What Does "Vegan" Clothing Mean? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-25-2010, 06:17 PM
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I was responding to a thread about "vegan" coats.

I found it odd that polyester and conventional cotton clothing were considered to be "vegan."

It is well established that polyester, being derived from petroleum, is therefore very harmful to the environment, disruptive of ecosystems, and therefore, poses a danger to animals. (As you are probably aware, drilling for oil is very hit and miss, meaning that many sites must be drilled. Even if successful, oil spills, as well as the destruction of the areas where oil is not found, as well as the large amount of energy required to drill, are all factors).

Conventional cotton requires the heavy use of pesticides, which kills or at least poisons plants, animals, and human beings via the soil, the water and as airborne poison.

Therefore, if vegans want to protect animals from unnecessary and preventable pain and death, both polyester as well as conventional cotton clothing should not be considered vegan.

Therefore, if you already have clothing made from conventional cotton or polyester, use it for as long as you practically can. That means repairing clothing rather than replacing it.

If you must replace clothing, then buy organic cotton clothing, or clothing made from recycled materials.

Please, don't be fooled into believing that polyester and conventional cotton are "safe" or protect animals. Both cause unnecessary death and suffering to animals.

Yes, organic clothing does cost more, but with proper construction and care, they should last a good long while. And remember, the more truly vegan clothing you buy, the lower the price will be as these companies are able to grow.
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#2 Old 11-25-2010, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by veggie_express View Post

I found it odd that polyester and conventional cotton clothing were considered to be "vegan."

I don't. There are a multitude of products vegans purchase and use every day which, directly or indirectly (or historically) cause harm to animals. Because it isn't possible or practical to do away with them. Computers, for one. Cars, for another. While it's possible to say a car with cloth seating and a car with leather seating are both not vegan, we do what we can. We do what is possible and practical, and thus meet the definition of vegan. For me, not driving to work is not possible or practical. I'm on-call and can't say "Sorry, I know you're dealing with a crisis situation at 3:00am, I'll just hop on my bike and be there in 3 hours." If I did, I'd lose my job. If I lost my job, I'd be screwed in terms of financially supporting myself and my vegan lifestyle.

While you make an excellent point that support of companies that sell "truly" vegan products is a good thing and may, eventually, make the cost go down (though, in all likelihood, never down to the cost of commerical cotton clothing), Iits simply not possible or practical for many vegans to buy strictly organic clothing. So I completely understand why we consider other sources of cotton to be vegan. Even if someone were to argue that cotton clothing caused the SAME harm to animals than, say, leather, I'd never buy leather because I'm also aware of what clothing SAYS to people. Wearing leather says, to the average person, "I'm okay killing for clothing." Wearing cotton does not have that connotation, even if it has the denotation.
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#3 Old 11-25-2010, 06:33 PM
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Its the lesser of two evils. Cotton/polyester/hemp or leather?

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#4 Old 11-25-2010, 08:17 PM
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Obviously organic cotton is better than conventional, but cotton is cotton, cotton is not wool/leather/fur.
Vegan = no animal ingredients.
Vegan =/= your own personal idea of what might be harmful to animals

If vegan meant avoiding everything that might possibly cause some animal suffering then nothing would be vegan.
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#5 Old 11-25-2010, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

Obviously organic cotton is better than conventional, but cotton is cotton, cotton is not wool/leather/fur.
Vegan = no animal ingredients.
Vegan =/= your own personal idea of what might be harmful to animals

If vegan meant avoiding everything that might possibly cause some animal suffering then nothing would be vegan.


Absolutely.

And on that note, at 5 PM this evening I stepped outside to start my car to do a little late shopping. On the way to the car I released a fart, however subtle, which will one day through the butterfly effect grow into a massive storm, during which a cow will be struck by lightning, making me no longer vegan.

Tam! RUGH!
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#6 Old 11-25-2010, 08:58 PM
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Of course it is practical. I lived in the pacific northwest. There are entire communities, numbering at least in the hundreds, perhaps in the thousands, who live "off the grid" outside of industrial, high tech society. They grow their own foods in cooperative farms, make their own clothes, and barter and exchange for goods.

They also sell handcrafted products when possible and interact with city folk from time to time.

It is certainly possible and sustainable. From what I could tell, members of these communities were quite happy.

It's just that you are comfortable with your creature comforts here in the high tech world: cars, computers, polyester, and so on.

The compromises you speak of are far from necessary. They are only necessary because you accept and enjoy modern capitalistic life and dismiss any ethical contradictions as "impractical" or "inconvenient" as a result.

To reiterate, pesticide from conventional cotton sickens and kills; polyester from petroleum destroys ecosystems and kills plants and animals. There is no refuting it, or the ethical conflict it brings us into.

