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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I know I'm opening a can of worms with this one...

Leather cows are grown specifically for the leather, right? At least that's what I've heard. So, big waste of a life there.

The environment is going downhill fast. So all the plastics and synthetics we've ever consumed since plastics were invented in the middle of the last century are taking a drastic toll on the planet, and will be killing it eventually--- unless drastic steps are taken to reduce how many synthetic materials are made. (Which are created from oil. Makes ya wonder about the actions of the US government, now, doesn't it? Gotta keep up that American way of life)

So, I'm vegetarian bodering on vegan, and feel bad about killing cows for leather, but on the other hand, I feel worse about the planet with all the garbage we create just in our daily lives. Everything from plastic bags, to rubber, to straws, to electronics, to candy packaging, and pretty much everything else in our lives (Unless you're aware and real careful about it, then you can keep it down to a minimum.)

I wanna buy canvas shoes to save the cows, but don't want to constantly be buying new shoes--1. because they fall apart too fast --2. I don't want to have to throw them away all the time. I just bought a new pair of Birks (no, I'm not a hippy) because they last 10 years. So, by using a little bit of leather, I can save myself probably a couple hundred dollars in shoes while creating 1/10 of the shoe garbage.

I also think that using wool is better than polyester anything. It's an animal that will keep producing wool that you can use over and over, rather than a chemical that is bad for the planet, that you'll eventually have to throw in the garbage where it won't biodegrade. I know sheeps probably aren't treated well at all, never have been really, but it's an environmentally friendly fiber, and it breathes, unlike synthetics.

So, I guess my question is, do you feel it's more important to not buy leather to protect animals, or to not buy synthetics to help out the planet?
 

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i definitely feel its more important to not buy leather

why not buy cotton instead of wool/polyester?

for the record you can buy (or you used to be able to buy) bags and stuff made from recycled tires... from pangea (www.veganstore.com) and some other place too

Caroline
 

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don't be fooled, the leather tanning process is also very bad for the environment.

also, most plastics--including those used in shoes, etc--can be recycled. most of the fake leathers that i buy are made from recycled synthetics as well. if you find the right recycling place, you can recycle anything.

and also, places like nike takes old shoes (sends you a coupon for new ones too, if youwear their brand) and recycle the synthetics.

it's really a matter of "pick your poision" from an environmental stand point.
 

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Can't synthetics be recycled? If so, do so, and the environment will not be harmed by buying plastic or rubber shoes. If not, supporting the synthetics industry will help to increase the popularity of synthetic leather, rubber, and/or plastic shoes. This, in turn, will push environmentalist groups to start making recycling programs for these shoes. In any case, plastic shoes can be melted down and reused, wheras an old pair of torn up leather shoes are pretty much worthless. It seems that on that account, plastic/rubber shoes won't harm the environment, but wearing leather will. Cattle ranching is a HUGE envrionmental problem, too-don't make the mistake of saying that cattle ranching is environmentally neutral.

And at any rate, wearing leather sends out the message that killing animals for their skin is OK, and also makes you cannon fodder for those skeptical of vegetarianism, who will jump at any chance to point out hypocrisy on your point and use that as a way of discrediting vegetarianism.

Furthermore, there's probably some eco-friendly rubber out there. Plastic would be hard to produce in an environmentally-friendly way, but rubber? It does, after all, come from trees.

As for wearing fake leather/pleather, I try to avoid that stuff. You're still advertising leather by wearing something that looks identical to it.
 

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Well, there is some environmental damage in the recycling process, but not from additional landfill disposal. I prefer this to the tanning pollution, though.

And I've never bought that you're advertising leather while wearing something similar to it. If omnis can be convinced they can still seem stylish by current standards without having to kill animals, they'll be encouraged to investigate the lifestyle more than if they'd have to start "dressing like a hippie," which is a bigger mental obstacle to "conversion" than I think many veg*ns are willing to admit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'd love to be able to recycle my shoes, I have no idea where. The U.S. shouldn't be able to produce anything that can't be recycled. That's how the Germans do it and their country is incredibly clean. (well, they ARE Germans...)

But anyway, so many amazing steps could be taken to cut down our waste, and recycling shoes is a big one. Especially here in the Big Apple where you can tear through a pair of Converse in 8 months.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jwnyc

Leather cows are grown specifically for the leather, right? At least that's what I've heard.
I believe most/all leather comes from meat cattle.

Also, synthetic fabrics account for something like 3% of oil use. I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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ive read before that leather and meat comes from seperate cows because they are from different types of cows with different traits

granted the other parts get used up... dog food, etc

but still different cows for different parts

its like how some expensive car companies use leather from special cows that have never been near wire fences so that their leather is of perfect quality

Caroline
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jwnyc

I'd love to be able to recycle my shoes, I have no idea where. The U.S. shouldn't be able to produce anything that can't be recycled. That's how the Germans do it and their country is incredibly clean. (well, they ARE Germans...)

