Want to go vegan, but I have one major roadblock: - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-05-2012, 07:40 AM
 
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I really want to make the transition from vegetarian to vegan by the new year. I'm ready and eager to make the change but there's one problem I have and everyone says I can't truly make the transition until I fix it.

The problem:

My car seats/car interior are leather. I was in a rush to get a car. The car had fit everything on my checklist: low miles, great price, great brand, etc. At the deal I was getting and after all the hair pulling I had done to find a car like this, leather seats where the last thing on my mind. I wasn't thrilled by them but I was just ready to own a car. But now people tell me I can't be a true vegan until I solve this.

I can by no means afford to re-do my car interior and replace my seats. So can I really never become a real vegan until I change this? Even if I cover the car seats and try my best to scrap up the money to replace my seats?

Please help!

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#2 Old 11-05-2012, 08:51 AM
 
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Who is "everyone?"

 

Anyone who is telling you not to give up animal products because your car seat has leather interior doesn't really sound like a vegan to me.

 

We all do the best we can. Getting a new car or switching the interior of your car does not sound at all reasonable. Many vegans keep leather items from their "pregan" days, especially if they are expensive and/or irreplaceable. 

 

Please don't let this stop you from doing what you know is right!


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#3 Old 11-05-2012, 09:10 AM
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Who is "everyone?"

 

Anyone who is telling you not to give up animal products because your car seat has leather interior doesn't really sound like a vegan to me.

 

We all do the best we can. Getting a new car or switching the interior of your car does not sound at all reasonable. Many vegans keep leather items from their "pregan" days, especially if they are expensive and/or irreplaceable. 

 

Please don't let this stop you from doing what you know is right!


Absolutely right!

 

(For that matter, you can't be a "true" vegetarian, with leather car seats.) Fix your car when you can afford to, and don't worry about being labelled this, that or the other. Think for yourself and stick to your plan! You won't be alone.


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#4 Old 11-05-2012, 09:13 AM
 
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It sounds like you are worrying about nothing.  Have you ever bought a pair of jeans without a leather patch?  Re cars, having recently got a new car, albeit not mine, it is a lease car, I found that the leather option for seats and even on the steering wheel, were usually at the higher end of the market which I wasn't looking for.  Cloth interiors are the norm on cheaper models, so I can only surmise that the material must be cheaper than leather.
 

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#5 Old 11-05-2012, 10:27 AM
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you already own the car and it's not very practical to get rid of the car or the leather seats so don't worry about it. consider other options when it comes time to get a new car.
i'm currently sitting on a leather couch and i consider myself vegan. i don't even like leather but it was a freebie and i can't afford to buy a couch at all. my alternative would be to sit on the floor.
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#6 Old 11-05-2012, 12:02 PM
 
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Thank you all for your responses! smiley.gif Brings a lot of peace to mind haha.

"Everyone" referred to my boyfriend and all of his friends who, as holothuroidea said, aren't vegan.

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#7 Old 11-05-2012, 02:43 PM
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I think as we become more "aware," we start being highly conscious of animal "uses"...and not just in food.

 

I had no idea some alcohol uses animal products in the distilling process.

 

Just do the best you can....and keep evolving. One cannot expect enlightenment right out of the starting gate.  :-)


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#8 Old 11-05-2012, 03:03 PM
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Thank you all for your responses! smiley.gif Brings a lot of peace to mind haha.

"Everyone" referred to my boyfriend and all of his friends who, as holothuroidea said, aren't vegan.

 

F* 'em, seriously - what the hell do they know about being a vegan evolving from a meat-eating, animal-exploiting lifestyle (as the majority of us weren't born vegan)? They're just trying to pressure you into not aligning your current lifestyle with your ethics by bringing up your past. It's like saying there's no reason to be a good person now, because you've already done bad things in the past.

 

You've already bought the car. Just don't buy a car with leather seats the next time you buy a car. Simple.

 

I returned a pair of really beautiful heels because they had leather, and I didn't realize it because it claimed to be "all man-made materials" on the website. For some things, returning the item is possible. Other times, you'll just have to resolve to do better next time. Veganism is definitely a process and no one is perfect at it, so don't be discouraged when you make a mistake.


