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 Post subject: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:59 pm 
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Wonderful Nordic Woman
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Should vegans wear and use leather?

The easy answer is, no.

However, the ethics behind the decision are a little more complicated, so I am curious what people think about the following. Do you continue to use leather clothing that you owned prior to becoming vegan? My answer is, in some cases, yes.

Here's why:

Waste: Why throw away a product you purchased before becoming vegan just because it contains animal products? Wasting is terrible for the environment, there should be no debating that. However, you could give it away and find it a new home.

Cost: Why spend more money on something that you already own even if it isn't ethically pure? In order to be pure, will you really throw away cash just to purchase a new, cruelty-free version of what you just threw away/gave away?

Case in point: Very nice leather hiking boots.
-I would never throw them away; that would be extremely wasteful.
-I would never give them away, because people usually don't reuse shoes because of how they mold to the initial owner's feet. And...
-I would not want to spend another $180 on nice hiking boots
-These were a gift before I became vegan nearly 10 years ago

What are your thoughts? (Another example might be a car with leather interior you owned before becoming vegan, or a leather couch, or sports equipment available only in leather, etc.)


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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:08 pm 
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The Real Hamburger Helper

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I think it's a personal decision. I've been vegan for 7 years now so I don't think I have any leather left--oh actually I do have a pair of hiking boots that I've had for 10 years and only wore once, I've kept them around in case I ever actually needed them again. Since I obviously don't need hiking boots frequently I probably would not buy a new pair if I decided to do some serious hiking again.

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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:17 pm 
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Dying from Nooch Lung
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I only own one leather thing, it is my father's motorcycle jacket from when he was in Vietnam. I've received non-vegan/vegetarian gifts in my lifetime and this jacket is the only one non vegan gift I've excepted (other than makeup/toiletries that came from companies that I am not knowledgeable enough to know if they tested or not). I think it's a decision best left up to the individual. I mean I am sure there is probably someone "more" vegan than me but this is a choice that I've made and can be satisfied with.
For reasons such as
because it was a gift from my curmudgeon of a father
as well as a safety thing
I can't afford a Kevlar jacket
it fits and I can get a great deal of use out of it
it would be a slap in the father to my father to not take it and use it.

In other instances I go pretty far out of my way to make sure my sports gear is vegan by calling the companies or ordering things that have to be handmade... Like my mavic cycling shoes are vegan but I talked to the rep and called the company, my roller skates I had to pay an extra 60 bucks and wait 6 weeks to get, but to me that's just doing the right thing. As far as the jacket the cow that died for it won't be reborn if I didn't take it and it's not like I'm further sponsoring the industry or whatever by accepting that gift.


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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:26 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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I agree that it's an individual/comfort decision. The only thing I can think of that I own is a really expensive leather J. Crew handbag that I've held on to just because of the price. But I never wear it because I feel like then I'd have to deal with those annoying questions/accusations of hypocrisy from the non-vegans in my life just waiting for me to screw up. I think I'm just going to get rid of it. Oh, I do own two pairs of leather sandals that have lasted me through many summers. I do not intend to get rid of those until I have to.


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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:33 pm 
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Semen Strong
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You do what feels right.

My veganniversary is beginning of March and I have 6 years vegan! I have no leather left except my pregan Louis Vuitton wallet that was a graduation gift from my best friend when we graduated lawschool in 1998.

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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:38 pm 
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Level 7 Vegan
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I have my grandfather's binoculars in a leather case. It's sitting in a closet, but I won't throw it away because I took it from his house when he died (I was 10 at the time) and it reminds me of him.


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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:46 pm 
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I still use my old leather and wool stuff, and don't have a problem with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:32 pm 
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Human Gravy
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I have a pair of leather doc martins shoes. I wear them sometimes on snowy or rainy days.

I bought them over 5 years ago when I was working at a museum in the coat-check. They cost about $100. I paid for them with one dollar bills. They sort of have sentimental value.


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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:04 pm 
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Vegan Since Before There Were Vegetables
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Location: Astoria, NY by way of San Diego, CA
I don't really think it's necessary to come to a conclusion about what vegans should do about old leather. It's a personal decision and neither option makes you more or less vegan. If you're looking for an answer about what you should do, I think the best thing is to just decide on your own. Are there jerks out there that might judge you for wearing leather and calling yourself vegan? Yes. Are most people like that? No.

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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:15 pm 
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Wonderful Nordic Woman
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I've already decided, and I am totally comfortable with my decision for the last 10 years. I am simply curious how other vegans choose to approach the issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:34 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
My veganniversary is beginning of March and I have 6 years vegan!


Veganniversary twins!

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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:53 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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Learn the word "pregan." It means "From before I was vegan." Thus, "These are my pregan boots." Or "These boots are from my pregan days."

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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:31 pm 
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Tofu Pup
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I have been vegan for 21 years now so you can imagine I have nothing left, but I say what is practical and possible, I dont subscribe to the judgmental vegan police types they do more harm than good to the vegan lifestyle.

