HappyCow Guide
The most trusted vegetarian and vegan restaurant guide since 1999  
.
 
 
 
 
Heathen Vegans and Vegetarians
Heathen Vegans and Vegetarians - Animal Products vs. Polluting Synthetics - Discussion Forum

Animal Products vs. Polluting Synthetics
May 04, 2008 07:07AM
As a long-time pagan and a vegan I often find that I am conflicted when purchasing certain products. For example, I try to avoid buying fabrics that are made from animal products, however as someone who cares deeply for the Earth, I also try to avoid synthetics that are unhealthy for myself and the environment, and hence the animals in it as well. Unfortunately, more times than not it seems difficult to do both things at the same time. I cannot wear organic cotton and hemp all the time (though I try to when I can) since I do work in a corporate environment where formal dress is required and I live in Canada which is fairly cool for about half the year - hemp flip-flops are out for the winter months!

I would like to hear from others in this group about how they feel about animal products (leather, silk, wool) vs. synthetic products (largely petroleum-based) and why. This could get opinionated, so please try to voice your views while respecting the opinions of others. Thanks in advance! winking smiley

Best,

Sherill
Re: Animal Products vs. Polluting Synthetics
May 05, 2008 01:34PM
I think another great option is to look into recycled clothing as well as vintage. Looking at the same principles as recylcing and reusing cans, bottles, paper, etc, you can do the same with clothing. winking smiley
Re: Animal Products vs. Polluting Synthetics
May 11, 2008 06:16AM
It's a tricky situation for me. I still have and love and wear by beloved DM's and will continue to do so until they fall off my feet.

I try to buy natural and vegan whenever possible but I realise this is not always viable - especially when there's SO many products that contain either animal or synthetic materials.

Not that I buy a lot of new clothes (I'm a second hand/charity shop FREAK!) but I do get through a LOT of flip flops in the summer and they are always the cheap throw away kind that cost pennies (and are probably made in sweat shops by young kids who are paid pennies).

In fact, after reading this I'm not gonna buy cheap anymore, it's often a false economy in any case.
I'm gonna buy 2 pairs of vegan summer shoes, one for best and one for kicking about in.....Can anyone point me in the right direction of a UK online vegan shoe shop?
Re: Animal Products vs. Polluting Synthetics
May 25, 2008 02:42AM
Hello All,

I just joined the Happy Cow community and happened along this discussion. I wanted to add a great site to the list for you, in case anyone would like to check it out: www.mooshoes.com Along with the previously mentioned vegetarian-shoes.com, they have lots of great vegan products :-) Another good one is [www.TheVegetarianSite.com].

Anyway, it's great to see so many people here that share my passion for treading as lightly on the Earth as possible.

Gratitude & Love,

Heathyr
Re: Animal Products vs. Polluting Synthetics
May 16, 2008 03:30AM
I agree it's OK to wear old clothes and products that might be animal products as long as it doesn't make you too guilty that an animal got killed for that. But as long as you don't buy them products again in future - now you KNOW about animal cruelty, theres no excuse to support them, especially if your Vegan and have commited yourself to Morals. You seem like a hypocrit buying leather, wool, silk, etc again being aware. Anyway I think some of these materials made faux (faux leather, faux silk, etc) can be very very similer to the real animal skins, coats...

I would like to know more about petroleum though and why this might be a problem(?). I presume it's loaded with chemicals(?)
hmmm.... smiling smiley
Re: Animal Products vs. Polluting Synthetics
May 16, 2008 12:32PM
treehugger, my hubby got a very cool pair of hiking boots online from www.vegetarian-shoes.co.uk. Very comfy apparently but certainly not cheap!

Animal-free would be my main priority, I also won't buy any faux fur for two reasons, one, it's not always fake, I saw a horrendous documentary a while ago about cat fur being sold as fake fur because it was cheaper, nice! Reason two, is that I think the popularity of fake fur somehow makes the selling of real fur less of an issue to people. Like the real fur becomes the luxury version of the style. Just my opinion though!

I agree though, many times the animal-free versions of shoes especially are made of plastic and all manner of synthetic throw-away materials. Hopefully, if the market for animal free clothing continues to grow then more companies will start to make better quality clothing and goods.

We can hope!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/16/2008 12:33PM by halfpintpixie.
Re: Animal Products vs. Polluting Synthetics
May 19, 2008 02:18PM
halfpintpixie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Animal-free would be my main priority, I also
> won't buy any faux fur for two reasons, one, it's
> not always fake, I saw a horrendous documentary a
> while ago about cat fur being sold as fake fur
> because it was cheaper, nice! Reason two, is that
> I think the popularity of fake fur somehow makes
> the selling of real fur less of an issue to
> people. Like the real fur becomes the luxury
> version of the style. Just my opinion though!


