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Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

Hi - I've been vegetarian for a year and recently have given up cheese and eggs. I also no longer buy animal products.

Here is my first question-- Can I call myslf vegan even though I still own leather boots and my 6 month old car has leather seats?


Dave Strickland

Responses (17)

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    Posted by DIN8 at 03/28/14 06:41:46

    Hi Dave,
    good question. To be honest, I tend to say no. BUT: there is no point in throwing away your leather boots or in getting rid of your car. Injustice once done can not be amended.

    When I turned vegan I kept some leather shoes I owned for a while but actually I did not wear them anymore. So I gave them away to a charity shop. I won't recommend to do that with your car, though. :)

    But here is a question: When you already turned vegetarian, why did you buy a car with leather seats at all?

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by DIN8 at 03/28/14 06:50:32

    Nevertheless, congratulations on your decision to become vegan. :)

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    Posted by outrun at 03/28/14 06:52:16

    This was before watching Earthlings. Different mindset and it was very hard to find a Chevy Cruze turbo diesel.. all I could find within a 200 mile radius had leather seats.

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    Posted by outrun at 03/28/14 07:00:38

    Another question.. I still have chickens from my farming days. They are free range, hand fed, and treated better than my kids. Is it ok to eat their eggs? I'm not going to for health reasons but I'm trying to determine if veganism is about health or ethics..... or a combination of both.

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 03/28/14 07:01:09

    Leather is another slaughterhouse product.

    But Din8 makes a good point. I avoid leather, but I still have a little kitchen knife sharpener that came in a leather sheath...that I got as a gift in 1975, just before I became a vegetarian.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by DIN8 at 03/28/14 07:32:14

    I know the problem with cars. When I bought a new car two years ago I had trouble finding one without a leather steering wheel…
    Another tricky question about the chickens: If I had chickens (which I don’t but would love to) I think I still won’t eat their eggs. But I have a friend who has pet chickens and I don’t condemn her for eating their eggs. I am vegan due to ethical reasons and from the ethical point of view there are much worse things (as long as they really are pet chickens which are treated like friends and not exploited or killed if they don’t lay any more eggs). But you really should treat your kids just as good as the chickens. :)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by outrun at 03/28/14 08:10:00

    Thank you Din8 - I do love my chickens and dogs.... but I will always love my kids
    Maybe I'll just call myself a Neo-Vegan until all my animal products are gone.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by outrun at 03/28/14 08:35:06

    I guess neo vegan is an actual term for an omnivore who eats vegan once in a while.. that's a stupid term so I won't be using that. Lol ..

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by DIN8 at 03/28/14 11:18:52

    Bellarina19 wrote in her topic she considered herself as "a vegan under construction". I like this term...

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by DIN8 at 03/28/14 11:28:40

    Aren't we all a bit under construction? :)

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 03/29/14 07:57:42


    Well said. I have trouble with the phrase you often hear, "complete my education". I'll be 72 this year, and I continue to observe, listen and read...continue to learn.

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    Posted by The Hammer at 03/30/14 02:01:43

    The moment you decide not to use any animal products anymore and try to live that way as good as is practical possible, you can call yourself a vegan. Don't let some vegans say .
    By throwing away your leather prevegan years boots, NO ANIMALS will be saved, it is just a ritualistic and dogmatic deed, almost religious in nature.
    Wear you boots until worn out or thrown them away, whatever you feel is the right thing for you.

  • StephenS's avatar
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    Posted by StephenS at 03/30/14 23:25:21

    Hey outrun - congrats on your diet/lifestyle progression. As to your question - I'm not going to make a statement either way as to whether or not it is "okay" for you to call yourself vegan - that's a personal choice. I would however recommend that while trying to eat a vegan diet (refraining from consuming all animal products) you be sure to use the "vegan" label, it is the easiest way to avoid any dietary mishaps. Whether or not your "lifestyle" has caught up with your diet or not - is really just your personal progression.
    Sure - you may meet that occasional "Vegan General" who wants to take you to task on that old pair of shoes or whatever - but those interpersonal relationships are much easier to qualify your specifics to the folks that matter to you rather than having to explain the quirks and nuances of your personal choices every time you eat out. Using the Vegan term will help you become "fully Vegan" much easier. - Cheers

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    Posted by AndyT at 04/01/14 07:10:00

    I fully agree with what was said here - if you throw away your old leather shoes, this will not help.

    Regarding the chicken/egg situation, I have heard that because the laying of an egg is quite a feat for the chicken and costs it lots of substance, some people who have chickens will break the eggs and offer them back to the chickens as food. Once the eggs are broken, they will eat them and thus recover the nutrients they lost in laying.

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 04/01/14 07:59:02

    This is why many animals eat the afterbirth (placenta, etc.).

    Humans quite likely did this at one time.

    On factory farms, of course, chickens are fed not only plant materials, but feces, urine and the corpses of other chickens, along with the antibiotics and synthetic hormones that increase profits.

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    Posted by VegansLoveLife at 04/01/14 12:00:35

    I personally feel you are a vegan as I'm in the same boat. I consider myself a dietary vegan, and though I don't go out and buy leather items, I still have items from prior to my being vegan in 2012 that I'm not getting rid of. That would just be wasteful.

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    Posted by Redheaded Vegan at 04/02/14 12:30:41

    Here's my $.02, and that is all it is. I believe you can call yourself what feels right. I, too, like the term "Vegan Under Construction." You could also say, "Mostly Plant-Based." Many of us consider veganism to be a lifestyle choice, not just a dietary choice, but not everyone feels that way.

    Personally, I think we as a community can often be too critical of folks who are trying and growing. Do what feels right for you. Bravo on learning new things and making choices you feel good about.

    As for the leather, again, what feels right to you? I think throwing things away doesn't help and is wasteful, but I wouldn't be comfortable wearing it. Perhaps donating the things you don't feel comfortable with might be the right choice for you?

    Best of luck finding your own particular balance. I applaud your conscious living!

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