Questions from new vegan re: leather and ignorance

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SD Dave
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Questions from new vegan re: leather and ignorance

#1 Postby SD Dave » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:11 pm

Hi all. I've been a vegan (lifestyle and food) for 41 days now. Lots of new stuff going on in my head and feeling a little lost.

Anyway, I have two questions for everyone. One: I have not bought any leather/wool/animal derived or tested-on products in the past 41 days, and I am using up all of my old bathroom products and replacing them with cruelty-free products, or simply making my own. However, I still have a few wool sweaters and a lot of leather dress shoes. I do look at them differently now, but I don't see the point in throwing them out. That seems like even more of a waste than keeping them at this point. Maybe I'm justifying keeping them because they were the one thing that I "treated myself to" in terms of not being so frugal, but now I see them and see that added death element, and now I don't really know what I think. Wearing them seems pretty hypocritical now as well. Same thing with my leather car seats. I'd never buy leather seats again, but I can't feasibly get rid of my car at this point. Any one else have thoughts on this?

Two: I'm starting to get kind of bothered, on a daily basis, at the intentional blindness that people have to their own contribution to animal cruelty. I was a veggie for like 18 years and it never bothered me, but now when people are eating burgers and cheese and all the rest of it, and then talk about what big animal lovers they are, I just want to shake them and wake them up. Another example is a friend who was talking about how she feels so much peace being at one with the universe as she was scooping up spoonfuls of yogurt. I don't like being preachy, and I don't have a lot of room to talk because it might have been me 42 days ago eating the cheese or the yogurt. I just don't really know what to do with this. Anyone else go through this?

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Re: Questions from new vegan re: leather and ignorance

#2 Postby stcalico » Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:45 pm

I know what you are saying. I had that dilemma about throwing out cottage cheese when I decided to go vegan. I decided it was better to eat it than add insult to injury by wasting it .. what's done is done and the proceeds of crime had already been reaped. You can't fix the past.. you can only affect the future.

I would keep your car. Next time you get a car I'm sure you will make different choices. If it were me I'd probably have to get some seat covers tho. A leather or suede coat I would definitely not support continuing to wear since you're out in public with it and it would be more like advertising and promoting it. A belt is much more discreet tho, so would probably not generate any interest unless the person wearing it is super hot. (lol). Those are my opinions and I would just encourage you to do whatever feels comfortable and 'right' for you.

I think you have to give yourself a bit of flexibility or you will go crazy. The world we live in is inherently cruel (aka circle of life) and no one can be here without having an impact. If you enjoy philosophy at all, Ayn Rand has an interesting take on how moral and practical live on opposite sides of a spectrum. ie. No one can ever be completely moral. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/moral ... otomy.html

You are right about judging others... it is best not to. Judging them will not change anyone and in fact will only result in making them cling harder to whatever beliefs & justifications they are clinging to. Judgement makes people more resistant to your thoughts and ideas. So, it is best to just lead by example. ie. Be the good you would like to see in the world. I grew up with alcoholism (in my family) so I'm fully aware that it is impossible to change others... gotta just go with the serenity prayer and realize that you are the only one you have control of in the whole scheme of things.

If someone makes an attempt at being a kinder person, I wouldn't shoot that down or you will kill the attempt entirely. Instead encourage it .. build on it.. just don't push. And you may be surprised when someone actually takes the next step like you did.

I'm not sure the 'discomfort' with people food choices ever goes away. But I try not to focus on that and instead focus on what I enjoy about whatever person I'm with. And sometimes I practice patience and forgiveness when I start to feel discouraged. (Forgive them father they know not what they do... sigh).

I like this TED talk (3 minute talk) about the 'lone nut'. It kinda gives me hope that the world will one day change. http://blog.ted.com/2010/04/01/how_to_start_a/ .
If it's important to you, you'll find a way. If it isn't, you'll find an excuse.

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Re: Questions from new vegan re: leather and ignorance

#3 Postby Richard » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:23 am

You could donate your non-vegan clothes to a 2nd hand shop, for charity.