I always wonder about people who say they "love" animals, but continue to eat meat. If that's your idea of love, I question what sort of twisted world view you must have.

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#9 Old 11-05-2012, 11:46 PM
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I agree -- it's a scare tactic meant to sway your mind, nothing more. Hey, I still have a leather handbag I use. I figure its more wasteful and disrespectful to the animal to simply throw it away. I just refrain from buying new leather or animal products.
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#10 Old 11-06-2012, 10:15 AM
 
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it is tough enough to find food at times as a Vegan. Attending parties, cookouts, holidays just to eat is a tough one. I don't care what others think I own a leather couch and have leather seats in my SUV life is tough enough. Just being a Strict Vegetarian gets on my nerves at times.  Changing out my leather items or wearing plastic belts or shoes..forget it!

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#11 Old 11-06-2012, 01:07 PM
 
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it is tough enough to find food at times as a Vegan. Attending parties, cookouts, holidays just to eat is a tough one. I don't care what others think I own a leather couch and have leather seats in my SUV life is tough enough. Just being a Strict Vegetarian gets on my nerves at times.  Changing out my leather items or wearing plastic belts or shoes..forget it!

 

I don't think this attitude is typical among vegans. Generally you try your best. That doesn't mean changing out already existing car seats, but it does mean getting used to faux leather or "plastic" belts and shoes which is really just a minor inconvenience. The idea is also that now that you are vegan, the next car you buy would not have leather seats and the next couch you buy would not be leather.


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#12 Old 11-06-2012, 01:30 PM
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it is tough enough to find food at times as a Vegan. Attending parties, cookouts, holidays just to eat is a tough one. I don't care what others think I own a leather couch and have leather seats in my SUV life is tough enough. Just being a Strict Vegetarian gets on my nerves at times.  Changing out my leather items or wearing plastic belts or shoes..forget it!

 

I don't think this attitude is typical among vegans. Generally you try your best. That doesn't mean changing out already existing car seats, but it does mean getting used to faux leather or "plastic" belts and shoes which is really just a minor inconvenience. The idea is also that now that you are vegan, the next car you buy would not have leather seats and the next couch you buy would not be leather.

The new fake leather bags and belts are so nice! Not like the stiff plasticky kinds of old. There are cute vegan women's shoes now, too, though I have a harder time finding good men's shoes for my husband.
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#13 Old 11-06-2012, 01:40 PM
 
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The new fake leather bags and belts are so nice! Not like the stiff plasticky kinds of old. There are cute vegan women's shoes now, too, though I have a harder time finding good men's shoes for my husband.

 

We haven't had to replace DH's dress shoes yet (he's had them for 6 years, that's how often he wears them, lol!), but he's required to wear the safety shoes for work that his company provides. They have some options for color and style, but they are all leather. I think in that case the only thing you can do is write to the powers that be and tell them that you're disappointed and would like to have a vegan option and just hope they come through for you. 


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#14 Old 11-06-2012, 01:53 PM
 
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My personal rule is to do what YOU are comfortable with. While I refuse to eat animal products, I still use leather. This might not be acceptable for some vegans, but it is acceptable for me right now at this point in my life.
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#15 Old 11-07-2012, 05:53 AM
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I think it is much more common to get the "you are not a true vegan" arguement from non-vegans than vegans. My response is always that I am as vegan as I can and there is no TRUE 100% vegan out there living in the 21st century. Mostly they just want a rise out of you. Keep your seats as is and when you buy your next car try to get one without leather. Your still vegan.


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#16 Old 11-07-2012, 06:31 AM
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I don't think this attitude is typical among vegans. Generally you try your best. That doesn't mean changing out already existing car seats, but it does mean getting used to faux leather or "plastic" belts and shoes which is really just a minor inconvenience. The idea is also that now that you are vegan, the next car you buy would not have leather seats and the next couch you buy would not be leather.


I agree with this.

