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?

NewAtThisMalarky Fri 22-Mar-13 06:33:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NewAtThisMalarky Fri 22-Mar-13 06:35:58

Sorry, I wish I'd previewed that - managed to paste in another message from somewhere else. Ignore!

NewAtThisMalarky Fri 22-Mar-13 06:36:18

I have reported it.

maddening Fri 22-Mar-13 06:37:34

Sorry which vegans are you talking about? Specific vegans that you know are buying leather or a general unfounded vegan based on your assumption?

It is v unlikely that someone who has made the ethical choice to be vegan would buy leather.

Frogman Fri 22-Mar-13 06:41:38

I'm not a vegan however I'm not sure that what someone refuses to eat necessarily has anything to do with what they buy to wear or own.

chickensaladagain Fri 22-Mar-13 06:44:23

I've never met a vegan that wears leather????

CecyHall Fri 22-Mar-13 06:44:55

Vegans don't tend to buy leather goods.

That's it really.

HappyJustToBe Fri 22-Mar-13 06:45:54

A "true" Vegan wouldn't.

I'm vegetarian and don't wear leather but have friends that do and consider themselves vegetarian.

It is all about personal choice and labels are largely irrelevant.

NewAtThisMalarky Fri 22-Mar-13 06:47:04

The definition of vegan is someone that doesn't use any animal products - its not just about food.

But I'm sure there are exceptions, as with anything else.

People that don't consume any animal products but haven't found a good alternative to leather shoes, mainly, I would think. Or possibly buy beauty products with some animal ingredients like lanolin perhaps.

ChairmanWow Fri 22-Mar-13 06:47:46

Why do you care?

Damash12 Fri 22-Mar-13 06:50:12

Op I get what your saying and yes it's hypocritical. I had a veggie (not vegan) boyfriend once who wouldn't touch a jelly baby because of the gelatine yet had no qualms about wearing a suede coat and leather boots and would argue the toss that the animal had been killed for it's meat initially and the skins would be wasted. What a load of bollocks!

anotherbrewplease Fri 22-Mar-13 06:50:40

Perhaps they think it's better to light a candle than to sit in the dark. Perhaps MYOB. and yes, YABU

claraschu Fri 22-Mar-13 06:51:02

Maybe your post should read: "I don't think you should call yourself a vegan if you just eat a vegan diet". People are vegan for lots of different reasons. Not all vegans are fanatics, and some might not want to kill an animal for a few bites of one meal, but might be glad to use a skin that will last for years.

Some "vegans" just have vegan diets for their own health, not for animal or planet welfare.

Lots of vegans keep their mouths shut because there is so much prejudice against them, and very few people are actually interested. (I know this is off topic slightly.)

OhDearieDearieMe Fri 22-Mar-13 06:52:16

Am I missing something fundamentally fanastic about your OP?

How about some context? Or did you just wake up and decide to plop that bit of wisdom 'out there'?

Lottashakingoinon Fri 22-Mar-13 07:03:44

This thread reminds me of those FB updates that try to whip up hatred by saying are along the lines of Isn't it terrible that British pensioners/babies are all starving and freezing to death whilst illegal immigrants who bite the heads off whippets are being paid £2 million a week to live in penthouse suites in Mayfair Yes it might be if it ever happened!

What I mean is yeah, I guess it would be a tad hypocritical if vegans wore leather...but I have never met a single one who does! I do however have a close vegan frined who can't stand vegetables or hers. I have stopped inviting him to dinner, way too much of a challenge.

Slightly off topic: sorry you reported yourself Malarkey, I enjoyed that!

NewAtThisMalarky Fri 22-Mar-13 07:05:51

Haha, glad someone did! :D

Frogman Fri 22-Mar-13 07:06:04

HappyJusttobe - There are lots of reasons for becoming a vegetarian. I am a vegetarian and have been for 20 years.

I only buy leather shoes and leather handbags and I have a great selection of leather jackets. Would you "consider" me not to be a vegetarian?

As far as I know there is not a name for people who refuse to buy or wear leather items.

Euphemia Fri 22-Mar-13 07:08:33

My brother is vegan and he buys his shoes from a vegan retailer - no need for leather.

He even had his wedding sporran specially made from non-leather. smile

Lottashakingoinon Fri 22-Mar-13 07:10:34

I do however have a close vegan frined who can't stand vegetables or hers. I have stopped inviting him to dinner, way too much of a challenge.

I'm sorry I'll write that again:

I do however have a close vegan friend who can't stand vegetables or herbs.

As you were grin

NewAtThisMalarky Fri 22-Mar-13 07:12:30

You can get non-leather shoes but they don't work for everyone and they are hard to find and expensive.