But anyway, so many amazing steps could be taken to cut down our waste, and recycling shoes is a big one. Especially here in the Big Apple where you can tear through a pair of Converse in 8 months.
LOL. Another reminder why I want to move to Germany some day...
 

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Oh, and some info on recycling shoes:

"Did you know that you can recycle old athletic shoes?

Your old athletic shoes can be ground up and used to make brand new

athletic surfaces like soccer fields, basketball fields, running tracks,

and playgrounds._ Nike donates the athletic field surface material

made from the recycled shoes to communities in need around the world."

(More on this at http://www.tuffgrass.com/recycle.htm)

_

Details on participation:

http://www.nrc-recycle.org/pressroom...shoe012303.htm
 

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There are no specific types of cows that leather comes from. It's actually made from all cows, so it's a by-product of meat *and* dairy. Even if you're not vegan, I think it's very important to not buy leather because it's supporting both industries.

I try to buy most of my shoes from places like veganessentials. That way, you're not only not supporting the meat & dairy industry's by-products, but you're also supporting good companies.

As far as recycling goes, give all your old shoes to Goodwill. I used to be a production supervisor at one of the donation centers and all the shoes that weren't sellable went in a big bin. That bin was sent to the corporate headquarters where they pack them into bales and sent them to 3rd world countries. Pretty cool.
 

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I don't think I could ever buy shoes off the internet. I'm the kind of guy who will try on like 10 pairs of shoes if I have to until they fit perfectly. It's going to suck when I have to find some synthetic dress shoes.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Peebs

It's going to suck when I have to find some synthetic dress shoes.
I found a synthetic pair of really nice dress shoes for my husband at Goodys. They were on clearance and only cost about twenty bucks.

Quote:
Originally posted by Flower

As far as recycling goes, give all your old shoes to Goodwill. I used to be a production supervisor at one of the donation centers and all the shoes that weren't sellable went in a big bin. That bin was sent to the corporate headquarters where they pack them into bales and sent them to 3rd world countries. Pretty cool.
This is really good to know. I'm glad you told us.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Flower

As far as recycling goes, give all your old shoes to Goodwill. I used to be a production supervisor at one of the donation centers and all the shoes that weren't sellable went in a big bin. That bin was sent to the corporate headquarters where they pack them into bales and sent them to 3rd world countries. Pretty cool.
I heard that this shoe-dumping(aid) acctually ruins the local industry. So we're not really helping them with it.
 

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Mmm I'd rather save the cow I think. I'm sure there are ways to recycle your old shoes. I can't say that from experience because I only have one pair of sneakers that last me a couple of years, buy news ones, and then the cycle goes on. I , unlike most people I know, do not have more than one pair of shoes at a time. Unless you count my slippers. I usually send my old shoes (and clothing) to the Dominican Republic because they can really use them there. Either that or I find creative uses for them if they don't fit anymore. I think people just don't recycle enough. That and we use plastic too much...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by epski

Well, there is some environmental damage in the recycling process, but not from additional landfill disposal. I prefer this to the tanning pollution, though.

And I've never bought that you're advertising leather while wearing something similar to it. If omnis can be convinced they can still seem stylish by current standards without having to kill animals, they'll be encouraged to investigate the lifestyle more than if they'd have to start "dressing like a hippie," which is a bigger mental obstacle to "conversion" than I think many veg*ns are willing to admit.
good point m8, i agree
 

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It's about time shoe manufacturers started making cotton (or hemp) fabric or felt shoes with wax or latex or similar water-proofing, so's you can wear them in mud, puddles, and snow, keep your feets dry, yet at the same time allow your feets to "breathe" -- let water vapor out the shoe.

It ought to be able to be done.

Lorica and vegetan the material of Vegetarian brand shoes is polyester fiber felt embedded in urethane. The urethane provides water resistance, the embedded fibers leave microscopic holes that let water vapor out, but don't let liquid water in. The same thing ought to be able to be done with cotton fibers instead, and other materials, such as natural latex, instead of urethane. In fact I believe that historically, that is what the original "MacIntosh" material of raincoats was. Cotton, latex. You can buy waxed cotton coats from outdoor clothing retailers. Water vapor goes out, liquid water won't go in. You can't wash such coats in hot water without melting the wax. But I don't see why some sort of latex couldn't be used, and why such material wouldn't work for shoes, as well as coats.
 

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Urethane shoes and polyester fiber clothing or shoes will melt at high temp. Not good if you are fighting a fire, are in an airplane that crashes and catches on fire, etcetera. Leather won't melt, then stick to your skin like hot glue, and cause bad burns. Urethane, especially will, as will polyester fibers. That's why safety experts say you should wear cotton and leather if you are travelling on an airplane.
 
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