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#17 Old 11-07-2012, 11:29 AM
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You are okay. I have some leather things in my car, I already bought it before I was vegan. I also have 4 wool coats, a down jacket, wool scarves, leather bags, boots, and belts I owned before I was vegan. I even still have cosmetics and perfumes that are not vegan, (its only been 1 1/2 years) I agree that it is a sad waste and disrespectful to the animal that died/ was exploited for it if these things are just thrown away.

I gave away my UGGs because they are just gross to me and I had a friend that wanted them. I also gave away some purses to my sister in law. The coats are warm and useful, I will keep them until they are unwearable. I still use the cosmetics, and buy cruelty free as I run out.

Just start buying things that you need in the future as vegan. And don't worry what anybody thinks, you do what feels right for you and makes you guilt free. smiley.gif
 

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#18 Old 11-07-2012, 12:08 PM
 
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Ahhh......not Vegan..Strict Vegetarian wink3.gif

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#19 Old 11-07-2012, 12:11 PM
 
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My personal rule is to do what YOU are comfortable with. While I refuse to eat animal products, I still use leather. This might not be acceptable for some vegans, but it is acceptable for me right now at this point in my life

 

 

That is was what I was trying to say plus I'm not Vegan anymore.

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#20 Old 11-07-2012, 01:46 PM
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As most of the others say, I think its fine. I've only been vegan 6 months and still use my old leather bag and shoes etc. New stuff will come along in the future as and when I need it and then I will look at other options. I also have to wear leather at work as I am provided with PPE (steelies, chainsaw gloves etc). I just do my best. I suppose some might say I am a strict vegetarian or dietary vegan but meh, labels, whatever. I'm trying my hardest to be animal free while not being wasteful and being too poor to replace stuff now on my charity wages!


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#21 Old 11-15-2012, 05:31 PM
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Try not to worry about these kinds of things! In the future, just try not to buy leather and things like that...but you can't help the purchases that you've made in the past, and you shouldn't let that hold you back from your present decisions! I still have old leather purses and belts that I use - I wouldn't buy them anymore, but until I can afford to replace them with faux-leather ones, I'll keep using them for the time being. And I only eat 100% plant-based/vegan.


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#22 Old 11-23-2012, 04:36 AM
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Vegan concerns ONLY what you eat.

 

Obviously when you do it for ethical or ecological reasons rather for your health, you tend to extend it to everything, but as far as the definition of the word goes, if you don't eat any animal products, you are vegan, even if your shoes, belt, bag, car seats, are made of skin.

 

And obviously, you can only do your best. We live in a society that allows us to be vegan, but its obviously hard to be perfect. How far you go depends not only on your will but on your possibilities. In time, you will be able to put enough money aside to change the seats or the car if you want it.



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#23 Old 11-23-2012, 06:18 AM
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Vegan concerns ONLY what you eat.

 

Obviously when you do it for ethical or ecological reasons rather for your health, you tend to extend it to everything, but as far as the definition of the word goes, if you don't eat any animal products, you are vegan, even if your shoes, belt, bag, car seats, are made of skin.

 

And obviously, you can only do your best. We live in a society that allows us to be vegan, but its obviously hard to be perfect. How far you go depends not only on your will but on your possibilities. In time, you will be able to put enough money aside to change the seats or the car if you want it.

 

Sorry, gonna disagree with this. Vegan is way more than just a diet, even if it's an important part of it, obviously. All the definitions I've checked states the avoidance of animal products at large (including food). This means you can still be vegan if you use up your old leather items, of course (buying new ones, however...)

 

That being said, the idea is not to have a definition contest, of course, but well, I am kinda surprised to see such a restrictive definition of veganism.

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#24 Old 11-23-2012, 07:49 AM
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Yep. What Jezebel said. Vegan has nothing to do with what one eats. That's dietary veganism.

 

Veganism is to abstain from the use of animal products. Leather is an animal product. So is wool.

 

Now, if you have old leather or wool products, of course you can still call yourself a vegan. The past is the past. The present is the present. And the future is yours to write. To the thread starter : don't beat yourself up for your leather seats in your car. I mean, the fact that this bothers you means that you've figured out what veganism is. Next time you buy a car, it'll come naturally to you to watch out for your seats.