I haven't found a non-leather shoe that my son can wear for longer than a week. Thankfully he isn't vegan!

ArseAche Fri 22-Mar-13 07:14:07

I don't know of a vegan who wears leather. Most wear vegetarian shoes.

TroublesomeEx Fri 22-Mar-13 07:18:08

Just to add my voice.

Vegans don't buy leather or any animal by products.

If they do, they're not vegan.

Just as if someone eats fish, they're not a vegetarian.

Or what claraschu said.

OxfordBags Fri 22-Mar-13 07:31:01

Vegans don't wear leather. They don't eat honey, hell, they don't even lick envelope flaps or stamps, because those use horse glue. I also know vegans who don't wear wool or silk.

OP, do you know a specific vegan who wears leather or did you just read something about veganism, presume they still wear leather and decided to point this 'fact' out to people without researching further? Because if so, this is a fantastically ignorant and dull post, sorry.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 22-Mar-13 07:33:19

I've never known a vegan that did, do you?

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.

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!

TheBigJessie Fri 22-Mar-13 10:00:42

OP, you remind me of an evangelical Christian who once accosted me in the town centre. He wouldn't go away, so my husband and I decided to share our moral views with him in return.

In a victorious tone he said, "but you wear leather shoes" without even looking down. I took great joy in pointing out that neither of us were!

TroublesomeEx Fri 22-Mar-13 10:05:15

OP, sometimes people ease themselves into a new lifestyle and sometimes they throw themselves right in.

Veganism is quite an extreme way of eating/living if you take it to the nth degree, so I think it's quite possible that someone could ease themselves into it gently, working out how to do it fully/what works best for them/suitable alternatives before they are a fully fledged vegan.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 22-Mar-13 10:07:23

@Folk Actually, it's not that extreme. Honest! grin

mrsjay Fri 22-Mar-13 10:07:31

vegans will not buy leather anything why would they that is why they are vegans no animal products at all, unless the vegans you know are buying leather shoes or whatnot, but veganisism is usually a lifestyle choice and they chose not to eat or wear dead animals

TheBigJessie Fri 22-Mar-13 10:15:01

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.

I always thought any line in the sand strongly linked to self-preservation was quite natural to be honest! As for fungus, I eat fungus... This is a bit of a white lie in order to be dramatic; I hate mushrooms.

My lines generally concern self-preservation and "can it feel pain"?

TroublesomeEx Fri 22-Mar-13 10:15:21

It seems it to me Russian grin

I'm vegetarian but I couldn't go that extra step, it's just a step too far. I love cheese and eggs too much! blush

TroublesomeEx Fri 22-Mar-13 10:16:01

Oh and honey.

And I like the smell of beeswax candles.

I'm just rubbish really grin

mrsjay Fri 22-Mar-13 10:17:13

Do vegans not eat honey ?

TheBigJessie Fri 22-Mar-13 10:17:56

mrsjay Don't go there. Just don't. It's too early in the day for that one.

OxfordBags Fri 22-Mar-13 10:18:16

Russian, your name doesn't begin with a C, does it? wink Yes, that's the case for my friend - she draws the line at the glue issues (the glue is what makes Friend no. 1 buy the official V shoes).

I do eat meat, but not very often, and we have 1 Vegan day a week (shamefully, I sometimes use this an excuse to just have chips for tea, ha ha), and I mostly wear canvas and non-leather shoes. Without realising it, people who don't know much about Veganism will wear Vegan shoes/clothes and eat Vegan food quite often. Chips, crisps, dark chocolate - most types of these are Vegan, and that's before you get onto stuff like smoothies, etc.

Ideally, everyone should be Vegan, really. That the OP's friend is choosing a more ethical way of eating is a positive thing - why piss on her (non-dripping-cooked) chips with pointless nitpicking over footwear that is probably fake leather anyway?!

(BTW, I possibly shouldn't be capitalising the word Vegan, but sod it.)

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 22-Mar-13 10:18:55

@mrsjay No we don't.

mrsjay Fri 22-Mar-13 10:19:52

well never knew that every day is a school day on here grin

You don't have to be vegan because of the animal cruelty thing! Why assume that? It's a health choice for many.

OxfordBags Fri 22-Mar-13 10:20:13

Mrsjay, they don't eat honey. It's an animal product, innit. Animal product doesn't just mean the flesh of a dead animal. All the Vegans I know won't wear silk, cos of silk worms.

OxfordBags Fri 22-Mar-13 10:21:25

MoreSnow, I respect your position, but it sounds an odd argument, like "Oh, I'm fine with animal cruelty, I just can't get enough tofu!" wink

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 22-Mar-13 10:21:58

@Oxford No. Sorry. grin Does your friend 1 not read books then???? Because certainly old books, the glue has to be suspect. New books probably not.

