@DWFII - don't you think cows deserves the right to live outdoor on grass fields and to be slaughtered in the least painful way?
Regarding sheeps getting a haircut, watch this https://youtu.be/N7nKvgaMEaU
When I talked about pillar of morality what I meant was really the only way to do it is go to the distant monastery (in my case some Eastern Orthodox one :-) ), grow a beard and sleep on straw. That is the only way not to cause any suffering or harm to any human, animal or nature. Apart from that, life is suffering, and deal with it by causing as little suffering as possible by having meaningful interests in life, and not overeating, overspending etc. Budism is associated with this thinking, but even Greek and Roman stoics new this very well, and it made it into all the major religions.
To the particular theme, the problem is we are spending too much. Western man, 100 years ago, had maybe 4-5 pair of shoes IN HIS LIFETIME, and 4-5 suits IN HIS LIFETIME (maybe even much less). They were made by his fellow humans who didn't need to produce 1000s of pairs of shoes a day in order to survive. We also ate less meat, and less processed meat. When I walk into restaurants today, I am disgusted at the size of a stake. Who would want to eat all that? No one seams to be preparing own food anymore... And so on.
I had grandparents on farm with whom I spent summers with. very small farm, up to 10 milking cows, 100 sheep, some pigs and chicken. My grandpa used to slaughter animals himself for food, what's left was sold as a live stock. My grandma used to "haircut" sheep. I never thought of turning vegan or anything, on contrary, but it gave me great appreciation for nature.
The videos of those poor sheep, or videos of cow farming.. It is heartbreaking but is good for everyone to educate him self, @tomford , but the point is - there is middle ground here:
- Know where your food and other goods come from,
- Do not consume more then you need,
- Buy quality that will last, preferably from craftsmen that put their on hands to work.
I don't think any people have entirely consistent ethical systems. Some things feel right to us and others don't feel right to us. If we try to be overly rational and consistent, I think we get some unsatisfactory results. Ethics have to be on a case-by-case basis to accommodate all the complexity of the world. One thought exercise I have heard in various forms is as follows: You are standing on a bridge watching a streetcar racing at great speed toward a crowd of people who will surely be killed if nothing is done. Your only option for stopping the streetcar is to grab the baby out of the arms of the woman next to you and throw it (to its death) at some lever to switch the streetcar on to another track. You can't throw the mother that far; you can't jump and hit the lever. There is nothing else close enough at hand and of the right size for the job. Do you feel good using the baby to save 10, 20, or more lives?
Some people may just feel wrong about wearing leather products, even if they are doing other things are ultimately more harmful to animals. Sometimes it has to do with how directly they are linked to something. The animals suffering due to the petroleum industry may just feel more removed than the ones whose former skins are on their feet.
The inconsistency in people's ethical systems (mine included, of course) are just one of the many reasons why one should try to avoid judging others or feeling righteous above others. However, this is not to say that we shouldn't do whatever it takes to stop people who are directly and obviously hurting us or other people. Whether we judge pedophiles or not, we certainly need to make sure we do what it takes to stop them from continuing to hurt children.
Do I care more about harm to people than to animals? YES. I am a person, I care more about people. It's a bias. I am happy with it. That said, I ALSO CARE A LOT about the welfare and suffering of animals. I think it's okay to kill and eat them, generally, but one should do it in as HUMANE a way as reasonably possible. Furthermore, though I don't actually hunt, I feel that all people who eat meat should theoretically be willing to slaughter any of the animals they are going to consume. If you eat cows, you can't get away with just being willing to kill a fish or a chicken. In practice, I just don't have any convenient opportunity for this, myself, but I swear I would do it.
I also want to say something regarding the story of the vegan who wouldn't kill the kitten he left suffering. Although I make a difference in my ethical system between people and animals, I do find it interesting what we consider a kindness for a beloved pet that is clearly suffering and near death, versus a beloved relative in a similar circumstance.
Edit: Ignore the following, as I didn't see the link in a previous post that already mentioned it:
****** Another option for ethically-sourced material to make shoes would be to pay people to let you use their hides after they died. As long as they consented to the
****** transaction without compulsion, what would be the problem? :-)
I have been a vegetarian for 1,5 years now and have recently started to think about making more vegan choices in clothing, such as leather shoes.
I am a huge fan of high quality, classic leather shoes like Vass, Crockett and Jones etc. and I wear a suit almost everyday, it would be a shame to spoil my appearance with cheap looking shoes. I haven´t yet found any faux leather shoes in the classic gentleman style.
Is there anyone who have any experience of high quality artificial/faux leather in this forum? Anyone knows anything about the fabric "Lorica" ?
Looking back at the original post, I really don't see anything that makes me feel tomford was trying to pick any fights. He stated his preferences and asked a straightforward question. He didn't criticize anybody for making, buying, or wearing leather products. He didn't post his question in a forum specifically dedicated to leather products; he posted it in a forum dedicated to style and fashion. He even stated he was a "huge fan of high quality, classic leather shoes." He doesn't sound like he is even remotely implying a negative judgment of people who enjoy leather products.
The fact that some vegans and vegetarians express tremendous criticism of the choices other people make, doesn't mean that the original post contains any of that. The original post doesn't look like somebody trying to proselytize for veganism or the PETA cause. What member of PETA is going to state he is a "huge fan" of products made from parts of animals?
If this were a forum dedicated to fine dining, would we criticize a Jew or a Muslim for asking about non-pork recipes based on his faith? Now, if a Jew or Muslim asked that on a forum dedicated to pork products, that would be another matter.
I think it is reasonable on a forum like this to broaden the discussion to how different products actually affect animal welfare. It is reasonable to tell him you don't think there is any such thing as "high quality/faux leather" footwear. I don't think it's especially decent to attack him, as he was, for his initial post. To quote a classic of 1980's cinema, tomford wasn't the one who "drew first blood."
I am glad some people provided him with some credible, if not wonderful, possibilities.
I don't feel the field of ethics is fundamentally a matter of reason, but rather a matter of rationalizations for feelings and opinions people have. Nobody wins ethical arguments or debates. The debate on pro-life versus pro-choice doesn't seem to go anywhere. The debate between Darwinism and Creationism isn't going anywhere, either. If people share some values, discussion and sharing of perspectives can be worthwhile. However, there isn't any gain to be had from debating ethics with people who have decidedly different values. I have nothing to say to members of ISIS. I just want them dead.
I eat red meat and wear leather products. I am happy to have people raise cattle and/or hunt game responsibly. I have enjoyed elk meat that was obtained by a hunter in my extended family. As I said in a previous post, people who use or consume animal products should be willing to "own" the act of killing these animals. Though it is obviously a vague position, easily-avoidable abuse of animals should be avoided.
With regard to faux leather footwear, I don't plan to be buying any in the near future. I also don't think high-end faux leather footwear is any threat to traditional leather footwear. The threat to traditional leather footwear comes from cheap leather footwear and cheap footwear, in general. While some vegans may not want to wear footwear that even remotely resembles leather, the original post apparently doesn't feel that way. There is nothing offensive to me in a man wanting nice-looking faux leather footwear. If it troubles you greatly, I suggest you consider dedicating more of your time to combating violent crime, ISIS, or the destruction of the environment, for example. That is just my opinion.
It is also my opinion, as a newbie here, that we should all make greater efforts to treat one another with respect and tolerance. Hatred isn't stylish.