What if there were leather clothes from human skin? Would it be dishonouring if i would refuse to wear that, although the person is dead already? What's done is done, better use it than throw it away...
That is a very poignant example Alex that exposes the sub-conscious speceism entailed in the argument that "you might as well wear the wool or leather that you have instead of just throwing it out because the animals have already been killed and throwing the stuff out will not bring them back." Speceism is so ingrained into our heads that even I, and maybe some other vegans/ar people (though by no means all of them) exhibit it at times.
Your human skin example also applies to my wearing of fake leather. I said that I loved leather and so now I just wear fake leather with fake patches sewn on them. But, I wouldnt wear any "fake human skin" on me and proudly advertise that it was fake human skin and not real human skin.
It seems to me, then, that my wearing fake leather is speciest, and that I too exhibit speciest inclinations
yet I never saw it this way until you provided the very uncomfortable and jarring example of wearing "human skin".
Yet I dont consider myself a speciest person at all, and it is unlikely that this new revelation will cause me to throw out my synthetic leather jackets. My point: the speciest mindset is so entrenched from the moment we are born that even some very passionate animal rights activists, who are at least consciously non-speciest, appear to be affected by its silent, lingering, residual effects.
One last thing: i can just see how newcomers to veganism or animal rights, or even maybe meat eaters reading this might think:
"These ar people are freaks -- they are talking about wearing human skin for crying out loud. That f$#cked up!!!"
Obviously nobody here would wear a human!!!!!
The point of using that example is that it effectively highlights the weakness in an argument. If we believe that an alligator has just as much
right to NOT be made into a purse as do you and I (which I 100% do believe), then Daywalker's example, while highly distasteful, is something that should be pondered and reflected on by anybody serious about animal rights arguments.
just my two cents -- after a very uncomfortable and disheartening few minutes of self-reflection!