Ostriches don’t really bury their heads in the sand. But fashion houses such as Hermès need to get their heads out of the sand and see what PETA uncovered. In September 2015, PETA undercover investigators traveled to South Africa to expose the horror behind the ostrich-leather industry. The Western Cape of South Africa is the ostrich-killing capital of the world. Seventy-five percent of the world’s ostrich leather, feathers, and meat comes from slaughterhouses in this region. The most lucrative part of the ostrich’s body is the skin on the back. This slaughterhouse supplies skins to Prada. The skin of these 3-day-old chicks will eventually be turned into designer wallets, boots, belts, or Birkin bags. In the wild, they would stay with their mothers and fathers for up to three years. On production farms, they will never even get to meet their parents. Instead, they are kept in barren dirt feedlots … … and tagged as if they were nothing more than walking merchandise. They will even have feathers plucked out while they’re still alive. Their body feathers will be used for feather dusters, while their wing plumes will be used in costumes for the Moulin Rouge or Brazil’s Carnival. In the wild, these birds can live for more than 40 years. But in the ostrich industry, they will be killed just after their first birthday. In less than two months, these curious, playful juveniles will be slaughtered and skinned. But ostriches shouldn’t be treated like “fabric.” They are fascinating and unique animals—the largest birds in the world. Although flightless, they are the fastest land animals on two legs. Both males and females are loyal parents who share all chick-rearing responsibilities, including sitting on the eggs. The dark-feathered males take the night shift, while the camouflaged females take the day shift. A manager at a major ostrich supply farm described the birds as smart and sensitive and able to navigate a complex social system. But this respect and admiration for them doesn’t stop him from loading them onto trucks headed for the slaughterhouse. Here, a worker strikes an ostrich on the way to a slaughterhouse that supplies skins for Prada. You are about to watch never-before-seen footage of ostrich slaughter inside the two largest ostrich-processing companies in the world. In just a few minutes, these juveniles in the waiting pens will be herded up the chutes to the kill floor. A word of warning: Many of the images are graphic. Workers force them into a box to be electrically stunned. Many of the panicked birds slip and fall on the floor while being violently shoved into the machine. Other ostriches next in line can see them being slaughtered through the doorway. Workers clamp their legs and bodies to immobilize them and stick their heads into the stunner. Another worker cuts their throats. This slaughterhouse is the exclusive supplier of ostrich skins to Hermès. The distinctive bumps on ostrich leather are the follicles where the feathers were ripped out. Go to PETA.org to pressure Hermès, Prada, and other fashion houses to drop ostrich leather and other exotic skins from their collections. And remember to purchase only vegan fabrics —choosing kind fashion has never been easier.