But personally once my things wore out which they almost had when I went vegan I was able to replace with vegan, here in the UK we hae veggie shoes in Brighton so I got a vegan jacket, vegan boots etc all fine, people often say hay your your vegan, but that looks like leather I show the tag they are impressed ;o) helps promote the kind alternatives.

With my old stuff I used to say once it's worn out I will replace with vegan versions, most agree that is the more ethical option you can not change what is now ;o)

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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:35 pm 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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The word "pregan" makes me roll my eyes. You do the best you can in any situation. I have a pair of beautiful fake suede boots from Vegetarian Shoes in Brighton that are made from petrochemicals and are totally unrecyclable. I also have a leather belt and wallet because all the veggie ones I could find looked like they were made for the S&M scene. I buy second-hand more often than not, because I feel it's better to buy from a charity than a chainstore, and buying old leather is basically recycling. Meh.

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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:42 pm 
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I have lots of leather items from thrift stores, I don't have a problem buying it second hand. I try to buy everything second hand.

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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:58 pm 
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Remembers When Veganism Was Cool
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Bun wrote:
I have my grandfather's binoculars in a leather case. It's sitting in a closet, but I won't throw it away because I took it from his house when he died (I was 10 at the time) and it reminds me of him.


I once collected photo-cameras and now have +200 cameras, many with leather cases.

I think that being vegan is about reducing or avoiding animal cruelty, and I don't see how buying (and owning) a 40 year old camera case contributes or stimulates animal cruelty so I have no problem with that.

The other thing is that veganism is about avoiding animal exploitation for as far as practicably possible, and what's practicably is different for each person.
I use (gifted) leather gloves for my motorbike sometimes and think about buying new (heated) leather gloves too, but buying new feels totally different.


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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:56 pm 
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Heart of Vegan Marshmallow
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I still have and use woolen coats/sweaters, and I have some leather boots/shoes that I still use from before I went vegan. I plan to replace most of them with vegan alternatives once they wear out, but there are a few items that will be hard to replace because I've got hard to find sizes for certain things that I've yet to find vegan versions of. So I'll keep using those things and getting them repaired until they're nothing but scraps or until more sizes are available for those items.

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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:27 pm 
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Not NOT A Furry
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I personally try to find someone else that can use it hoping that it will prevent them from buying a new version of the product. When desperate & jobless Ive been know to wear leather shoes that I dumpstered but otherwise I try to avoid it. I find that publicly advocating for animal is hard enough without trying to explain such nuances to meat eaters who might point out such apparent inconsistencies.
But then again I cant count how many times Ive had people walking by at a protest say "well yeah...but your shoes are leather", and every time it happened I wasn't actually wearing leather, Ive actually taken my shoes off to show people the tag not that they usually care enough to look, some people are always just looking for something to pick on like that, so it may not really matter.
Same when non-vegans give vegans crepe for "enslaving" a dog that they adopted off death row at their local shelter.

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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:38 pm 
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Chard Martyr
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I'm having a hard time with ice skates. I need new ones, and don't want to buy second-hand. However, I can't afford the vegan versions. So I've just been sitting on not buying skates for 6-7 years. I miss skating! I wish I was Natalie Portman for a day.


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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:20 pm 
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Wonderful Nordic Woman
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vijita wrote:
I'm having a hard time with ice skates. I need new ones, and don't want to buy second-hand. However, I can't afford the vegan versions. So I've just been sitting on not buying skates for 6-7 years. I miss skating! I wish I was Natalie Portman for a day.


I wish I could be with Natalie Portman for a day!


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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:15 pm 
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Dying from Nooch Lung
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vijita wrote:
I'm having a hard time with ice skates. I need new ones, and don't want to buy second-hand. However, I can't afford the vegan versions. So I've just been sitting on not buying skates for 6-7 years. I miss skating! I wish I was Natalie Portman for a day.

no the cheaper versions use clarino leather! the super cheap ones use pleather. the cheap ones are vegan, i work at a shop that sells them pm me for more info!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:01 pm 
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Chard Martyr
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Oh, thanks! I'm looking for hockey skates though...does your store have those in the cheap pleather?


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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:04 pm 
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Dying from Nooch Lung
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yeah, check reidell, bauer, and css for info call their customer hotline or if there is a specific model you want i can check it out for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:17 pm 
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Chard Martyr
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Sweet, thanks! I'll see what I can find. I can't wait to skate again!


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 Post subject: Re: Leather and ethics
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:28 pm 
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Not NOT A Furry

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Location: Sacred City, California
Now that I have a motorcycle I'm keeping my pregan thrifted Gripfasts. I feel safer in them. Not to derail, but is there a comparable vegan option for motorcycle boots? I'm nervous about synthetics melting into what would be left of my skin if I were to get in a really nasty accident. Maybe I'm not using the right keywords or something, because all I've really found is leather or pleather.


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