- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Ellen DeGeneres is facing backlash from the vegan community after announcing plans to launch an “ED by Ellen” shoe line that includes real leather products.

After going vegan several years ago, the daytime talk show host launched her own vegan website and routinely discusses animal cruelty issues on her show. Now her fans are accusing her of being a hypocrite.

“How can Ellen have a very public epiphany about the unnecessary torture/slaughter of billions of animals for food/leather and then…. OOOPS! Let’s kill more so I can make money on shoes!” former CNN and HLN news host Jane Velez-Mitchell wrote on Facebook. “Don’t you have enough money Ellen? Really.”

On Sunday, the Global Conservation Group released an open letter to Ms. DeGeneres, urging her to pull leather products from her line. The group also launched a Change.org petition that has garnered more than 4,600 signatures.

“As members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community, we know what it’s like to be voiceless and to be treated as second-class citizens,” the petition says. “When we look into the eyes of animals, we can see ourselves in them.

“As a vegan, you likely know that animals raised for food are routinely beaten, neglected and brutally killed. However, animals in the leather industry are often treated much worse. With every pair of leather shoes, you sentence an animal to a lifetime of suffering,” it says.

The organization says animal leather can easily be replaced with cruelty-free materials that imitate leather, including faux leather, pleather, and waxed cotton.

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