Baseball = America’s Pastime and Sustainability’s Worst Nightmare

by

Taylor Ford

Excuse me. What?

June 14, 2021

We’ve all played catch with our friends, played a game in gym class, or watched a baseball game on TV, but what toll is the baseball industry taking on the environment? Unsurprisingly, the entire sports industry has not been held accountable for the immense environmental impact they have, but I’m going to be talking specifically about the Rawlings Heart of the Hide Baseball Glove. If you’re like me, you thought that leather couldn’t possibly be that bad as it’s a natural product, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. This glove (and many other leather sports products) source their leather as a byproduct of unsustainable meat companies such as Tyson, a company notorious for their use of GMOs, animal cruelty, and horrible working conditions.  

This is completely unacceptable as not only does Rawlings use unsustainable practices to process or “tan” their leather, they are also supporting a huge, unsustainable meat company like Tyson. Yeah, you could say “well, buying leather as a byproduct is better than just killing an animal solely for its leather,” but the bottom line is Rawlings shouldn’t use animal leather period. It’s time we demand that Rawlings and other companies in the sports industry stop buying their leather from meat companies and instead look for more sustainable alternatives. 

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