The shocking thing to me was the sheer size of the alligator meat industry: it "disposes of" 15 million pounds (!!!) of alligator fat in landfills every year. That seems to be separate from the gator skin industry, though I could be wrong. Gators are already victims of factory farming for their skins:
Other “exotic” animals, such as alligators, are factory-farmed for their skins and meat. Young alligators are often kept in tanks above ground, while bigger animals live in pools half-sunken into concrete slabs.(5) According to Florida’s regulations, as many as 350 6-foot alligators can legally inhabit a space the size of a typical family home.(6) One Georgia farmer had 10,000 alligators living in four buildings, where, according to the Los Angeles Times, “hundreds and hundreds of alligators fill every inch of [each] room.”(7) Although alligators can live up to 60 years, farmed alligators are usually butchered before the age of 2, as soon as they reach 4 to 6 feet in length.(8,9) Humane treatment is not a priority for those who poach and hunt animals to obtain their skin or for those who transform skin into leather. Alligators on farms may be beaten to death with hammers and axes, sometimes remaining conscious and in agony for up to two hours after they are skinned.(10)The last thing they need is a discovery like this to provide an incentive to escalate cruelty to alligators.
Some days, I just don't want to get out of bed.