“Who do you think those shoes were?” There’s nothing like a newly-vegan teenager to bring you back to earth when you’re trying to wear out your old leather shoes!
My daughter was referring, of course, to the animal whose skin was used to make my shoes.
It’s many years since I’ve eaten meat, but I think I’d always thought of leather as a by-product of the meat industry, so buying one pair of leather shoes every couple of years was nothing like eating a steak every night. (Although I must have thought about it somewhere in my sub-conscious, because I realised once I became vegan, that my handbags, belt and purse were all non-leather—and they weren’t nasty cheap stuff, I know I’d chosen them almost-consciously, because they weren’t leather).
What’s wrong with leather?
Of course, after finding out more about leather—watching Earthlings and listening to the Food for Thought episode ‘Leather: not an innocent by-product’—I realised that leather was actually a whole different and hideous industry. Just Google slunk leather. It’s made from the skins of calf foetuses! WTF?
Anyway, I thought my birthday last month was a great excuse to treat myself to a pair of Vegan Wares’ tailor-made microfibre boots. They make really gorgeous shoes and boots. I’ve been drooling over them for years, but for some reason I thought I couldn’t buy a pair while I wasn’t vegan…which is pretty dumb, because every pair of non-leather shoes I bought would have saved a bit of cow skin. Remember the rule: Just because you can’t do everything, don’t do nothing…or something like that.
It took me a long time to decide which ones to get—after all, I’m not going to buy a pair of these every couple of weeks. I eventually settled on a pair of Long Icicles. Of course, as I always find when I buy boots, the standard calf fitting was too small for my rather solid calves, so it was wonderful to be able to have them made especially for me!
They were finished just in time for the cold weather, so I can still wear skirts without having to wear my old leather boots (which needed replacing anyway). And it’s lovely knowing that my shoes were ‘nobody’—just a sheet of microfibre.
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