Why Louis Vuitton’s CEO Is the World’s Wealthiest Person

Have you heard that—with a current net worth of $207.8 billion—Louis Vuitton CEO Bernard Arnault is now the richest person in the world? LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton—the parent company Arnault runs and serves as chair for—has amassed an unsurpassed fortune. But what is this wealth built on? Countless crocodiles, ostriches, pythons, and other exotic animals exploited and killed for their skins—along with rabbits, chinchillas, minks, and foxes killed for their fur—have been the source of billions of dollars over decades for Arnault. Now, as the world’s wealthiest human, he could make a massive impact for animals by getting LVMH to go skins- and fur-free.

What’s Worth More Than a ‘Supreme’ Net Worth? An Animal’s Life

Animals exist for their own purposes and should never be bred, abused, or killed for purses, bags, shoes, belts, clothing, or any other product posing as fashion.

Take snakes, for example: There are over 3,000 species of them in the world. Most snakes who live near humans are harmless, and encounters with them are relatively rare, thanks to their keen ability to detect vibrations with their bellies and lower jaws. Female pythons wrap their bodies around their eggs and shiver to heat themselves up in order to keep their eggs warm.

While so many brands are adopting a kind, health-conscious, and environmentally aware stance, LVMH could easily follow suit.

Alligator Shoes? Python Purses? The Violence of Louis Vuitton and Other LVMH Brands

PETA entity investigations into the exotic-skins and fur industries have revealed that animals suffer for luxury bags, fur items, and alligator shoes sold by brands like Louis Vuitton, but Arnault has yet to halt his companies’ speciesist ways.

One PETA Asia investigation revealed the gruesome cruelty behind LVMH’s crocodile-skin bags, belts, and watchbands. Humans cut into the back of crocodiles’ necks and barbarically rammed metal rods down their spines. Footage even showed one crocodile still moving after they had been skinned.

crocodile being skinned

A PETA U.S. investigation uncovered how workers in South Africa abused and butchered ostriches for LVMH bags. Each ostrich watched as their flockmates were killed in front of them.

Ostrich hanging upsidedown in slaughterhouse, Louis Vuitton purses

A PETA Asia investigation revealed that workers bashed pythons repeatedly on the head with hammers, just for the sake of a snakeskin bag. Because of their unique physiology, the pythons were likely conscious through every stage of being flayed and disemboweled.

Some 70 fashion and cosmetics brands under the LVMH umbrella, including Fendi, Christian Dior, Celine, and Sephora, have continued to profit from such animal suffering and slaughter methods. Arnault and four of his children, who also work for LVMH, remain at the financial forefront of this cruel empire. If they would open their hearts and end the agonizing abuse and killing of animals for LVMH brands, just imagine the ripple effect it would have across the fashion world.

Body-painted "reptiles" outside Louis Vuitton San Francisco store

Once animals currently exploited by LVMH are viewed respectfully as individuals with desires and lives all their own, perhaps Arnault’s status as the world’s richest person would warrant respect.

Take Action to Help Animals Used by Louis Vuitton: Enhance Your Inner Wealth

Look and feel like a million bucks: Never buy products made from animals.

Exotic Skin protest against Louis Vuitton

Enrich your heart’s compassion account by demanding that LVMH shed exotic skins from Louis Vuitton and all its other brands immediately. Further enhance your inner fortune by telling LVMH to ban fur.

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