Regarding dealing with people and lack of consideration, it's always going to be a struggle. All you really can do is focus on yourself, be happy with your own principles, and behave in a positive way around other people. But I don't know of a way to get through to people directly.
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Re: Questions from new vegan re: leather and ignorance

#4 Postby mrsbadmouth » Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:18 pm

Keep using them or donate them. I have a black dress that is partially silk, i've had it for almost ten years and I keep it around because it is pretty forgiving if I lose or gain weight and I only wear it if I need to go to a funeral or something else dressy and requiring black. I absolutely hate shopping and hate trying to find dress clothes even more, so unless it falls apart or a cat pukes on it, i'm keeping it. I had a few wool sweaters which itched like crazy anyway, so I just took them to Goodwill, dropped them off, and then went in the store and bought a few new sweaters for a few bucks.

I guess the debate between keeping and donating depends on how much money you have to burn. If you can't afford to replace all of your animal-based items at once (and really, not most people can) just use them and replace them one at a time. It can be difficult to find really nice vegan dress shoes, and they are pricey. The same with nice vegan coats, it's really hard to find a pea coat in a standard store that isn't at least partially wool. I promised myself that I would suck it up and buy myself a Vaute Couture coat this year, when I first went vegan I was living in TN so I just wore hoodies all winter.

http://www.vautecouture.com
http://www.mooshoes.com
http://store.veganessentials.com/footwear-c3.aspx (if you check the sale section, sometimes there are shoes)
http://www.alternativeoutfitters.com

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Re: Questions from new vegan re: leather and ignorance

#5 Postby SD Dave » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:59 am

Thanks very much for the replies. They gave me a lot of food for thought. I guess the answer that I needed now is that I don't have to make any decisions right this second, and that the right answers will come to me at some point. But I'm still open to more opinions..... :o

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Re: Questions from new vegan re: leather and ignorance

#6 Postby Ted Trendy » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:41 pm

SD Dave wrote:Thanks very much for the replies. They gave me a lot of food for thought. I guess the answer that I needed now is that I don't have to make any decisions right this second, and that the right answers will come to me at some point. But I'm still open to more opinions..... :o


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Re: Questions from new vegan re: leather and ignorance

#7 Postby C.O. » Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:11 am

I think its very impressive the lengths that so many of you go to be completely vegan in every way. So much of the world is on an opposite plain of thought. Really no silk? that is dedication.

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Re: Questions from new vegan re: leather and ignorance

#8 Postby Richard » Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:55 pm

Silk is very easy to live without - is it really a big part of anyone's life? I don't think it takes much dedication to use cotton instead, or any other material :D
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Re: Questions from new vegan re: leather and ignorance

#9 Postby mrsbadmouth » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:31 pm

Yeah, silk isn't a big deal and I didn't even know the dress I have was partially silk until I looked at the tag the first time I needed to wash it. Usually I can tell when things are silk now, or have wool or bunny hair in them. The only difficult thing when it comes to silk is trying to find affordable ties.

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Re: Questions from new vegan re: leather and ignorance

#10 Postby blabbate » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:02 am

C.O. wrote:I think its very impressive the lengths that so many of you go to be completely vegan in every way. So much of the world is on an opposite plain of thought. Really no silk? that is dedication.

How much silk do you run into on a day to day basis? :) For men, avoiding silk shirts and ties takes care of 99% of it. Wool and leather are much harder to deal with, but I'm finding more and more synthetics.
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Re: Questions from new vegan re: leather and ignorance

#11 Postby Adena » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:15 am

A helpful attitude for me has been to only talk about veganism/animal rights to a receptive audience. If they're not receptive, then they're most likely just going to have the attitude that vegans are preachy and judgmental. And they won't change their ways anyway. I heard about this from one of Vegan Outreach's emails and they use this philosophy when handing out leaflets. People will either ignore them and walk away, or be curious. If they're curious, then you have an open door. Otherwise, it's best to leave them alone.

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Re: Questions from new vegan re: leather and ignorance

#12 Postby C.O. » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:16 pm

My friend just bought some mooshoes and a matching belt from them, awesome company, they make some really nice looking faux leathers.


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