As thousands of shoppers walk past each day, The Leather Work in Bangkok’s largest mall, CentralWorld, entices passers-by with what appears to be dozens of high-end leather products. Eager shoppers pick up luxurious exotic skin bags and eye-catching leather jackets, purses, and shoes, ready to make another purchase.
But once they take a peek at the inside of the item, they gasp in shock.
Inside each of The Leather Work’s products is an incredibly realistic replica of a part of an animal’s body. The leather bags are filled with a pumping, beating heart oozing with blood and surrounded by layers of warm, red flesh. The purses are filled with living guts, the jeans are filled with pulsating muscular torsos, the shoes are filled with blood, and the wallets and high heels are walled with gory tissues. The belts and gloves are leathery on one side and bloody and fleshy on the other, staining your hand red.
The message behind The Leather Work, a PETA campaign, is not to scare consumers but to raise awareness about the animal impact of purchasing leather products. Millions of animals are killed each year for the exotic skins industry, often in a brutal way (such as snakes being skinned alive with hammers, nails, and scissors). PETA chose Thailand as the location for The Leather Work because it is home to the world’s largest crocodile skins industry, which requires the lives of four crocodiles to make just one handbag.
And of course, the store uses no real leather to make its tricky products; it is all vegan leather.
Update April 2017: The Leather Work was a temporary display and is no longer there.