 

(I am sitting here scratching my head how anyone can think that veganism has only to do with what one stuffs into one's mouth).

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#25 Old 11-28-2012, 08:32 AM
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My bf is struggling with the same thing (sort of)... He has cars with leather interiors but his diet and lifestyle in every other way is vegetarian. I am vegan (new, but working out my own kinks) and I have been encouraging him to eat as many vegan meals with me as he can, and he has been very supportive and involved with it.

He actually says he would be interested in being vegan but there are some setbacks like cheese fixes, nutrition, and the main fact that his cars have leather in them (as he is an auto enthusiast). He feels as though leather is a byproduct and would still probably be around if everyone were veg*n, but it would be more expensive, and that if better synthetic material options came on nice cars, he would consider getting that option. Well, I tell him he can call himself a dietary vegan if he still has leather in his cars but doesn't eat any animal products (if/when he gets to that point).

He disagrees and says it's not right to call yourself vegan if you have leather cars... My point to him was that the main objective is to cut out as much as possible, and you should not just choose to continue to eat dairy and eggs because you can't otherwise call yourself vegan. You should still cut as much out as you can, because it is the right thing to do (ethically speaking).

I've learned that the meaning of vegan, or strict vegetarian, or dietary vegan, can apply to different people in different situations with different lifestyles, too many to fit into one specific categories. IMO, if you are looking at it from an ethical standpoint, cut out as much as you can and be strict with yourself and discipline yourself not to 'go back' to certain things, and push yourself to continue to cut out new things, until you feel that you are finally content in where you stand and how you've shaped your lifestyle smiley.gif
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#26 Old 11-29-2012, 10:15 AM
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Good post FT. Not a lot I can add except to say it's good wishes from me to you and your BF.

 

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#27 Old 11-29-2012, 11:31 AM
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My car has leather seats and I consider myself to be a vegan.  It's a 1999 model, we bought it used 7 years ago.  I kind of feel like buying a used leather product is not the same as buying a new one...if you were getting a new car and ordering new leather seats, you'd be contributing to the demand for leather...anyway, I wasn't vegan at the time we bought the car, but I was vegetarian and we bought it anyway.


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#28 Old 12-08-2012, 01:24 AM
 
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The new fake leather bags and belts are so nice! Not like the stiff plasticky kinds of old. There are cute vegan women's shoes now, too, though I have a harder time finding good men's shoes for my husband.

finding synthetic mens shoes can be so annoying. i wish i could fit into womens but im actually a giant womens or a baby mans. i dont know how because my mom and sister are like 4 sizes smaller than me! to top it off my high school says they have to be leather (leather look so i dont get in trouble) all black, fully enclosed and with laces. also i have really skinny heels and really wide toes. only about one shoe in 80 actually fits, and only about 1 in 130 are comfy enough. i also have super long legs and hips as wide as my thighs and stomach (and im not even fat!) plus really broad shoulders which make clothes shopping pretty much impossible. id say you have it easy! i just wish people would stop making triangle shoes made from dead cow skin! ugh!!! whack.gif

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#29 Old 12-08-2012, 01:28 AM
 
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My personal rule is to do what YOU are comfortable with. While I refuse to eat animal products, I still use leather. This might not be acceptable for some vegans, but it is acceptable for me right now at this point in my life.

if you use 'prevegan' leather that is ok but if you buy leather then you are a 'dietary vegan', nothing more and personally i would be very offended if you said you were vegan. much the same as pescis saying they are veg.

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#30 Old 12-08-2012, 10:26 AM
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if you use 'prevegan' leather that is ok but if you buy leather then you are a 'dietary vegan', nothing more and personally i would be very offended if you said you were vegan. much the same as pescis saying they are veg.


I think that someone who describe themself as a "dietary vegan" mean that they are vegetarian on a total plant-food diet. (Similarly someone eating a kosher diet really shouldn't describe themself as a "dietary jew".)

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