You are here

Is it hypocritical for a vegan to own a leather handbag?

let's say they are a fairly new vegan, they bought this leather bag from a vintage place (so, it's not directly benefiting the people who made it)
would it be hypocritical for them to keep it, but not wear it?

Why would you keep it if you are not going to use it?

Everyone transitioning into veganism has animal products from the past--it's just inevitable. I think if you have things like leather and what not you should either use it until it is no longer useful or donate it/give it away to someone that can use it.

Really, in the long run--this is a decision you have to make for yourself--there will always be someone out there who will want to be critical of your choices and will look for the smallest thing to say "Aha! you're a hypocrit, or a freak, or whatever..." If you are comfortable buying products second hand and using them--then in my opinion you are using a resouce that might otherwise be wasted, but another person might disagree and say that even buying second had contributes to the problem. There's no rule book or squad of vegan police--if it feels wrong to you then it probably is.

Good luck with your moral quandry!

:)>>>

0 likes

I have a few purses and pairs of shoes left in my "collection" that are leather....I don't wear them, but for some reason I have a hard time parting with them...
Every time my sister comes over, I try to pawn them off on her...and she's gotten quite a lot from me....but the shoes are too big for her...I have massive feet....
I really should just give them to Goodwill...I guess I'm lazy...

But to answer your question, in my personal opinion, if you like the purse, use it until it falls apart or you find another one you like...just don't buy any new leather products.

0 likes

OK, let me make sure I am getting the facts straight:

The person bought it from a company that didn't produce the bag themselves but procured it from somewhere else, correct?

First of all, we do not know that the original producer does not benefit.  Presumably, the vintage shop had to buy the bag from someone, who bought it from someone, who bought it from the original producer.  And even if the bag were given away by someone to the vintage shop for free, how does that make a difference?  No, the person is not putting money into the pocket of the original producer.  But she is still using a cow's skin to carry her belongings.  This person is also helping the leather industry, albeit from the other end.  I would assume that if this person is vegan for ethical reasons, she would be opposed to this.

If someone set up shop and started raising and slaughtering sheep and giving away Ugg boots for free (or giving them to someone else who sold them), would this vegan take some because the producer doesn't directly benefit?  I highly doubt it, and I do not see how this is different.  It doesn't matter what the supply chain is--leather is still leather is still leather. 

Also, I think the person should give away the bag if she is not going to wear it, but that's just because someone else could use it, and it's going to waste, rotting away (literally!) in her closet.  Give it to someone who wants to use it!

0 likes

OK, let me make sure I am getting the facts straight:

The person bought it from a company that didn't produce the bag themselves but procured it from somewhere else, correct?

First of all, we do not know that the original producer does not benefit.  Presumably, the vintage shop had to buy the bag from someone, who bought it from someone, who bought it from the original producer.  And even if the bag were given away by someone to the vintage shop for free, how does that make a difference?  No, the person is not putting money into the pocket of the original producer.  But she is still using a cow's skin to carry her belongings.  This person is also helping the leather industry, albeit from the other end.  I would assume that if this person is vegan for ethical reasons, she would be opposed to this.

If someone set up shop and started raising and slaughtering sheep and giving away Ugg boots for free (or giving them to someone else who sold them), would this vegan take some because the producer doesn't directly benefit?  I highly doubt it, and I do not see how this is different.  It doesn't matter what the supply chain is--leather is still leather is still leather. 

Also, I think the person should give away the bag if she is not going to wear it, but that's just because someone else could use it, and it's going to waste, rotting away (literally!) in her closet.  Give it to someone who wants to use it!

This is the arguement I agree with, however the answer I am giving is that you need to make this decision yourself.

The Christmas before turning vegan (I smell a seasonal Hallmark film!) my wife gave me a (what I considered then) an awesome leather jacket. I loved it. That spring we went vegan, and when the the cold weather started to rear its head, I found that I could not wear the jacket.

So I fessed up to the wife, who was less offended than I thought she'd be. However, she said that she didn't want it going to waste, so she was going to wear it. Far be it from me to critisize.

No, four years later, she has decided that she doesn't feel right wearing it anymore. Even though she goes on frequent vegan "breaks" (the call of cheese is too strong for her), the wearing of an animal has become more and more of a yucky thought...

The point of my story being: Do what you feel is best. It may be that you just need time to adjust to the idea of life without leather. Or not.

0 likes

it totally is...animal is animal...right? if you wouldnt eat it why wear it? plus if you have to ask you will feel soooo guilty everytime you  use it :'(

0 likes

What if you were really hungry for meat (how else do you get protein) and it was roadkill?

Mmm, mmm good.
http://pastorsteveweaver.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/roadkill.jpg

0 likes

Good question.  I vote yes.  I think it is hipporcritical.  Even if no animal was harmed because you bought it 2nd hand because of the statement it makes to people you say "I'm a vegan" to.  Veganism is not about what you eat, it's a lifestyle. 

Note.  I'm not a vegan myself, just chiming in on how it looks to others.