I saw that, too....moody smiley
Re: Animal Products vs. Polluting Synthetics
May 19, 2008 09:37PM
Nice site - thanks halfpint.
YIKES!
They are expensive.....this really annoys me.....are they really that much more to produce than their leather counterparts or is it simply a case of companies jumping on the band wagon and cashing in on the "latest trend"?
Re: Animal Products vs. Polluting Synthetics
May 19, 2008 10:38PM
Hey guys - just found this site

www.alternativestores.com

GREAT prices too!

grinning smiley
Re: Animal Products vs. Polluting Synthetics
May 20, 2008 02:29AM
TREEHUGGER - Your the best!! You have the best things but don't tell anyone for ages!!
I love that site, thanks.....They are nice prices, mostly. grinning smiley
Re: Animal Products vs. Polluting Synthetics
May 23, 2008 07:06AM
treehugger, I'm afraid I'm going to have to send you a bill for my new pair of veggie docs. I ended up falling in love with a pair when I posted that link for you so I'll have to hold you responsible, hope you don't mind ;-)

They arrived today and are very comfy. They are expensive, but seem very well made and are made in the UK, not China, so I suppose higher wages etc. would play a part in the cost. And of course the obligatory "niche market" price mark-up that as vegans we see so often!

Still though, I like them smiling smiley
Re: Animal Products vs. Polluting Synthetics
May 23, 2008 09:28AM
Good for you half pint.
I'm perfectly happy to take full responsibility (does that mean I have shares in them?What size are you?)
smiling smiley-D
Re: Animal Products vs. Polluting Synthetics
May 25, 2008 08:35PM
I have this dilemma too. I don't wanna wear leather but I do not wanna wear synthetics that costed so much in enviromental health to produce. So I guess I try to stick with cotton and (maybe) cotton blends. But I do have a good quality leather belt and want to have a good quality leather jacket one day. I justify this by saying that the hide animals meat is used, but not all the meat animals hide is used.
Re: Animal Products vs. Polluting Synthetics
June 01, 2008 01:40PM
Thanks so much everyone for your comments and opinions on this! I think as a few of you have pointed out, the main thing to consider quite often is the quality of the item and how long it will last. Whether made from animal products,synthetics, or even when buying purely natural products, it's always better for the earth if the item doesn't end up in the trash after two weeks! I agree about buying recycled, vintage etc. That is also always a good option.

Darky: you said you would like to know more about petroleum and why it's a problem, so I'm going to try to explain as best I can here. Basically petroleum is what is widely referred to as 'oil'. It is what is drilled for all over the world to produce gasoline, plastics, lubricants, synthetic fertilizers, some cosmetics, and a host of other products as well. Drilling for oil is environmentally devastating and most of the products created with petroleum are just as bad. Global warming is caused in large part due to the use of oil, gas, and even the pollution from factories that create many plastic products and fertilizers. Another large problem caused by these products is water contamination. A lot of amphibians are going extinct or are being classified as endangered or threatened due to the pollution in the water in which they live caused by the use of fertilizers and other chemicals. Since every form of life on earth relies to some extent on a clean water supply, clean air and a natural habitat, I consider the petroleum industry to be the single most damaging influence to ever affect the earth and it's inhabitants, including humans. Plastics also take an incredibly long time to break down (sometimes thousands or millions of years) and when they finally do, they leach more chemicals into groundwater supplies.

That is why I don't generally buy vinyl (a form of plastic) if I can help it. Animal products are certainly horrible and as a vegan, I do my best not to buy them either, but sometimes I feel as though there are not nearly enough truly humane options out there. It often seems like a choice between cruel and crueler and I find it frustrating. I think all we can do if be aware of the issues and make a genuine effort to search for the best possible options. If we do that, at least we are doing the best we can, right? I think I can live with that for now. Hopefully someday we will live in a world where humane products are much more common and widely available!

Thanks again to everyone who contributed here. I appreciate all of your opinions on this!

Peace winking smiley

Sherill
Re: Animal Products vs. Polluting Synthetics
June 06, 2008 05:54PM
sherill Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
Hopefully someday we will
> live in a world where humane products are much
> more common and widely available!


that day is coming i think. people are becoming more enviromentaly aware. so it hopefully shouldnt be too long....
Re: Animal Products vs. Polluting Synthetics
June 02, 2008 10:51AM
Quote:
Darky: you said you would like to know more about petroleum and why it's a problem, so I'm going to try to explain as best I can here. Basically petroleum is what is widely referred to as 'oil'. It is what is drilled for all over the world to produce gasoline, plastics, lubricants, synthetic fertilizers, some cosmetics, and a host of other products as well. Drilling for oil is environmentally devastating and most of the products created with petroleum are just as bad. Global warming is caused in large part due to the use of oil, gas, and even the pollution from factories that create many plastic products and fertilizers. Another large problem caused by these products is water contamination. A lot of amphibians are going extinct or are being classified as endangered or threatened due to the pollution in the water in which they live caused by the use of fertilizers and other chemicals. Since every form of life on earth relies to some extent on a clean water supply, clean air and a natural habitat, I consider the petroleum industry to be the single most damaging influence to ever affect the earth and it's inhabitants, including humans. Plastics also take an incredibly long time to break down (sometimes thousands or millions of years) and when they finally do, they leach more chemicals into groundwater supplies.


THANKS. That was clear! Nerd
Sorry, you do not have permission to post/reply in this group's forum. You must be member first- consider joining.

 Become a Member of this group to post in this discussion.

Search all PostsSearch Group Posts

Search MembersSearch All Members

Vegetarian Shirts