Thursday, 3 May 2012

Little April showers

Yes, I know it's May, but only just! With winter approaching, it's starting to get a bit nippy around the house at night. I've been wearing cheap slippers nabbed from an overnight stay at a hotel a few months back, but my partner's tootsies have been suffering since the demise of his old, worn, much-loved uggboots. So we went out to a few cheap department stores to try and find animal-friendly versions. (Since the brand name Ugg was developed, I'm pretty sure noone can officially call them uggboots anymore. One store we went to were calling them 'men's slippers' even though they had small, loafer shaped slippers in the next aisle, and these ones clearly came up above the ankle in a boot style. Anyway...) No luck in one store as the upper was real leather, but a cheaper shop was our friend - fully synthetic uggboots and for a tenth of the price! My partner has even remarked that his feet get too hot in them, if that could be a bad thing. Winter, here we come!

Talking about uggboots has made me think about all the things I own that aren't vegan. Not just the soaps and the hairsprays, but my sheepskin car seat covers. My duck down quilt. My pure wool blanket. My woollen beanies and scarves and gloves and jumpers. The woollen squares I started knitting last year to make a baby blanket. My silk skirts. All the books I own that are printed with animal-based inks. It's overwhelming. To be honest, though, I have no intention of throwing any of these items away, and will only search for vegan replacements if or when they wear themselves out. I know this would disgust some vegans out there but in my eyes, the damage has already been done. From a financial standpoint alone, I can't afford to give all these things to op-shops and start from scratch. As long as I don't buy any new leather, silk, feather items, then I'm not causing any harm. And if I contributed to the animal's suffering by buying these items made from their body parts, the least I can do is get a bloody good run out of them right? Surely waste would be an even bigger problem?
I guess there are a lot of things in the world of veganism that rely upon individual choice. I heard a story from a friend of mine of a vegan she knew that wouldn't eat anything from a restaurant if the plate it was served on was washed with other dishes that had had meat on them. Now, I personally find that to be a bit extreme, but I'm sure that person didn't and I'm sure many others wouldn't.  It's a bit weird to think that I lead a lifestyle many people would think of as extreme, yet there are probably so many out there who think I'm copping out or that I'm not doing enough. I know my partner for example, threw away a lot of the items he owned that weren't vegan as he just couldn't stomach using them anymore. I, on the other hand, still wear patent high heels and use Maybelline mascara...

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