0 likes

I agree with veganfilmjunkie.  If you already have the bag you may as well use it until it falls apart or give it to someone else to use, and just don't buy any more leather products in the future.  If someone judges you for having a leather bag you can explain your reasons, or not.

0 likes

I do think its your choice, but recently I ran into this kind of mindset:

I could never bring myself to buy leather or any animal product even in thrift stores.  Wearing it sort of keeps it in style, and if people keep wearing it, there will constantly be 'new' products given to thrift stores to be considered fair game..

I wonder if that's understandable?

0 likes

Carry a beef jerkey purse.  If you run out of money you can always eat the wallet.  If you only eat the small wallet and not the whole handbag it must still be vegan, because it was only a little meat.

http://www.chroniclebooks.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/meat_11.jpg

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.urlesque.com/media/2008/12/jerkywallet.jpg

0 likes

ummm...haha yeah I mean I wouldnt eat cotton too but...I'm talking about a vegan and their relationship with animals...key word there is animal right? we werent talking about whether she should feel guilty because she doesnt eat cotton and didnt know if she should wear it. It is totally a life style, and though the animal wasnt FRESHLY killed for their skin the animal was killed for their skin...period, it is an animal, and most vegans i know um dont wear animals

0 likes

I do think its your choice, but recently I ran into this kind of mindset:

I could never bring myself to buy leather or any animal product even in thrift stores.  Wearing it sort of keeps it in style, and if people keep wearing it, there will constantly be 'new' products given to thrift stores to be considered fair game..

I wonder if that's understandable?

so do you not wear fake leathery things like shoes, belts, or purses?  if the image keeps it in style?

i personally wouldnt use the leather purse, id feel weird about it.  i don't purchase any wool or leather now that im vegan - not even from 2nd hand stores or if someone offered it for free (which happened today actually).  although i do wear stuff that looks like leather but is fake.

0 likes
0 likes

It is totally a life style, and though the animal wasnt FRESHLY killed for their skin the animal was killed for their skin...period, it is an animal...

Exactly.  I agree with this.  There is no loophole.  We can only distance ourselves from the original act of cruelty.

I could never bring myself to buy leather or any animal product even in thrift stores.  Wearing it sort of keeps it in style, and if people keep wearing it, there will constantly be 'new' products given to thrift stores to be considered fair game..

I wonder if that's understandable?

so do you not wear fake leathery things like shoes, belts, or purses?  if the image keeps it in style?

I can see it both ways.  I just bought a super cute leather-esque bag and I'm very excited about it.  People who know me know I'm vegan, and that it isn't leather.  And I can tell them where I got it.  So in that way I can be an example of still being cute without having to use animal products.  People who don't know me, on the other hand--Jane Shmoe on the street--probably wouldn't give it a second thought, because they don't know I'm vegan.  

But if I go around with my vintage leather handbag, it sends (1) a confusing message about veganism to those who know I am vegan and (2) the message that vintage leather is cool.  Which isn't really a message that I want to send.  There can't be secondhand leather without "firsthand" leather, so to speak.  Period.

0 likes

Was that photo really necessary, hh?  I think we all know where to find information about the leather industry without having that imagery show up here unexpectedly.  I could have done without seeing that today.  If you think someone needs more info about leather then maybe you could just direct them to an appropriate source.

0 likes

It was.  This is a controversial subject, which, obviously, there are multiple points of view about, and yet, when people disagree there are posts like: I think some people are being kind of harsh.  No, it's not harsh, it's a different point of view.  Really, this is just about people who want to justify things.  Fine.  Justify.  Just don't expect me to get all kumbaya.

0 likes

It was.  This is a controversial subject, which, obviously, there are multiple points of view about, and yet, when people disagree there are posts like: I think some people are being kind of harsh.  No, it's not harsh, it's a different point of view.  Really, this is just about people who want to justify things.  Fine.  Justify.  Just don't expect me to get all kumbaya.

Oh, you know I agree with this!  I am not one to sing Kumbaya either.  Yes, it is hypocritical and an example of trying to justify (finding a loophole, like I said before) things which are contrary to one's beliefs.  I just opened the thread and was like, hey ooooooh, dead cow.   :o  :'(

To the OP, I think what this person (you didn't say it was you, so I don't know) needs to do is think about why she is vegan, and why she is opposed to leather, specifically.  Then think about why she had to ask this question to begin with.  Then make a conclusion.  We are a bunch of shmucks on a message board and can't give this person a free clean-conscience pass.  Only that person can (or can decide not to).  

0 likes

I know you agree with this.  You weren't kubaya.  I just don't understand what people are looking for.  Validation for using leather?  On a vegan board?  *sigh*

0 likes

I know you agree with this.  You weren't kubaya.  I just don't understand what people are looking for.  Validation for using leather?  On a vegan board?  *sigh*

Word.

0 likes

I'm not trying to sound like a moron, but would it be bad of me to keep the bag and not wear it? I got it pre-vegan and I really like color. I know I will have to give it away, eventually. But, if I keep it in the back of my closet, is it hypocritical?

0 likes

Pages

Log in or register to post comments

More Posts Like This