To think that vegans are being a wee bit contradictory if they buy leather goods?

(85 Posts)
lottie63 Fri 22-Mar-13 06:21:30

Just that really. Or - am I missing something fundamentally different between the two things here?

whosiwhatsit Fri 22-Mar-13 07:33:34

I used to be vegetarian but am now pescatarian. It always amazes me how people then expect me to be morally absolutely perfect - ie they are shocked when I shop at Tesco, buy products containing palm oil, etc. They do those things, of course, but I'm not supposed to somehow.

Maybe there are people out there eating a vegan diet but buying leather (although I haven't met any). But if there are, so what? We all do the best we can according to our beliefs but none of us are perfect. But as Voltaire said, the perfect is the enemy of the good. Just because people aren't perfect doesn't mean they can't try!

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Fri 22-Mar-13 07:33:38

I have never ever come across a vegan (or a veggie for that matter) who does. Do you personally know someone who says they are vegan but wears leather?

Pilfette Fri 22-Mar-13 07:40:42

DH is veggie (not vegan - he couldn't live without cheese grin) but he doesn't wear leather and we don't have anything silk. There are plenty of vegan shoes out there, and belts, and probably jackets, if you looked. Friend is vegan and is pretty much how Oxford describes.

Also, what anotherbrew said.

MintVelvet1937 Fri 22-Mar-13 07:43:57

what i dont understand about vegans is where they put the line about which living things are worthy of being saved and which arent. I cant imagine anyone would refuse antibiotics if they had an infection. But surely that should go against their beliefs as it is wholesale genocide.
or antifungals, if they think bacteria are too small to consider
or what about the other things, like worms and other protozoan types that infect us. anti malarials? surely the genocide of those species just for their own survival is wrong? I'm not being pedantic, just dont understand how they can create an artificial divide like that.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Fri 22-Mar-13 07:54:27

I am not vegan so probably shouldn't attempt to speak for them but I would imagine that a reasonable divide is your personal safety or your health.

I wouldn't hunt a lion, but if one was about to eat me I would bloody well kill it!

I wouldn't think that being vegan would mean that you would rather be very ill/die than take something to cure yourself.

Although, like I say, I'm not vegan and this is pure speculation on my part.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Fri 22-Mar-13 07:55:22

I'm not trying to claim I could kill a lion with my bare hands, btw. grin I just mean if I had a weapon or whathaveyou.

isitsnowingyet Fri 22-Mar-13 08:01:05

mintvelvet how are antibiotics 'wholesale genocide'? Since when are bacteria a species of animal? Now that is crazy.

Difficult to find decent, waterproof shoes for kids that aren't leather, that you can try on in a shop and get fitted.

I am veggie not vegan but gave up buying leather for several years - the kids' shoes got me buying leather again.

Not sure why you'd care though. except that people love to attack veggies and vegans

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Fri 22-Mar-13 08:03:25

I think she means that they are alive.

But then, so are plants.

So if you extend it to anything that is classified as alive - vegans would starve to death!

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 22-Mar-13 08:06:06

I'm a vegan. We don't wear leather.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 22-Mar-13 08:10:19

@notgood that's a good point. I don't wear leather. But my kids have leather shoes at the moment because it's difficult to get non leather childrens' ones suitable for school, where we live. I'm not mail ordering kids' shoes. The oldest one now wears non leather shoes outside school and when she is in the 6th form and the shoe rules are relaxed she will wear non leather shoes all the time. Same for the other two.

lottie63 Fri 22-Mar-13 08:45:57

The reason I asked was that, yes, I do know someone who's done just that. Announced they are vegan and then a week later bought leather shoes. So.. erm... nope, not stirring up hatred (??)...just curious that I'm missing something on not understanding it

TiredyCustards Fri 22-Mar-13 08:51:17

It's up to individuals to work out their own ethics.

Would a meat eater who didn't eat veal or foie gras be a hypocrite?

The way I see it, being veggie or vegan is doing a good deed. If someone does a good deed you don't think - why aren't all your deeds good? What a hypocrite!

maddening Fri 22-Mar-13 09:07:40

So they may be hypocritical but do you really want to make something that is really none of your business an issue in your friendship?