For me the most difficult aspect, after all these years, is still medicine. So many tablet medicines have lactose in them. Completely unnecessarily, I might add. It's just used to bulk them out.

HappyJustToBe Fri 22-Mar-13 10:22:03

frogman I would consider you vegetarian. Was trying to emphasise personal choice.

mrsjay Fri 22-Mar-13 10:22:47

spose so It sounds so hard I have not the commitment for it grin I just didnt think about honey Milk and dairy yes silk and honey not so much,

oxford I'm not fine with animal cruelty, it's just a secondary argument for me. I can therefore see that others may be fine with it (considering the majority if the population are) I am just pointing out that in response to op as wearing leather doesn't affect your health then her friend could be a vegan for health reasons and wear leather

TheBigJessie Fri 22-Mar-13 10:26:36

I used to be a complete, honey-free vegan. I am now a Beegan, apparently. But I won't wear silk, unless it's cruelty-free. I like caterpillars a lot and the way they're killed is 'orrid.

OxfordBags Fri 22-Mar-13 10:27:18

Russian, I haven't really asked Friend 1, because I don't want to appear to be 'catching her out', but she did once say something about trying to get 2nd hand or library books, as then she hasn't put money into the hands of the people who produce the books with horse glue. Or something like that. She uses a Kindle now, so is mostly immaterial. Both V friends say that email and Kindles are massive boons, not worrying about glue anymore.

OxfordBags Fri 22-Mar-13 10:28:28

Sorry, MoreSnow, I wasn't really suggesting you are fine with animal cruelty. Just a joke smile

mrsjay Fri 22-Mar-13 10:36:06

grin beegan

mrsjay Fri 22-Mar-13 10:36:55

FWIW I dont wear leather does that make me a hypocrite

No need to be sorry oxford I get it, just putting my point across smile

TheChaoGoesMu Fri 22-Mar-13 10:48:14

Well if a vegan wears leather, then by default they are not a vegan. But I wouldn't make a big issue about it. You know they are not vegan, they must know they are not really, but if it makes them happy to say they are then, then does it really matter.

JacqueslePeacock Fri 22-Mar-13 12:26:29

Great chance to ask a question I've been meaning to post for a while! Vegans/vegetarians: what do you do about your toddlers' shoes? I'm really struggling to find anything suitable in any high street shops. I don't want to buy online as I think he needs to be measured and fitted. Thanks anyone with an answer.

"Well if a vegan wears leather, then by default they are not a vegan."

So what should they call themselves? You invite them to dinner, they can just say, "By the way, I'm a vegan, will that be a problem?" Do they really have to say, "By the way, I'm a vegan, but in case you're wondering I do have a pair of leather shoes and there is some leather trim on my jeans, but I'd never touch silk, a bit of honey is OK though."? Or should they say, "I don't eat animals or animal products, but I'm not actually a vegan because I own some leather shoes?" confused

TheChaoGoesMu Fri 22-Mar-13 12:33:26

No, they should just say they are vegan. It makes life easier for all those involved when planning what to eat, obviously. I'd only talk about the leather shoes if someone made a comment about it, like the op has today.

"No, they should just say they are vegan."

Exactly. But then they are subject to so much nit-picking!

carovioletfizz Fri 22-Mar-13 13:00:19

I am a vegan and don't eat any animal products. I don't buy any either.

However, you will see me using leather from time to time. The reason for this is I am on a budget and could not afford to replace my wardrobe once I decided to become vegan. So I still have for example a big very useful changing bag that is made of leather, once it is done in I will buy a new one that isn't made of animal products. Hope that makes sense.

WeAreEternal Fri 22-Mar-13 13:03:03

I know quite a lot if vegans and none of them buy/use/wear leather.

The same for most of the vegetarians that I know.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 22-Mar-13 13:19:49

@Jacquesie My kids are veggie, like my husband, not vegan like me. As I posted above they have leather shoes for school, there are quite strong shoe rules at two of the three schools they attend. Outside school they tend to wear manmade shoes. But not always. I don't live anywhere near a proper vegan shoeseller and I was never prepared to put my kids in shoes that weren't properly fitted.

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

There are people who are dietary vegans. I really don't think it's anyone's business if they buy leather. I have SERIOUS problems with people claiming to be vegans or veggies but then eating stuff that isn't, because that can cause problems for other vegans or veggies in the future, but non dietary things? Not my business.

TheBigJessie Fri 22-Mar-13 17:48:02


Vegans/vegetarians: what do you do about your toddlers' shoes?

I'm afraid I buy leather for the toddlers! Their foot welfare > my principles grin

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