Stop Torturing Snakes for Their Skin

snake being decapitated with an axe

Target: Michelle Peluso, Chief Executive Officer of Gilt

Goal: Stop selling cruelly-obtained skin from snakes and other animals.

Online shopping company Gilt is guilty of selling the product of animal suffering. The company sells fashion accessories made from snake leather as well as the skin of other exotic animals. Gilt was recently criticized for a typographical mistake on its website where it labeled Oscar de la Renta shoes made from Elaphe snakeskin as being made from elephant skin. Regardless of whether a snake or an elephant was skinned for a fashion accessory, both animals suffer tremendous pain in the process.

Other brands featured on Gilt’s website sell products made from pythons, crocodiles, alligators and ostrich. These animals may not feature in the public image as highly as elephants do, but they all feel fear and pain.

Numerous investigations led in exotic skin farms revealed deplorable living conditions for the reptiles and other animals raised there. Crammed into tiny barren cages and individual tanks, these animals never see the outdoors nor are they given the opportunity to display natural behaviors and interact with other members of their species.

When it is time for their skin to be “farmed,” snakes are often nailed down and cut open, then pumped full of air or water so that their skin can be peeled off more easily. Crocodiles and alligators are either shot or have their throats sliced and are hung upside down, dying in excruciating pain as their bodies slowly empty out of their blood, all in the name of superfluous luxury handbags and overpriced shoes.

Our previous mistaken belief that reptiles do not feel pain has proven to be false. Just because they do not react the same way as mammals do does not mean they lack the capacity for suffering on a similar scale. Sign this petition and urge Gilt to stop selling products made from exotic skins.


Dear Mrs. Peluso,

Your online shopping company features numerous products made from exotic animal skin. The animals skinned and killed in the making of these shoes, handbags and other fashion accessories include pythons and other snakes, alligators, crocodiles and ostriches, among others.

These animals are raised in squalid, inhumane conditions before being put to death through cruel means. They live in tiny tanks and crammed cages and never get to experience the outdoors or display their natural behaviors. Alligators and crocodiles are shot or have their throats sliced and are then hung upside down to die excruciating deaths while their bodies empty of their blood. Pythons and other snakes are often nailed down, bludgeoned and then pumped full of air or water for their skin to be more easily peeled off.

The Oscar de la Renta collection sold by Gilt may not feature elephant skin, but an Elaphe snake is similarly capable of experiencing pain and suffering. Your company is coming under increasingly strong fire for its association with brands that continue to act as though animals are mere objects for us to use with no regard for their lives or sentience.

As consumers learn more about what animals endure in the name of exotic leather products and flock to ethical shopping companies and clothes brands instead, Gilt is sure to lose out as it currently stands. Please act in accordance with the public’s increasing concern for animals and stop selling products made from exotic skins immediately.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: PETA

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  1. Kathy Khoshfahm says:

    This world is Hell on Earth for most animals and my heart truly aches for all those beautiful, innocent souls in the Animal Kingdom who fall victim to torture and murder at the hands of humans. Not one creature deserves to be treated this way. Not one…

  2. anita culling says:

    I echo the last comment. Its so bad the way all animals are persecuted. Worse than people realise

  3. LEAVE THE SNAKES ALONE — there is NO market for snake products —

    STOP torturously killing snakes — you have NO right!

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