The Ethics of Veganism – A Question
before you begin reading, you should be warned this post is a departure from my typical posts…..now, please continue…
Guilt vs. Practicality…
….that’s kinda what I’m talking about here today…and I’d love some input on this dilemma and where guilt (if determined) should be placed and the thoughts of other vegans / new vegans, and, well, anyone actually.
So, I’ve been a “developing” vegan for a few years now. I also am a minimalist in progress. Which means, over the past couple of years, each season, I remove items that have not been used (or are no longer needed) from my possessions. I pass these items along to others either directly or though donating them.
BUT, there are some items that I’ve had for years now, that I use often, that I purchased “pre-vegan” that I wouldn’t buy today, and that I question getting rid of because of well, their practicality.
Now, feeling as a somewhat “compassionate” vegan, I wonder if other “newbie-vegans” feel the same way?
Example, I have these black boots….um, yes, they are made from leather. They were bought in the “pre-vegan” years – purchased on sale even. Now, I’m not excessive, I don’t have a gagillion pairs of boots – I have in fact 4 pairs. 1 black pair (the ones I’ve mentioned), 1 brown pair that were handed down to me, 1 waterproof pair (vegan) and 1 pair of Uggs….which we’ll discuss further down in this post.
So, this black pair (made of leather – that I would not buy today, which I’ve had for years and years now and which I wear quite often (for warmth and style AND comfort) and which are nowhere near being ready for the recycle heap…well, do I just keep wearing them? I would feel very frivolous and very wasteful if I got rid of them.
Let’s just say, they were bought before I was “enlightened” and joined the vegan world. So, what would other “vegans” do? I’m curious.
I mean it’s not an “end-of-the-world” decision, but it is something I give thought and concern to. If I didn’t actually wear them (use them) well, then the answer would be obvious. But I do wear them…they keep me warm and they serve a purpose.
Next, the Ugg’s. Oh my goodness, yes, I’ve seen the recent posts about the horrors of Ugg’s. Well, I haven’t read them in detail, mainly because I can tell they would be absolutely traumatic to read, but again, these Ugg’s that I own (my only pair) were bought 20 (yes, 20) years ago. My hubby (Pops) bought them for me then, when, I would spend hours and hours on Northern California beaches (with very cold feet) as he was in the water surfing. I still own and wear them. They are, in fact, in a color that few would recognize as being Ugg’s – they don’t even offer this color now, or in the past (many) years. Again, I still wear them – they keep my feet warm. I’ve taken care of them and question the ethics of getting rid of something that I would then, somehow, have to replace.
Are these the common questions of recent veganism converts?
Is it reasonable to just dispose of items you have (and use) because of your change in beliefs – even if other beliefs conflict with these (i.e. eco-friendly, minimalist, wasteful, being-green) beliefs?
I’ll admit it…I’m not perfect…never have been and most-likely never will be. I have drawn lines in the sand though….lines I believe in….especially in my vegan beliefs. I encourage others to love, care for and show compassion for other living creatures. I am not outspoken though, in fact, I strive to show others what I believe in through my actions believing if a person is aware enough to be paying attention, then they will see…. and those who are not, well, they’re probably not ready to see anyways. (The only way that seems to work for me also).
I also admit I used to be more of a “shopper”, an excessive purchaser, a frivolous spender of funds…but I strive to be more conscious, more ethical, more “green” and yes, more vegan.
Is there a place and some compassion in the vegan and eco-friendly and minimalistic world for someone like me?? Is there room to also be human and flawed?
There, I’ve confessed my sins…and shared my dilemmas….
What is my penance?
I’d love the input and comments on this….please be kind.