If they were constantly criticising your choice to be omnivore etc then I might be tempted to point out the hypocrisy but other than that uwb silly to make anything of it.

When I went veggie a week in my mum had duck pancakes and I got through two before I remembered - had to start again and it's been nearly 20 years now - sometimes a new way of living takes time to adjust.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 22-Mar-13 09:14:30

People who have been vegan for a week may buy leather shoes. They may not have sussed out where the ethical shoes can be sourced. They may not be on top of idetifying non leather shoes in mainstream shops yet. It can take a while, you know. However. People who have been vegan for a week are not representative of vegans as a whole.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 22-Mar-13 09:15:09

Also - are you sure that the shoes are leather?

mmmuffins Fri 22-Mar-13 09:16:22

Maybe the person you know who bought the leather does not really understand the term vegan. Perhaps they think it just relates to diet?

I think it's great if they are being conscientious about what they eat, and they can draw the line of what is acceptable and what isn't wherever they like, but they shouldn't use labels inappropriately.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 22-Mar-13 09:16:24

Everyone has this own morals and ethics. Technically a vegan should not wear leather but so what!

They are still doing something to make the world a better place, and something is always better than nothing.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 22-Mar-13 09:18:34

Pleather looks great these days until it starts to peel. grin

ivanapoo Fri 22-Mar-13 09:18:35

It sounds like they are vegan in diet only. Or it just didn't occur to them that they were buying leather.

FWIW I don't eat meat but I do buy leather goods very occasionally, and still use leather shoes and bags I had from before stopping eating meat. I figure that the wear I will get out of a decent pair of leather shoes is probably better for the environment than the manufacture of a bunch of plastic, non biodegradable ones.

I am trying not to call myself vegetarian any more however for this and other reasons (I have been known to eat marshmallows, veggie cheese and wine for starters).

VerySmallSqueak Fri 22-Mar-13 09:22:09

If someone wears leather they are not a vegan.
Simples.

I am a vegan in food terms only. Yes I probably shouldn't technically call myself one considering I wear leather shoes but that really doesn't matter to me.

The reason being because I am not vegan due to animal welfare primarily. I am vegan because I believe it's a better health choice for me.

If I need to explain to someone what I eat, the easiest way to do it is to say I am vegan because I don't eat animal products...who cares if it's not technically correct.

BreconBeBuggered Fri 22-Mar-13 09:45:05

OK, so you can see there are inconsistencies in this person's approach, but why on earth does it bother you? If he/she is getting carried away with their new lifestyle and lecturing you about it, fair enough, otherwise don't start hectoring them about what they 'should' be doing as a vegan. There's nothing more annoying to the recent convert than being preached at by the heathen about how they must now behave.

OxfordBags Fri 22-Mar-13 09:53:47

OP, are you actually sure that the shoes were leather? Non-leather shoes look the same as leather ones - they've come a long way since the days when Vegan shoes were squeaky, funny-looking cornish pastie-style clunkers, you know. Also, not all footwear in ordinary shoe shops or concessions are made of leather; it's not that hard to find non-leather shoes at all. Cheaper shoes that look like they're leather are actually fake leather. I have two Vegan friends - one will only wear actual Vegan shoes, made by accredited companies, but the other will buy cheaper fake leather shoes from TopShop, for example.

Anyway, who died and made you the Vegan Police? Why do people feel the need to 'catch out' people with a lifestyle different from them? Concentrate on why this bothers you, not your friend appearing to fail on one aspect of her lifestyle.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 22-Mar-13 09:59:15

@Oxford I'm like your second friend - I rarely buy from the expensive mail order/internet (these days) vegan shoe companies any more. Because I don't have to, these days, which is great because in the old days those companies used to charge a fortune for often not very good product. Most mainstream shops sell some 100% manmade shoes and boots now. Now I know that there might be an issue with the glue, but that's the case with books too, always has been. And that is definitely beyond where I draw my line!

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