Photo courtesy of Bubblews
Did Nike kill kangaroos to make kangaroo leather to make your soccer or football shoes? If you're like me you have been happily wearing and buying many of these shoes without knowing that Nike (and Umbro) slaughter millions of kangaroos in Australia every year to make your soccer shoes.
Millions of children and adults play soccer every year, some of them going so far as to buy special shoes for the sport. Unfortunately, Nike (and Umbro, the soccer specialty company owned by Nike) make some of their soccer shoes (or football shoes depending on where you live) from kangaroo leather.
The kangaroos are not slaughtered humanely, and worst of all after many of the kangaroos have been killed, baby joeys are found dead in their mothers' pouches. If the joeys aren't already dead many are either stomped on to kill them or beaten with sticks or smashed against vehicles because their skin is of no use to Nike. What kind of company supports this?
Everytime I think of this horrible death for these proud animals and the waste of animal life I get madder. The ridiculous thing is Nike actually makes an alternative to the leather from the kangaroos known as 'Kanga-Lite.' This product offers an excellent alternative to kangaroo leather that does not impact the performance of the athletes. Nike can stop using kangaroo leather and still produce quality soccer shoes. Some of their best models, the CTR360, Total90 Laser IV, and Mercurial Vapor VII are good choices for families looking for a synthetic soccer shoe for recreational soccer.
Wayne Rooney of the Manchester United, Landon Donovan, captain of the Los Angeles Galaxy and Ronaldo, (recently retired) from Brazil all wear or wore Nike cleats where no kangaroos had been slaughtered. If you look at their stats, it seems obvious that the non-kangaroo products used on their cleats certainly didn't have a negative impact on their performance on the soccer field.
If you want Nike to stop using kangaroo leather and start using only animal-friendly high functioning synthetic alternatives be sure to let the company know your opinion. And most importantly, vote with your wallet. Don't buy soccer shoes/cleats made with kangaroo leather. Look for the synthetic models and buy those--vote with your wallet. As a business the one thing that will make Nike sit up and take notice is when their customers refuse to buy the kangaroo leather products. Write to Nike and tell them why you aren't buying their kangaroo based products, or worse, why you have decided to buy from a competitor as long as Nike continues to use kangaroo leather in thier products.