Sunday, August 14, 2011

vegan musings; leather

    I know you're thinking, why would a vegan even need to think about leather? Leather is to a vegan as common sense is to Bill O'Reilly, just pretend it doesn't exist and keep on truckin', right? Not for this veganette.
    Since becoming a vegan I've realized there are so many blurred lines when it comes to the lifestyle. I, personally, try to weed out the things about being vegan that are just there for show. I run my vegan lifestyle the way I want it done- not because I want to break the rules- but because to me, being vegan is about morals and just as everyone's morals are different, their vegan lifestyle should be different as well. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to claim I live a vegan lifestyle and drink cream in my coffee every morning, but I think there are lines that you need to draw for yourself based on how you really feel and not what a 'zine told you is right or wrong.
    For me, the biggest issue has been leather. When first deciding to no longer eat meat I told myself I'd never buy another piece of clothing made from leather, so when it came to winter boots I opted for a synthetic, man made leather. Since then I've had to buy a new pair twice every winter due to boots just not holding their own in our harsh Canadian winters. This got me to thinking, Is this such a good choice? Is it all that great for the environment for me to send two pairs of synthetic boots to the dump every year? Is it great for my pocketbook to be spending roughly $50 on a new pair of boots every six months?
    This caused a big problem for me. I live in Canada; our winters are harsh and wet, I can't trudge through the muck in a pair of boots filled with holes. How can I find a warm, durable pair of winter boots that are going to last me a really long time, not have to cost a little cow it's life, and not cost me an arm and a leg?
    This is where reused leather boots come into the picture. So often rich people die or get bored of their $800 shoes and give them to thrift stores. Score for me! I would be putting them to good use (the only thing worse than killing an animal, is killing it for no good reason), they are durable, they will last years, and they are so. damn. cheap!
Looking to buy this pair of vintage leather riding boots via pineapplemint for only $23

    Of course, this isn't going to be the case for everyone, but this is what I think is best for me, the environment, my wallet, and my conscience.
    Stick by what you believe in, don't decide you're not going to do something you believe is right just because others aren't doing it too. Always remember that when you look into the mirror at the end of the day, you are the only person you need to face.

"It'll destroy you if you try to make it mean anything to anyone but yourself." - Henry Rollins


  1. This is a very interesting topic for me, especially because today while thrifting I was asking myself whether or not I should buy some leather boots. I am a vegan also. I opted out and said no, but I also would only use boots for fashion, because down here in Savannah, Ga we do not get snow, so I can work with materials for different weather.
    My boyfriend on the other hand is vegan and diabetic type 1. This is where this gets interesting to me because his Insulin uses animal parts. But sometimes you have to make a choice, sometimes these choices are life threatening. Sometimes it is survival of the fittest. He makes his choice to live, and it is okay at the end of the day. Sometimes animal parts are needed - end of story.

    Like you said, as long as you can wake up every morning and feel okay with yourself, that is all that matters. Also, I think many people forget the whole "conscious living" concept - my personal opinion states that that is where many people go wrong with overuse of animal products.

  2. Amy: I'm so happy to have a vegan reader! Insulin would be a tough one, and it sucks that killing animals to eat is such a common thing that no one thinks twice about putting animal products into medicine. It's just like concrete and rubber: There are so many left over animal bi-products out there (bones, skin, fat) that companies have needed a place to get rid of it, and it ends up in every day things that vegans just can't help but use. It sucks, but I can't wait to live in a day and age where this isn't so.

  3. I really appreciated reading your perspective on this issue. I've been a vegetarian for 8 years and when I initially made that lifestyle change I too said I would never wear leather again. As I matured and really looked into the reasons why I made the change (most often prompted by other people's questions) I realized it had a lot to do with the issue of sustainability. Pairing that with my own experience making shoes and I have come to realize that synthetics simply cannot compare to leather for durability, and ease of the actual craft. Interestingly enough, 80% of the shoe workshop I worked in was Veg*n; seeing everyone cast aside their leather for a lunch of lentils and veggies was priceless!

  4. Vegan shoes are great, I have a pair as well, but as I said, the winters here are very harsh. I wear Doc Martens in the winter, they stand up great to the climate and I know I'll never have to buy another pair.
    Also, I'm excited about how many veggies I have following me! You guys are great :)


Hullo there, pal. Thanks for taking the time to comment on this blog post, you're the best!


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