Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Still learning

Did I ever mention I'm not perfect? No? Well, probably because I thought that wasn't necessary. But in actual fact, when I read articles, comments, blogs and musings of fellow vegans I usually am left with the impression that these guys can do no wrong. They all seem so smart and level-headed and so totally, totally committed to their cause. Which, by the way, I am as well (committed I mean). But, alas, I am not perfect.

I got a new facial piercing just over a week ago, and was instructed to take Nurofen (anti-inflammatory) as often as possible for five days afterwards to try to minimise the swelling. So at the shops on the way home, I chucked a bottle of Herron Blue (my preferred alternative - Aussie made) in my basket. Despite quietly thinking maybe the whole ibuprofen thing was a scam, I took it every six hours for the next five days. It was only on the fifth day when I was lazily skimming across the info on the packet when I saw the words: contains lactose. Oh my god. Part of me was thinking, "Really? Really? Herron as well?!" while another part of me was thinking, "Come on... are you really that surprised?" I just didn't think to check. Why, I do not know. But I'm not taking them anymore and if I ever have a need for it at a certain time of the month I'll just have to tough it out I guess (or find animal-derivative-free alternatives).

Also, I'd been expected a package from the U.S. for about two weeks, and was so stoked when it arrived on my doorstep this morning. I hastily unwrapped the shoes that were inside, some gorgeous white and silver brogues, but as I pulled them out of their paper, something just... felt wrong. I turned the shoe over and sure enough, stamped on the sole: leather upper. Quite different to the lactose scenarios, I felt instantly unwell at the thought that I'd just purchased leather shoes. I smelled them, and the familiar cured, chemical but somehow organic odour was there. Obviously it's a real shame that I can't wear these lovely shoes, but I was just so annoyed at my own 'vegan incompetence'. I checked the website to make sure I hadn't been misled, and there, clear as day, they were described as "leather shoes". Why I didn't notice that before, why I didn't check for the materials I'm not entirely sure. It may have been because I thought for their price they had to be synthetic. It may have been because a lot of the shoes on this site are described as "vegan faux-leather" and I'd skim read and added the rest in. Whatever the reason, I'm so ashamed that I bought these shoes. I feel sick at the idea of paying for someone else's skin. I really wish there was an "I'm vegan and didn't realise these shoes were leather" option on the return slip. I guess the cost of shipping them back to America will just have to be my punishment.

So, see, I'm not perfect. I call myself a vegan, but I guess I'm still getting used to it. As long as I learn from my mistakes though I should be okay.

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