I have a question about a certain purchasing scenario that I am uncertain is appropriate in a consistently vegan lifestyle. I am faithfully vegan for a full year now--no dairy, no eggs, no gelatin, no leather, no wool, no honey, down to the detail as best as I can. Even if I am unsure of the material of a product, I don't buy it. I do this due to my personal lifestyle preferences and my desire to be dedicated to animals in the most earnest way I can. I am not trying to impress anybody or be better than anyone else.
I am curious now about the implication of buying secondhand clothing that includes animal materials from places like Goodwill or other used clothing stores. Obviously the element of patronizing companies that inflict the abuse on animals is removed. I am concerned about whether it is still inappropriate, just due to the symbolization--the knowledge that I am wearing remnants of an animal who was probably brutally mistreated and who is probably no longer living. I tried imaging the analogous situation of wearing a coat of my deceased dog's fur. Is it disrespectful? Is it grotesque? Additionally, is it hypocritical? When we wear t-shirts with logos on it for example, we are essentially advertising the company to those who view our attire. Even if I did not purchase the item from the producer, am I advertising the item to those who view it and might like it? Is this acceptable if I am a person who verbally discourages the purchase of such materials when asked of my views?
I ask because my mother has a long wool coat that she no longer fits that she thinks looks spectacular on me and offered to hand it down to me. I know the purchasing has already been done by my mother, but I wore it that first day with a recurring and heavy feeling of guilt, as though I was disrespecting the sheep/lamb who produced the material. I am unsure if I am just being overly sensitive and ridiculous or if there is actual merit to the perception of wearing the coat as inappropriate, being a dedicated vegan. Please share your thoughts, but please don't make fun of me if you don't understand my reservations. This is a serious concern of mine and I am seeking other viewpoints, not ridicule. Thank you!
Posted by ForestNymph at 12/24/17 07:06:16This is really up to individual ethics. PETA tells people to give their old fur coats to the homeless (rather than burning them or trashing them) so they see the value of "second hand" being used to help the poor. I agree with this view and see no problem with a low-income person or college student wearing a second-hand wool sweater or coat or getting a pair of leather winter boots from the thrift store. When I went vegan I gave my shelf-stable foods which had dairy in them to a food bank.
But some people say no. It's really up to you.