Am I a hypocrite? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-04-2015, 07:02 AM
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Am I a hypocrite?

So I've been a vegetarian a little over 2 and a half months. I dress really nice for work. I currently have a pair of oxford dress shoes that are leather, as well as a belt. I bought them way before I was vegetarian. I feel bad for wearing them because they are leather...but the shoes were $200. I feel like throwing them out would be such a waste of money ($200 on shoes is a lot to me)...but I don't want to be seen as a hypocrite....I'm of course not going to buy any more leather products in the future. Just wanting someones insight please.
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#2 Old 11-04-2015, 07:06 AM
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so sorry this was supposed to go on the vegetarian forum
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#3 Old 11-04-2015, 07:25 AM
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Purchasing new products to replace existing products would be worse, IMO. You bought them before, so use them now. Don't let them go to waste. So, no, you shouldn't feel bad for wearing existing leather products.

On a side note, we really need to stop people from using the word hypocrite. This isn't a remark against you, dreenbmp. Use of that word is rampant, and we need to remember that we're all hypocrites to a certain extent.
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#4 Old 11-04-2015, 08:07 AM
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I don't think so, just wait until they wear out and replace them with a friendlier alternative, or almost wear out then throw them in the closet as a backup pair of work shoes. your bound to step into some muck sometime or break a shoelace getting ready in the morning and you'll need something! the way i think of it, the damage has already been done for the pieces of clothing that are leather, it would silly to let them go to waste, especially something expensive that isn't negligible to replace like a simple belt or something

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#5 Old 11-04-2015, 08:35 AM
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I believe that leather is a conundrum, because there are so many faux leather products out there, and no one really knows whether or not it is real. Would a vegan wearing faux leather be just as bad of a message as a vegan wearing real leather? A vegan could lie and say their real leather is fake and a vegan wearing fake leather might be labeled a hypocrite for wearing "leather". Unless the fake leather vegan has a bright red sticker claiming that it's fake, passers by will assume it's real or just not really care.
Honestly, it is much worse to claim to be a vegan and buy leather products that you don't need, such as designer bags and such. Leather shoes are a gray area because there are also animal glues used in many non leather shoes. Also, a lot of vegan shoes are very expensive, or uncomfortable or just look ugly or plain cheap. I hate to say it, but if you are working in the professional world, your superiors judge you based on your quality of clothing. I would keep my expensive shoes.
Also, it becomes harder when you work in construction or industrial design because a lot of safety requirements involve leather gloves, steel toe leather work boots etc. I think we also forget that many plastics contain animal ingredients, so we are all kind of screwed in the shoe department. Also, polyester, rubber, plastic and many synthetic materials do not breathe or stretch with use and if you have a sensitivity to latex, you are also screwed.
All in all, one or two pairs of leather shoes is not as bad as eating meat everyday.
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#6 Old 11-04-2015, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by dreenbmp View Post
so sorry this was supposed to go on the vegetarian forum
No problem, I've moved the post for you.

This is a problem many new vegetarians struggle with, a lot of people decide to just use the leather products they currently have until they wear out. As long as you don't buy any new leather after I don't think that makes you a hypocrite you're just in the process of transitioning.
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#7 Old 11-04-2015, 02:44 PM
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Wearing leather doesn't make you a hypocrite unless you tell people it's synthetic even though it's real. From what I've seen, most vegetarians continue to wear leather after giving up meat, and many continue to wear leather even after giving up dairy and eggs. Using animal-derived products like leather, wool and silk is typically more of an issue with vegans than with vegetarians. There are several threads on VB flogging this very question, and no one vegetarian speaks for all vegetarians on this.

Last edited by Joan Kennedy; 11-04-2015 at 02:46 PM.
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#8 Old 11-04-2015, 02:54 PM
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I wondered the same thing... I don't recall actually wearing leather since going veggie, but I still have lots of older items... and winter is coming. There's no reason you shouldn't wear the things you purchased. Get the intended use out of them. Wear 'em until they're unwearable, or until you get sick of them. And when in doubt, DONATE!!

