There is never a shortage of zombies to kill in MineCraft, so you always end up with a ton of rotten flesh. This mod will allow you to "smelt" the rotten flesh in the furnace,turning it into leather. This allows you to get a suit of armor early in the game, even if there are no cows around. It also comes in handy later in the game when you need to make bookshelves,etc.
Check out the mod here:
Check out the latest episode where I spotlight this mod and others: