Vegan Ellen DeGeneres Under Fire for Designing Leather Shoes

Neil Rasmus/BFA/Sipa via AP Images
Neil Rasmus/BFA/Sipa via AP Images

Noted vegan Ellen DeGeneres has come under fire from an animal advocacy organization after it was discovered that her new clothing line contains a pair of leather boots.

DeGeneres launched her new ED by Ellen clothing line at the Bergdorf Goodman flagship store in New York City last weekend with a star-studded bash that included wife Portia de Rossi, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams, Gayle King, Diane Sawyer, and Robin Roberts.

But the comedian has come under fire from animal advocacy organization Global Conservation Group (GCG) for including a pair of pricey leather boots in her footwear line. According to the Ecorazzi blog, the boots will cost $250 and will be manufactured by the Camuto Group in Brazil, the same company that manufactures leather products for Nine West.

GCG president Jordan Turner penned an open letter to DeGeneres on Sunday, urging her to remove the leather boots from her collection.

“I am disappointed to learn that your new shoe line will include leather products,” Turner wrote. “As a vegan, you likely know that animals raised for food are routinely beaten, neglected and brutally killed. However, animals in the leather industry are often treated much worse. With every pair of leather shoes, you sentence an animal to a lifetime of suffering.”

The group also launched a petition, urging DeGeneres to stop selling the boots; the petition has since garnered more than 3,700 signatures.

“Please consider pulling leather from your shoe line,” Turner wrote. “Animal leather can easily be replaced with cruelty-free materials that imitate leather, including faux leather, pleather, synthetic leather, PU, man-made leather, waxed cotton and imitation leather. One of my favorite quotes from you is: ‘We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.’ I ask that you extend that contribution of compassion to our four-legged animal friends as well.”

DeGeneres has become known as an animal welfare activist in recent years. At last year’s Academy Awards, the comedian reportedly worked with her dog food company and event organizers to place vouchers worth tens of thousands of free meals for dogs in animal shelters into the “swag bags” of Oscar nominees.

In 2009, PETA named DeGeneres its Woman of the Year.

DeGeneres has not yet commented on Global Conservation Group’s letter. She is, however, reportedly planning a menswear line with known fur-lover Kanye West.


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