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Certain decor magazines are my weakness. Not the ones with lounges bedecked in gold with heavy drapes over windows and ornate furniture. The ones which feature Scandinavian simplicity but with quirky features.

What I cannot escape from in even my preferred type of magazines is decor with leather couches and animal skin carpets. I read in the latest Visi magazine the following bizarre statement about a featured house: “Throughout the house, bursts of colour and interesting pieces add to the deeply personal aesthetic that abounds here. Nguni hides on the floors sit happily alongside monochromatic cushions and [the] sunshine yellow enamel collection”.  Further on it continues: “A mix of leather, wood, nguni hide and macrame make for an earthy feel in the living area”. (My emphasis)

Personally, I battle to see how part of a dead animal, being his skin, can sit happily with anything. It symbolises cruelty and death. I would not want that tragic energy in my home. Similarly, I do not understand how the skin of a dead animal can give an earthy feeling assuming that the word “earthy” is used to describe something grounded, whole and at one with nature.

I saw in an online advert this week for a leather couch, another baffling statement (and I dare not mention the company or its product name as the company is a notorious litigator). It read: “Upholstered in locally stocked and sourced genuine full grain leathers, the [name of couch] reflects the individuality and spirit of Africa.” Considering the state of Africa, a continent that has seen wars and genocide in this century and the last, perhaps the spirit of Africa is one of death but I am sure the company selling the couch would have us thinking something other than this yet since they fail to say what this spirit is and what makes it individual, I am going to go with the theme of death, cruelty, famine and destruction.

In another magazine I found this statement: “Wool carpets are making a big comeback and are regarded as a very fashionable choice. The natural feel of these carpets along with their timeless characteristics make it a popular choice for consumers.” I am sure that the sheep are less enthusiastic about this comeback and fashion situation nevermind preferring to keep their natural feeling wool for their own use to keep themselves warm and in that way, their wool is a timeless characteristic for their own purposes. It is not up to us to decide what to do with their wool because it simply does not belong to us.

Further, many sheep are hurt in the shearing process and if they do get their wounds stitched, this is done without any pain medication.  The sheep are handled roughly and with no respect for them as sentient beings. I would not want to wear wool or walk on wool. Wool looks far better on them, as does human skin on a human.

Look around your home and in your garage – do you have leather car seats, leather couches, wool blankets, animal skin carpets, a feather duster or feathered decor, leather trim decor or fur throws? Be ruthless and redistribute these items which hold onto the energy akin to that of an abattoir. Let the lightness in. Then light candles to remember all the animals who suffered so that we could stand on them, sit on them and be covered by them.

When you cannot sleep at night and resort to counting sheep, imagine counting sheep with no wool on them. I doubt you will fall into a deep contented slumber.