7.08.2010

PVC or Leather? How about neither!

Recently a coworker brought up his issues with veganism (he is a vegetarian, mind you). Below I'm sharing one that I thought was useful to blog about. Many vegans their lives by blind animal-rights propaganda and that's not always the *best* option. What do you think?


Issue:
We should use PVC (or similar) instead of leather. As long as we have the McDonald's generation eating fast food, there is no shortage of leather. PVC is forever.

My reply:
I agree with you in terms of PVC. I’m a supporter of natural fibers, not plastic ones. Environmentally speaking, vegans should open their eyes to the complex relations of choices (many understand them in terms of food but don’t fully grasp the larger implications) and see that there is a third choice that involves neither plastic nor leather. Although I realize that there are instances where people need an option that is durable, impermeable, etc and in which PVC might be the more tangibly humane choice, most of us can thankfully rely on hemp and cotton for our feet. (If you're interested in learning the terrible effects of PVC production, use, AND disposal please check out Blue Vinyl--this stuff is NASTY!)

I’m aware of the many uses of leather and agree that if an animal is killed for consumption we should consume as much of it as possible. However, the cows that are used for meat in this country (or the ones raised outside of the country for food here) are not the ones that supply leather in most cases. And vice versa, the sacred cows of the Hindi people are sold across the border in Nepal, etc, to be slaughtered for leather. It makes little sense.

There are a myriad of issues that veganism brings up, but I think it’s totally healthy to think and dialogue about these things. If it weren’t for vegans, many people wouldn’t even ask these questions which are highly important in and of themselves. Vegans or not, we all have choices and we should be aware of their environmental and ethical implications all the way from production to disposal.

1 comment:

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