Australian Nike stores draw crowds of angry protesters demanding the end to the cruel, unsustainable commercial slaughter of wild kangaroos
(Sydney) – Australians took to the streets over the weekend in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane to send a message direct to Nike, protesting at their flagship stores and demanding the athletic wear behemoth end its use of kangaroo skin.
Though the US media and the Australian Government propaganda machine have been quick to paint a picture of Australians as willing participants in the mass commercial slaughter of kangaroos, that’s false framing.
The Center for a Humane Economy joined forces with 15 Australian and international organisations to tell Nike and the Australian Government that the abhorrent and unsustainable killing and trade in kangaroos — including the annual killing of hundreds of thousands of joeys — must end.
The Animal Justice Party’s Lead Senate Candidate Darren Brollo led the protest. Speaking to the assembled crowd of protesters and spectators, Mr. Brollo denounced Nike’s actions: “Anyone who buys or sells kangaroo leather can’t escape this simple fact: the commercial kangaroo killing industry is industrialised, legalised animal abuse.”
“It is no different to the bludgeoning of baby harp seals overseas that Australians are often quick to detest,” he added. “The massacre of our native animals is a terrible price to pay for a pair of shoes.”
For six years, Animal Justice Party MP Mark Pearson campaigned for a Parliamentary Inquiry into the commercial kangaroo industry, to which the NSW Government finally relented this year. Having co-chaired the 2021 Parliamentary Inquiry into the Health and Wellbeing of Kangaroos and Other Macropods in NSW, MP Pearson passed on a statement to share with the assembly:
“The recent NSW kangaroo inquiry has shown us that kangaroo killing is unsustainable and inherently cruel, and we need big brands like Nike to join consumers in rejecting this profit-driven cruelty and environmental destruction.”
As one of the world’s top purchasers of kangaroo skins, Nike is one of the biggest contributors to the bludgeoning of thousands of joeys to death every night, and the regional extinction of kangaroos already happening across Australia.
“There are countless non-animal-based alternatives to animal skin leather, and Nike has the chance to lead the way in developing the world’s best vegan football boots that are better for the planet and all animals,” said Louise Ward of the Center for a Humane Economy.
Australia has the worst rate of mammal extinction in the world, and Australians fear that kangaroos are heading onto the endangered list, just as other iconic Australian species have, including the koala and platypus.
At the recently concluded New South Wales parliamentary inquiry into the health and wellbeing of kangaroos, expert evidence was given by numerous ecologists, bio statisticians and scientists who testified that the commercial kangaroo industry was driving kangaroos toward scarcity, even as the government falsely claims kangaroos are super-abundant.
“Nike claims to be an ethical and sustainable company,” adds Ms. Ward. “Does Nike CEO John Donahoe really believe that the mass shooting of wildlife in the middle of the outback in the dead of night is ethical and sustainable? We are sure that Nike customers don’t see this issue similarly.”
Supporting protest orgs
Organisations coming together for this protest include the Animal Justice Party NSW, Center for a Humane Economy (USA), World Animal Protection International and Australia), the International Kangaroo Protection Alliance, the Kindness Project (Vic), Collective Fashion Justice (Vic), Animal Justice Party Victoria, Animal Liberation NSW, Sydney Animal Save (NSW), Animal Rights Activism Sydney (ARAS), Animal Liberation Queensland, Animal Justice Party Queensland, Kangaroos Alive, Wild2Free, Young Animal Justice Party NSW and the Animal Defenders Office (ACT). For more information, go to www.KangaroosAreNotShoes.org, a site managed by the Center for a Humane Economy.
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