Recently on Twitter there was a Tweet that went something like this......if wearing fur is morally wrong then isn't wearing faux fur and propagating the idea of fur wearing just as wrong? This simple statement then lead naturally to the question of replacing your leather goods with pleather. And not surprisingly it lead to the questioning of the morality of eating fake meats. There is always chatter of this sort going around in the vegan community, sort of like a "how vegan are you" contest. Are you vegan enough that you don't wear clothing resembling animal skins or eat anything that's meant to resemble a hamburger? Perhaps you shouldn't even call yourself a vegan if you do. This crazy idea about which vegans are the most vegan goes on constantly.
I say, enough with the names, enough with the "I'm more vegan than you" attitude, a vegan is a vegan is a vegan. I do believe that veganism is more than a diet. I do believe that veganism is a lifestyle of awareness and compassion. I don't believe that vegans are or should be perfect. If you don't wear or eat animals or their secretions, if you don't use products that were produced through animal testing or with animal ingredients, and if your intent is to cause as little harm to animals, the environment, and yourself as possible then you are a vegan. Let's face it, if your intentions are good but you aren't a "perfect" vegan it doesn't make me any less vegan, so why should I care what you call yourself?
But I digress, now on to the issues at hand. Is it contradictory, or "unvegan" as it were, to wear faux fur and pleather and to eat meat analogs? Honestly, and maybe unpopularly, I don't think so. I've not ever been one to wear fur or even want to wear fur, so faux fur isn't really a huge draw for me. But if you like the look of fur I don't see anything wrong with wearing the faux variety (that is assuming of course your faux fur isn't made with dog fur; you can read more about that here). Pleather is hard to avoid. I mean, if you want to ever wear anything other than canvas sneakers then you pretty much don't have a choice (and canvas sneakers won't keep your feet too warm or dry in this snow and ice). As for meat analogs, I don't see the big deal. It's not meat so really, why does it matter. I mean if I'm honest, I didn't stop eating meat and wearing leather because I all of a sudden decided I didn't like the taste of a hamburger or that leather was "so last year". I don't avoid these things because I dislike them, I avoid them because I disapprove of them. They are cruel, inhumane, and absolutely unnecessary to my survival. So what if I miss the taste of a cheeseburger or like the look of a sexy pair of black knee high boots. I don't consume them and THAT'S THE POINT. Becoming vegan wasn't about thinking that cheese was the most disgusting tasting thing on the face of the Earth. As a matter of fact, I think cheese tastes pretty darn good. Becoming vegan was about becoming unselfish, it was about putting my own selfish desires aside and living my values.
So, if you want to fake it go for it. Get that faux fur trimmed coat, buy those sexy patent pleather heels, and find the tastiest, juiciest vegan burger you can find. It's your intent that counts. If fake fur, fake leather and fake meat and cheese help someone give up their more cruel counterparts we, the vegan community, should be happy about that. Any means to a less cruel society is still a means to a less cruel society.
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