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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
She bought me a pair of Bear Paw boots...

Very nice gift, but they are made of real sheepskin and sheep wool!!!!!

I am gradually trying to transition to vegan and the thought of wearing any animal is horrible. BUT I would hate to hurt her feelings by not wearing them. She knows I don't eat meat but doesn't get the whole concept..

What do I do?
 

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The prowling wolf
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Only wear them when you're around her. She won't be hurt that way, and you don't have to be afraid of the people around you telling you you're a hypocrite in your daily life. She's 11, she doesn't foresee the consequences. Please be kind to her
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Windigo
 

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You can let her know how much you appreciate the thought, while still being honest with her. Maybe show her vegan boots that you'd like instead? Or another small gift...Talk to her one on one, so she isn't embarrassed. A 5 year old is old enough to understand leather is skin.

Then get her something nice.
 

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Vegan Very Metal
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Is it possible that she could return them and receive a refund?

Tricky situations these can be, as not to offend someone.
 

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I know I would have been really upset if someone told me at 11 that they didn't want to wear the boots I worked so hard to buy them.. regardless of the reason. I'd probably wear them anyways. Even if it is only when she visits. Eventually you can explain to her what it means to be a complete vegan but some kids aren't really ready at 11 to understand. I know I wouldn't have been. Again, YMMV.
 

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Lol about the "leather is skin". I seriously never got that until sometime as a teen. It just didn't click. I mean, it didn't look like skin... I'm just saying that my brain didn't really wrap around the concept. At 5 there would have been no hope for me. lol
 

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Could you tell her that they don't fit, and ask her if she can come with you to help you pick out a pair that do fit? Make a fun day of it, and that way she can still have picked a gift out for you.
 

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I think you can just tell her how happy you are that you got her this and explain in a nice way why you can't wear them and go with her to exchange. i don't think she will be hurt if you show how great you find the idea
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArienEllariel View Post

I know I would have been really upset if someone told me at 11 that they didn't want to wear the boots I worked so hard to buy them.. regardless of the reason. I'd probably wear them anyways. Even if it is only when she visits. Eventually you can explain to her what it means to be a complete vegan but some kids aren't really ready at 11 to understand. I know I wouldn't have been. Again, YMMV.
I went vegan at 12, as did many people on this forum and elsewhere. There is no reason for an 11-year-old not to grasp the concept.

I'm not saying it would be okay to slap her in the face with cold hard facts. She meant well. But the answer is also not to go parading around like it's no big deal. Because when she does inevitably figure it out, it'll only hurt worse.
 

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Originally Posted by vegkid View Post

I went vegan at 12, as did many people on this forum and elsewhere. There is no reason for an 11-year-old not to grasp the concept.
Agreed. I was raised vegetarian, but I distinctly remember grasping the ethical concept as early as 2nd grade, because some other kid was trying to tell me that "God put animals on the earth so we could eat them". I also remember a little girl in second grade saying "I can't eat my favorite animal" (pigs). I don't think leather is much of a more difficult concept than meat.
 

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Argh, this is a very awkward situation, I feel your pain.

All you can really do is make sure you're super nice about it. I like the idea of asking if they can be exchanged too, you could gush about how pretty they are and how thoughtful and nice it was of her to get them and then explain you aren't wearing animal products anymore and then ask if it's possible to get an exchange. As long as she knows you really appreciated the thought, that's what counts.
 

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Originally Posted by rabid_child View Post

Could you tell her that they don't fit, and ask her if she can come with you to help you pick out a pair that do fit? Make a fun day of it, and that way she can still have picked a gift out for you.
i like this idea. its a hard situation
 

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I say put her on the defensive. Like you could throw fake blood on her and explain to her how she's no different from the Nazis. Make sure it's her who's feeling guilty and not you. Then hint that she can make it up to you by buying you some expensive vegan boots.
 

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Originally Posted by cornsail View Post

I say put her on the defensive. Like you could throw fake blood on her and explain to her how she's no different from the Nazis. Make sure it's her who's feeling guilty and not you. Then hint that she can make it up to you by buying you some expensive vegan boots.
+1

But why settle for fake blood? Maybe the next time you prepare meat for her, siphon some of the raw juices off to the side. Then be all, "is it yummy? WELL WHAT ABOUT THIS!?" and throw it at her. Then give her the nazi talk, as well as scolding her for having animal blood on in your house.
 

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I can't help but notice how this scenario is so typical for life. I think that compassion is as important for this little girls feelings as it is for the animal. Sometimes there is no perfect answer and we must be mentally tough. Mental toughness is to acknowledge that harm has been done but, that we can move on and take the high road, the road that offers compassion in the most effective way, under the circumstances. Often true compassion demands that we make a personal compromise of our opinions, cravings and preferences, etc.. Goodness often requires that we move on from the pieces of what was and build a new paradigm with that. Love for others first requires love for self. Love for self requires tenderness, inward and outward.

Hurting this little girl after the generous gift she has offered would do long reaching harm. She wont forget it. I think she is more important than the ethical stand about the leather in the shoes. Some day she will wake up to the reality that you sacrificed your personal standards because you love her. That is how she will learn love for self and thus love for the world.
 

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Originally Posted by falconbrother View Post

I can't help but notice how this scenario is so typical for life. I think that compassion is as important for this little girls feelings as it is for the animal. Sometimes there is no perfect answer and we must be mentally tough. Mental toughness is to acknowledge that harm has been done but, that we can move on and take the high road, the road that offers compassion in the most effective way, under the circumstances. Often true compassion demands that we make a personal compromise of our opinions, cravings and preferences, etc.. Goodness often requires that we move on from the pieces of what was and build a new paradigm with that. Love for others first requires love for self. Love for self requires tenderness, inward and outward.

Hurting this little girl after the generous gift she has offered would do long reaching harm. She wont forget it. I think she is more important than the ethical stand about the leather in the shoes. Some day she will wake up to the reality that you sacrificed your personal standards because you love her. That is how she will learn love for self and thus love for the world.
Agreed. Also keep telling her that Santa is real, well into her twenties, and never let her get a job.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by falconbrother View Post

I can't help but notice how this scenario is so typical for life. I think that compassion is as important for this little girls feelings as it is for the animal. Sometimes there is no perfect answer and we must be mentally tough. Mental toughness is to acknowledge that harm has been done but, that we can move on and take the high road, the road that offers compassion in the most effective way, under the circumstances. Often true compassion demands that we make a personal compromise of our opinions, cravings and preferences, etc.. Goodness often requires that we move on from the pieces of what was and build a new paradigm with that. Love for others first requires love for self. Love for self requires tenderness, inward and outward.

Hurting this little girl after the generous gift she has offered would do long reaching harm. She wont forget it. I think she is more important than the ethical stand about the leather in the shoes. Some day she will wake up to the reality that you sacrificed your personal standards because you love her. That is how she will learn love for self and thus love for the world.
As a sensitive person growing up, I agree with you. If I had saved up my own money and worked hard to buy those boots, it would have been because I thought the recipient would really, really love them, and if I found out that they didn't, I would be very hurt. And you are right, I wouldn't have forgotten it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I am soooo appreciative of her generous gift, and the way she lit up when I was opening the gift bag

I couldn't even bring myself to put them on...
So, what I ended up doing was letting her know truthfully why I couldn't wear them. She said 'oh auntie! I am sorry for buying them, I had no idea!' so we went and bought matching Vera Bradley bags
 
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