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Behind every ostrich-, crocodile-, and alligator-skin item is an animal who endured a miserable life and a violent death.
Yet American Express encourages its cardholders to redeem their rewards points
for items made from these animals' skin.
From Texas to Zimbabwe to Vietnam (that is, all over the freakin' world), PETA has exposed the appalling conditions that alligators, crocodiles, and other animals are forced to live in, only to be killed for so-called "luxury" items.
Does this sound like luxury to you?
At a farm in Texas, alligators were locked away in dark sheds with foul water and denied access to sunshine, fresh air, or even basic veterinary care for raw skin around their jaws.
Workers hacked open these animals' necks, trying to dislocate their vertebrae. They shoved metal rods into their heads to try to scramble their brains—all while they were still conscious. Minutes after these often failed attempts, their legs and tails were still moving on the bleed rack and in the ice bins.
At a farm in Vietnam, tens of thousands of crocodiles were confined to small, filthy concrete enclosures—some smaller than the length of their bodies—often for more than a year.
At another farm, workers electroshocked crocodiles and then attempted to kill them by cutting into their necks and ramming metal rods down their spines.
Other animals deemed "exotic"—including ostriches, lizards, and snakes—are also killed in barbaric ways and often skinned alive.
H&M, adidas, Puma, Overstock.com, and Nike understand that there's no excuse for supporting such obvious cruelty and have cut ties with the exotic-skins trade.
American Express needs to stop allowing its cardholders to "reward" themselves with the skins of tortured animals.
Tell American Express to replace the items with exotic-animal skins in its rewards store with others that don't cause animals horrific suffering.