Making homemade vegan vegetable broth in the crockpot
Vegan substitute for eggs when baking

Can vegans wear leather? What to do with leather when going vegan?


Many people who are interested in eating a vegan diet wonder if they should give up their leather goods, keep wearing them, or if they should even call themselves a vegan if they continue to wear leather. This is something only you can decide, but here's my  take on the topic...

Veganism is a lifestyle, not just a diet. It's a lifestyle that seeks to eliminate the usage of animal products wherever practical and possible. Well, it is completely practical and possible to avoid wearing leather (or silk, wool, etc.). I would not consider those who choose to continue to wear those products to be vegan. If they are following a vegan diet, I would consider them to be plant based. There is a difference in being plant based and being vegan.

Every time you put on the leather you are sending a message to others that wearing leather is acceptable. So what do you do with your  leather goods once you decide you want to go vegan? I would suggest not putting them in the trash, because that is wasteful. But you could sell them, donate them to a shelter or thrift store, or give them away to someone. 

Vegans don't wear leather, it just doesn't fit the definition of what a vegan is. If you want to be plant based and continue to use leather that's your choice, but you are plant based, not vegan. Someone who is plant based just focuses on the diet, but someone who is vegan focuses on the lifestyle. Vegans avoid using animal products, including leather, as much as possible. One is a diet, one is a lifestyle. 

Granted, there may be times when a vegan has no choice but to wear leather (or another animal product). Perhaps this happens due to their job and work requirements or they are in a hospital, who knows. But this post is referring to when we have a choice about the materials we are going to use or wear.

As a reminder, Donald Watson coined the term "vegan," and here's the definition that was put forth years ago (bold is mine):

"...a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals."


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.