I'm absolutely not going to dump my leather goods - I don't think this is very environmentally friendly and in my opinion disrespectful. Buying new things just to replace what you have thrown away makes no sense to me at all. Everyone is vegan for different reasons but I have three: health, environment and ethics. I don't want to cause anymore waste so tossing out perfectly good items just seems crazy to me. I could and have donated some items that I know I won't use again but there are certain things, like my watch, that I'm not going to get rid off - I'll use it until I need to change the strap and then I'll be sure not to buy a leather one.
Everyone has a differing stance on this but whatever your choice, it doesn't make you a better or worse vegan for doing so. This is not a contest. We all have compassion for animals, respect for the environment and our bodies and we should be proud of the decisions we are making to improve this planet we live on.
Unfortunately I think Angela has learned hostility doesn't get you very far on this forum but I think we should practice what we preach and not be too hard on her.
I agree that we want the posts to be "kind," but isn't it great that we have the opportunity and the forum to simply express ourselves and our thoughts? I'm new to the vegan journey and am just now exploring what I think about my leather purses. I'm a "bagaholic" and have always loved leather bags. But I have to say I'm rethinking them and haven't really enjoyed using my bag in the past week. Maybe we can simply accept that we are on this journey and have people that we can "talk" to along the way!
I couldn't object to a life being saved when scientists replace a faulty heart valve with one from a pig. Animals lives should be respected but so should ours.
I object to the unnecessary consumption of animal products that are supposed to convey comfort or status. A big fur coat is an abomination. Think of all those little furry critters either trapped or raised for the express purpose of proving that the wearer has a lot of disposable money prancing around the city. I wouldn't tell en eskimo that they can't wrap their baby in a skin after being born in an igloo. That's completely different.
Leather coats, furniture and car seats make me feel sick. It's too much cow skin all died and stretched out, the sheer amount makes it unnecessary. Shoes, wallets and belts seem more reasonable but maybe that is just a personal justification.
In my ideal world, I would have no animal products! But these have been a bad habit for me, like my former non-vegan diet, that I am overcoming. I couldn't afford to just replace everything, and even if I could, there are some things like used shoes that I will still wear but aren't nice enough to give away via Freecycle or a charity collection. So I do have things that I will use as long as I am able. But I have been SO excited about the few new vegan products that I've purchased recently: a wallet by Matt and Nat (from the wonderful All Vegan in San Diego) and some shoes and a belt from Vegetarian Shoes in Brighton (England) and Bourgeois Boheme in London. Gradually I will replace everything. But there are still grey areas. For example, I have some beautifully-made wool clothing produced by a company called Icebreaker in New Zealand. EVERY item of their clothing can be sourced back to the farm where the sheep that provided the wool were raised, and they have long-term contracts with the producers to ensure welfare standards (none of that horrendous mulesing for example). I'm in two minds about whether I would buy any of their wool products again. Shouldn't we support people who are trying to do the best for animals in their care? Such a difficult question.
On a totally random note, I've been thinking about sugar recently. I have no superhero aspirations (yet!) and I am quite happy that there are so many yummy vegan treats to tempt me along my better eating ways (special shout out to Morgan at Little House of Veggies for so many of these recipes!). And I know there are people who are super sensitive to sugar and have reasons for avoiding it. And yet . . . there is for example a company called Billington's here in the UK that produces natural sugar products with minimal processing, vegan-friendly, non-GM, fair trade - well, all boxes ticked. And this sugar is often grown in places where other crops just simply aren't viable and is the sole provider of a decent life for many communities. I think we have to be kind to people as well as animals when making our choices and think carefully about the wider implications of vilifying a particular food item.
i sort of agree. i understand wanting to support sustainable ways of living for everyone, but if something is in a grey area then my way of thinking about is that it's a no-go. i'm all for cozy clothes but there are great vegan alternatives, and im sure the businesses won't suffer because you chose a vegan sweater over a wool one which could have non-vegan practices behind it. just my own opinion, but i get where you;re coming from too.. :) but as for the sugar; sugar in itself is a 'nasty' food, so i'd avoid it... even though a nice vegan super sweet treat is good for 'flirts' id sayto try and phase it out of your diet :)
You're right Lindsey, and I'm on this journey whole-heartedly, but sometimes I do like to flirt with a bit of sugar . . . reminds me of Jerry Hall saying that her only vice was Chanel - which I'm sure is worse than sugar ;-) Hope you have a good day . . .
I agree that me not buying leather or wool will not put a company in bankruptcy, but that is not why I abstain from those products. I do not buy them because I personally do not agree with the practices that produce them and I see no need for them on top of all the suffering that occurs. Being vegan is not all about changing other people's minds, it's about changing your mind and living the life that you believe in fully. It makes me feel true to myself that I had gotten rid of these wretched things that bring pain to others because they are unnecessary. I agree with Justin, that some things can be justified as long as it is done out of respect. The Eskimo that hunts and animal and uses all of its parts all the while thanking that animal for sacrificing its life for their own lives is completely different from the low-paid and abused worker that strips animals alive of their skin. I also do not wear fake fur, as I feel that is sending the wrong message.