“There is no morally coherent difference between fur and other animal clothing, such as leather, wool, etc., just as there is no morally coherent distinction between meat and milk or eggs.”
What do Vegans Wear?
The selection of items and analogues available for vegans to wear is so wide, it’s simply impossible to tell someone is a vegan by looking at their belt, shoes, or coat.
Some vegans will shop at specialty all-vegan stores while others order online. Either way, vegan clothing, shoes, and accessories are actually affordable and stylish. Like shopping for anything else, it’s all about finding good deals.
What’s Wrong with Wool?
The reason for avoiding leather over wool, may be more obvious to some than it is to others. However, while the practice of taking wool off a sheep does not immediately require killing, sheep are still property. This means they are bred and enslaved to be products for humans. Often they are bred genetically to grow so much skin (and therefore wool) they form folds in which insects lay eggs. Producers must then cut off these folds in a process called “mulesing.” After their “productivity” declines, they are sent to slaughter.
Leather isn’t merely a “by-product” of the beef industry. In fact, most leather doesn’t even come from the same type of cow used for beef.
Even if this were the case, it’s important, again, to think of what we do to animals not in terms of “inflicting suffering,” but their property status. If an animal is killed to create two different products, what sense does it make to say one product is a by-product of the being? Animals are killed because their dead bodies and their body parts are sold in the form of various things for profit.
Is it vegan to buy products second-hand which contain leather or wool? After all, since they already exist, one is not causing additional suffering. It’s important, again, not to think of this purely as an issue of “inflicting suffering.” Ask yourself why a vegan would even want to wear that being’s body regardless of the economic effect it has?
Being vegan means acknowledging the notion that animals are not lifeless objects which are on the planet for all of us humans to use. So regardless of the amount of suffering you think you may not be causing to an animal, is it in line with your own beliefs to wear the body parts of murdered animals?