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Broken Moral Compass?

I was looking for a pair of Toms Shoes and I really started to order their non-vegan shoes. I don't get what's going on here. I was so excited replace my old leather wallet with a spiffy new pleather one, but I think leather on shoes is okay? For the record, I do still have leather shoes from before I went vegan (January), but since I don't have the money to replace all the shoes I've accumulated over the year I'll wear them till they fall apart. But it's like my thinking is "There's only leather on the insole, what does that matter?" I'm just feeling a little confused. I don't feel bad about buying leather shoes, but I feel bad for not feeling bad if that makes sense. I don't get me sometimes.  :-\

You're in good company.  I don't get met me either sometimes. 

Sometimes we try to talk ourselves out of our convictions, because it's easier to self-destruct.  100% of the time if we give in to that dark voice we feel bad.


Maybe your compass isn't broken: just evolving!... people aren't static entities, and what seems ok today may really bug you down the road, after you've been avoiding OTHER leather stuff for a long while & had more time to live with/ reflect on some of the reasons these other things are worth avoiding...

I used to be the world's biggest fan of exotic cheeses... now, if someone offers me cheese, it's all I can do to not rudely make a face and go 'blech!' because it seems so gross to me to eat the breast milk squeezed from a cow... ew ew ew, is how it looks to me now! Maybe leather in shoes will be sort of like that for you, in time; your feelings about leather in shoes *right now* doesn't lessen the good you're doing with your other vegan choices, nor does it mean that you'll always feel this way about this issue.

So I'd say:
* do the best you can to follow your ideals, to the degree that you can/ are satisfied with.
*don't beat yourself up too much! nobody's perfect.
*keep thinking it through, and see where you wind up!... it may not be where you started out. 



You are concerned enough about it to post, though.  I sincerely doubt your moral compass is broken.  You've made a conscious effort to eliminate animal cruelty from your life-- no small thing to downplay.  It's a gradual learning process.  I have a few leather items (whips and restraints, mostly....just kidding, all shoes) that I will continue to wear until they fall apart.  I became vegan in large part for environmental reasons.  You only have to report to yourself.  The vegan police will not track you down.  That said, I hope you ended up going with the vegan shoes  ;)


Thanks everyone for your support. I just feel confused. It really bothers me that I don't seem to get this. I keep thinking about it and ending up in the same place.


I don't have any advice, I just want to say I support you. I am also wearing my old leather shoes and boots until they wear out, and sometimes I think this is a bad idea. When I look at shoes online and they're leather, it's almost easy to say "Oh, what's one more pair?" Of course, we snap out of it and go to VW, but for me, I think it's because I have my old shoes around. I can't do anything about it, as you can't either, because replacing shoes is expensive. I think once we've been vegan longer and we start to replace those old leather shoes with more quality vegan shoes, it will be much easier to say no to leather things.


I just wanted to suggest something that works for me -

I have found that a lot of times when I'm on the fence about something it is because I don't know enough about it to make a good decision. I would recommend to learn as much as you can about leather and then see how you feel. I had this idea for a while that in the long run maybe man made materials were worse for the environment and stuff, but then I learned that leather has to be tanned and creates even more waste and pollution. Also learning about where leather comes from and how the animals are treated and that has helped me make the solid decision to stop wearing/buying leather. I've also tried to "re-sensitize" myself and when I see leather I make an effort to realize that that is actually an animal's skin! That might seem obvious, but I think it is very easy to look at it as just a product and block it out of our minds that it comes from a living sentient being.

I also recommend this podcast by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau called Leather: Not an Innocent By-Product:

I hope that helps at all!


You're not broken.  I had given up leather long, long before I gave up meat... Until that first winter on my motorcycle.  There's not a huge vegan/biker market, and at my big girl size, it was hard for me to even find leather chaps.  When I gave up the bike, I freecycled the chaps.  By not consuming meat, you're really doing a great thing.  As a knitter, I just can't break free from wool, and it doesn't bother me.

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