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I don't. There are a multitude of products vegans purchase and use every day which, directly or indirectly (or historically) cause harm to animals. Because it isn't possible or practical to do away with them. Computers, for one. Cars, for another. While it's possible to say a car with cloth seating and a car with leather seating are both not vegan, we do what we can. We do what is possible and practical, and thus meet the definition of vegan. For me, not driving to work is not possible or practical. I'm on-call and can't say "Sorry, I know you're dealing with a crisis situation at 3:00am, I'll just hop on my bike and be there in 3 hours." If I did, I'd lose my job. If I lost my job, I'd be screwed in terms of financially supporting myself and my vegan lifestyle.

While you make an excellent point that support of companies that sell "truly" vegan products is a good thing and may, eventually, make the cost go down (though, in all likelihood, never down to the cost of commerical cotton clothing), Iits simply not possible or practical for many vegans to buy strictly organic clothing. So I completely understand why we consider other sources of cotton to be vegan. Even if someone were to argue that cotton clothing caused the SAME harm to animals than, say, leather, I'd never buy leather because I'm also aware of what clothing SAYS to people. Wearing leather says, to the average person, "I'm okay killing for clothing." Wearing cotton does not have that connotation, even if it has the denotation.

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#7 Old 11-26-2010, 04:02 AM
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I decided to travel on the veggie express, so here I am on board. But wait, where is this train going? It's going to "you're not vegan unless you are cramped in the corner of a small cabin built from half-composed leaves" town! Noooooo.... I want out goddammit!!!

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#8 Old 11-26-2010, 06:31 AM
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a.) You're on a computer. If you want to preach about things while using them yourself, you may want to knock the zealot level down a notch or two. Just sayin'.

b.) Sorry, but we have different definitions of possible and practical. In my rational viewpoint, it is not possible and practical for EVERY vegan to up and move away from the people and communities and jobs they love to go live in cooperative farms. Is it possible and practical for a few hundred or even a few thousand? Sure! Universally so? Absolutely categorically not.
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#9 Old 11-26-2010, 06:39 AM
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If vegan meant avoiding everything that might possibly cause some animal suffering then nothing would be vegan.

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#10 Old 11-26-2010, 07:13 AM
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Vegan =/= environmentalist, despite the considerable overlap.

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#11 Old 11-26-2010, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Semicharmed View Post

a.) You're on a computer. If you want to preach about things while using them yourself, you may want to knock the zealot level down a notch or two. Just sayin'.

Agreed. I'm pretty sure veggie_express isn't vegan but apparently feels justified in preaching to vegans about how they're ruining the environment by being unwilling to move to communes. All the while, he or she contributes to the animal agriculture industry as though that's somehow necessary or without environmental consequence.
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#12 Old 11-26-2010, 08:37 AM
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Veganism:
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[T]he word "veganism" denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude as far as is possible and practical all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.

What is it with people constantly trying to change the definition of 'vegan' to just anything that, in general, does not harm or kill animals?

A by-product of all farming (including farming of organic cotton), of humans living in fact, is that other creatures are harmed and other creatures die as a direct result. We can acknowledge this and still try to reduce it in our lives.

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#13 Old 11-26-2010, 09:12 AM
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I'm sure this is roughly the dozenth time I've posted this here but it continues to be deeply relevant:

How vegan?

I apologize to those who are tired of seeing this link. I promise I'll stop posting it when topics like this stop being made. (roughly never)

Tam! RUGH!
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#14 Old 11-26-2010, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh James xVx View Post

I'm sure this is roughly the dozenth time I've posted this here but it continues to be deeply relevant:

How vegan?

I apologize to those who are tired of seeing this link. I promise I'll stop posting it when topics like this stop being made. (roughly never)

That's a great article.
Instead of trying to perfect yourself on every vegan aspect of life, try looking outside yourself and think - how can I get the message of ahimsa across to more people?
It does seem contradictory to me when people say they'd eat vegan even if it was worse environmentally (and I have). The environment is the home animals have, without it they'd all be used for convienence.
Everyone has their specialties when it comes to concern. I try and use the simpliest sourced products, pick organic when possible, fair trade etc., but I realize I get overwhelmed. When I get compulsive about perfection, I'm no good at all in winning people over to veg living. I become the angry obsessive vegan people want to avoid. I went though that period just long enough to remember- I'm vegan for the animals, not to win a contest.

I still say-
the perfect can be the enemy of the good

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good
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#15 Old 11-26-2010, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh James xVx View Post

I'm sure this is roughly the dozenth time I've posted this here but it continues to be deeply relevant:

How vegan?

I apologize to those who are tired of seeing this link. I promise I'll stop posting it when topics like this stop being made. (roughly never)

Agreed on the relevancy.