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#9 Old 11-04-2015, 03:00 PM
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shoes are kind of an essential.

It would be nice if they made leather free shoes in a larger size range.
I once emailed vegetarianshoes to ask about larger shoes, and the reply was that they are limited to the sole range of sizes, but I suspect it is also to do with lack of demand.

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#10 Old 11-04-2015, 03:13 PM
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You would only be a hypocrite if you were to tell others they should give up all their leather while continuing to wear yours!

Your shoes will last a very long time with care. You have given up the most wasteful of animal products--food.

Congrats on being veg'n ! And welcome!
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#11 Old 11-09-2015, 03:52 PM
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If you're an ethical vegetarian, and I've deduced that you are!, wearing leather definitely sets you up to be called a hypocrite--even though you'd already bought those items before turning veg. How you deal with your leather items is really a matter of personal choice. For me, when I first went veg (for ethical reasons), I felt the same way you do, i.e., my leather shoes, belts, purses, etc., were expensive and had already been bought before I went veg, so why not continue using them? But in short order I realized that that simply wasn't going to work--FOR ME. That doesn't mean it can't work FOR YOU.

For me, it was a matter of feeling uncomfortable having animal skins on my person. Yuck! I just didn't want that any more. I ended up donating all my leather stuff to Goodwill [or similar]. But others have continued using their leather goods until they're worn out. Choose whichever solution works best for you.
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#12 Old 11-09-2015, 05:46 PM
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I think being an ethical vegetarian is about minimalizing cruelty, not about perfection. People aren't perfect that's just Natural Law, so any system which expects people to be perfect will fail.

That being said, I don't see any reason why it's anyone's business unless you lie or try to convict others for doing the same that point yes you become a hypocrite.

Just wear them until they have no good use and then replace with non leather products. If it really bothers you and you have the extra income, donate leather products to charity and buy new ones. I did this on a much smaller scale with my food pantry when I became vegetarian. I also gave away my feminine hygiene products when I bought a Diva cup. Charity is always a way to make past choices for the good instead of source of guilt.
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#13 Old 11-09-2015, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by dreenbmp View Post
.but I don't want to be seen as a hypocrite....I'm of course not going to buy any more leather products in the future. Just wanting someones insight please.
I don't see these discussions as being particularly productive and feel they can be detrimental at grass roots level.

Its only early days for you, you should be very proud of the part that you are playing in reducing the consumption of animals.

As for being a hypocrite, we all are at some level, and anyone that says they are not is lying to themselves.
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#14 Old 11-12-2015, 10:44 AM
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Thanks everyone! This made me feel better! I'm saving up for some vegan dress shoes i found online! I actually went shopping for some casual shoes last week, found a pair i really liked! Didn't know they we're leather until i read the details about the shoe. So i put them back, and found another pair that were not made from any animal products
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#15 Old 11-12-2015, 01:54 PM
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When I first went vegetarian, the only person bothered by my wearing leather was me. I made it a priority to replace all the leather in my wardrobe as soon as I could Since you like designer products, take a look at Wills London for shoes and boots (they have a FaceBook store) and Matt & Nat for bags and belts. Fortunately, vegan footwear is becoming much more popular and googling around should bring you lots of great options.

It feels really good to go leather free!
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#16 Old 11-17-2015, 12:28 PM
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I will check them out! Anyone have any luck with Vegan Chic? Might buy some shoes from there.
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#17 Old 11-17-2015, 02:09 PM
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I have the same issue.
My job at the forest preserve gives everyone a $125 giftcard to RedWing Shoes but they don't have any female vegan options. They do have 2 vegan male options, but the shoes don't go to a small enough size for me + are also way over the gift card which would force me to cover it. The other two pairs are $160 & $250. I have a pair of leather working boots already (that i bought before turning vegan) that work just fine. Being a minimalist I don't want to spend money on boots I don't need.

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