The figure of 600,000 you are quoting is from 1989. African elehpants are listed as vulnerable while Asian elephants are still listed as endangered.
You talk about a cow in which "human care" has been invested. If you can call gestation crates and the practice of shooting them up full of antibiotics, as caring.
Next to the food industry, the fashion industry is the worst offender of animal (not to mention human) rights abuses. Iam a huge fashion phile and love high end design as much as anyone else on this forum. Designers like Stella McCartney and Mat&Nat have proven that it is indeed possible to enjoy high quality fashion without resorting to bloodbaths and peeling the skin off a newly born calf.
So you see, this thread is exactly the place to talk about this subject. There is a lot more to fashion than just posting pics of cute shoes and asking what people think of them.
Even from a demand/supply point of view, the resource being used needs to be sustainable. Stripping every other living creature of its skin, will leave us to face the ultimate reality of human leather, since that is all there will be left.
what exactly is high end design you are referring to? also any suggestions on usage of animal hides after the animal has been harvested, so to say? perhaps the whole world should go vegetarian to end the bloodbaths eh? unfortunately, plants are also living things, so we must also end the chloropyhll baths? perhaps humans should make themselves extinct?