I think the preferable way to bring up the content of this thread is about what goes on with textile production to make our clothes and the impact it has on animals and environment, not whether or not it is vegan.

I believe everything.
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#16 Old 11-26-2010, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh James xVx View Post

I'm sure this is roughly the dozenth time I've posted this here but it continues to be deeply relevant:

How vegan?

I apologize to those who are tired of seeing this link. I promise I'll stop posting it when topics like this stop being made. (roughly never)

I think it's the 17th time you've posted it. At least that I've seen.

As long as there are slaughterhouses there will be battlefields. - Leo Tolstoy
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#17 Old 12-01-2010, 04:37 AM
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Vegan =/= environmentalist, despite the considerable overlap.

agreed
There are definitely links between the production of many things and animals(all industries affect animals in some negative way) but these links are less direct than say the links to leather, which is an animal product.

Personally, I find the humans affected by this are more of a moral issue (hey, humans are animals too) and would rather by fair trade than organic any day.
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#18 Old 12-01-2010, 10:35 AM
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I guess a person could drive themselves insane over this. Thinking about every issue. I have to admit I think about my impact on this world to a certain degree and sometimes I have to tell myself to stop it or I will go crazy.

If you can afford it, trying to buy from companies that give a darn about what they are doing is great. I'll buy organic fabric, yarn. I admit to also buying synthetic yarn. Also buying second hand and just trying to consume less.
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#19 Old 12-01-2010, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by veggie_express View Post

Of course it is practical. I lived in the pacific northwest. There are entire communities, numbering at least in the hundreds, perhaps in the thousands, who live "off the grid" outside of industrial, high tech society. They grow their own foods in cooperative farms, make their own clothes, and barter and exchange for goods.

They also sell handcrafted products when possible and interact with city folk from time to time.

It is certainly possible and sustainable. From what I could tell, members of these communities were quite happy.

LOL Yes, people who choose to live on communes tend to be happy doing so. That doesn't mean that everyone else would be happy if forced to join them. As with anything else in life, it's a choice.

Most vegans choose not to leave the society that they've been a part of for their entire lives. Instead, they live a life that's as vegan as possible within the context of that society, well aware that using things like cars and computers have a negative impact on animals, which can't readily be avoided.

I don't believe in perfection, in veganism or anything else in this world. Perfection is something to strive for, not something to ever actually achieve.

--Fromper
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#20 Old 12-01-2010, 12:58 PM
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Perfection is something to strive for, not something to ever actually achieve.

Wait, you're saying this even despite of those photos I sent you of my bod? Think again.

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#21 Old 12-01-2010, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

Wait, you're saying this even despite of those photos I sent you of my bod? Think again.

Obviously, I was only talking about humans, not gods.

--Fromper
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#22 Old 12-02-2010, 08:36 AM
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^
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#23 Old 11-06-2012, 10:20 PM
 
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No one can truly be 100% vegan. Do you live in a house? Do you walk, ride a bike or drive a car? All these things kill living creatures. When you walk, are you not stepping on insects? Was your house not built on land where trees once grew and where all kinds of other animal life once lived? You should really think before you try to act as if you are above others. I consider myself to be vegan. I don't consider myself to be a vegan who forces unrealistic expectations on others, pushing away potential vegans-to-be by making it seem like an impossible lifestyle. mad.gif
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#24 Old 11-07-2012, 12:23 AM
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No one can truly be 100% vegan. Do you live in a house? Do you walk, ride a bike or drive a car? All these things kill living creatures. When you walk, are you not stepping on insects? Was your house not built on land where trees once grew and where all kinds of other animal life once lived? You should really think before you try to act as if you are above others. I consider myself to be vegan. I don't consider myself to be a vegan who forces unrealistic expectations on others, pushing away potential vegans-to-be by making it seem like an impossible lifestyle. mad.gif

Well hello there. This thread is two years old just as a heads up. smiley.gif You must have done some serious digging

"Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?" ~Pierre Troubetzkoy
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#25 Old 11-07-2012, 04:51 PM
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Well hello there. This thread is two years old just as a heads up. smiley.gif You must have done some serious digging


not to mention that is such as thing as 100% vegan.  just look at the definition.  pretty easy.

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#26 Old 11-08-2012, 11:29 AM
 
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Actually, this was the first site to display when I did a search to see if polyester was vegan. Thanks for the heads up, but I noticed the date. I hope the person who wrote the original post has opened their mind since. grin.gif
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#27 Old 11-08-2012, 11:38 AM
 
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The way this person was describing "Vegan", was putting it in terms that would imply that anything connected to animal suffering isn't vegan. But no one can turly live in this world without some how negatively affecting animal life. As a vegan, I feel that I can live my life as I always have, just eliminate the consumption of anything made using animal products. To take it to the extremes the original poster mentioned would be ridiculous.
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