, and not everyone can afford them. But, if you can, these luxury items make your life a little more special — though, arguably, no better.

Do the animals get the star treatment while they’re being raised for their future as a $100,000 bag? It’s hard to say. Since their skin needs to be preserved, the crocs are kept in separate rooms to prevent them from biting one another, which means they don’t get to socialize, but they don’t get into fights, either.

I like nice bags as much as the next girl, and I’m not opposed to wearing products made from animals, but why does everyone complain when people wear furs but not crocodile shoes or bags? Are crocs not soft and cuddly enough? [Reuters]