How to discuss shoes and leather

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How to discuss shoes and leather

Postby Superflor » Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:23 am

Non-vegetarians (and a couple of vegetarians) in a group last night discussing this guy's hand-made (he was proud to make them himself as was his Mrs) hand-tanned (to me very stupid-looking) boots.

I light-heartedly ask, "Can you do a vegan line"- not knowing at this point if he was veggie or not. He said no cos it wouldn't be the same with nylon. Then launches into a load of explanations and justifications about only using road kill and thanking the spirit of the animals and his mrs saying about well if the animals were gonna die anyway then why not make use of their skin etc.

I showed them with a smile my lovely vegan Doc Martens but the conversation deteriorated into a talk about the best way of shooting animals so I left the room quietly.

One of my aims is to be able to non agressively express the facts about veganism and speciesism. I already feel strengthened and supported from my short time on this site and hope I can learn to express things which only later occur to me (like saying I don't want to continue contributing to a problem or giving signals to others that treating non-human animals as commodities for our use is acceptable). But well, I'm kinda shy and not great with confrontation.

You just have to mention the vegan word and people launch into self justification sometimes.

I'd really like to be a positive example and not be shouty but I need practice delivering the facts I think.

I've been vegan a year and a half and just wanted to post this and see if you have any words of wisdom about how to approach this topic.
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Postby erske » Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:05 am

I really have a problem with lakto-ovos using the well it's a bi-product let's not waste it. The long and short of it is that the leather usage is an integrated part of the meat industry, you can't have one without the other.

The biproduct-waste argument could be aplicated to any part of the animal really, or reverce it, we need the leather why not use the meat, it's a stupid circle argument, but why not eat the liver, it's just a bi product from meat production...

The long and short of it is, animals are not ours to use!
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Postby spike » Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:52 am

That guys sounds like an annoying wanker regardless of his omnivorousness.

Dunno if it helps but I managed to avoid getting too deep into a silly pub discussion on chicken shit not being vegan by saying something along the lines of "well, y'know since you have chickens on your allotment and you eat their eggs then I can see why you use their shit on your tomatoes but as a vegan I don't use animal products so I won't be putting chicken shit on my tomatoes, but thanks for the suggestion".

Also, in case it helps give you an idea of where some of these people are coming from, when I was veggie (and even for a while when I ate a vegan diet) I believed that it was OK to use leather for shoes. The reasoning behind this was that there is clearly no need for leather coats or leather bags, leather sofas etc. cos you can easily have them made from various other synthetic materials. However I believed that decent shoes neded to be leather really because of it's properties (water resitant, breathable, hardwearing etc). Perhaps some of them thought that there isn;t a viable alternative to leather for shoes therefore using a "waste product" is OK.
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Postby xrodolfox » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:01 pm

I honor the spirit of my dead relatives by wearing in spiffy, stylish looking human leather pants. Tanned them myself. Didn't want to see their nice skin go to waste. My aunt really had nice skin tone. It's a shame it would go to waste. Oh, and I said a prayer and thanked myself and all those that loved her.

...just sayin'.
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Postby Herbsman » Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:56 pm

Just buy Odessa shoes or any other company that actually gives a shit about making vegan shoes. Your mate probably isn't going to change his mind no matter how much you try to inform him. I know thats a self-defeatist attitude but it's true.

If you think the guy's shoes look stupid then why do you even care? Wouldn't it be a bit pointless if he agreed with you and started to make vegan shoes, but they looked stupid, so nobody would buy them????
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Postby calico » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:46 pm

"But it's only a by-product and it would be a shame to waste it"

No, every dollar you put into products from that cow makes factory farming and slaughtering that cow all the more worth it. Leather does add value to those buying animals for slaughter, which in turn keeps prices up, which in turn encourages more people to raise animals for slaughter. These animals would not "die anyway" in slaughterhouses, if it wasn't for the money people like him put into the equation.

"But he's already dead".

He's dead because his killers know people like you would pay for the body parts. YOU put a bounty on his head.

"The steer/sheep is a beautiful animal. Doesn't the grain of the leather look beautiful?"

You could point how the gross-out factor, as xrodolfox mentioned. If you had a favorite pet dog, when he died would you wrap your feet in his slowly decomposing hide?
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Postby Superflor » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:48 pm

This is good. These points are good. I gotta like remember them and be able to deliver them myself next!!

Laughed but like in agreement at the aunty trousers analogy. That's just it!! And yeah, no self respecting vegan or anyone with a grain of style WOULD be seen dead in them anyway. Just maybe wanted to give him something to think about as he was in his denial-shrouded "shoe"-making process.

I gotta remember that about the money and the making it a profitable business cos that's the base of the thing.

I was reading Diet for a New America (but somehow got stuck towards the end). Is there a more up to date version with statistics for Europe, does anyone know? I'd especially like for Spain but don't believe we even got as far as doing a Vegetarian/vegan census here yet.
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Postby Linnéa76 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:51 am

Also, from what I understand most animals are produced either for the skin or for the meat/milk. So when it comes to the former, the meat would be the by-product and often becomes cat food. Whereas the skin of the latter can't be used for clothes but maybe glue, or gelatin. Correct me if I'm wrong.
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