I'm a vegetarian (meat, fish, eggs, by-products), and wearing leather shoes has nothing to do with choosing not to eat meat, unless you do so specifically for ethical reasons. I don't eat meat for health reasons. It rots in your lower intestine because it's too long, it has chemicals that I can't even pronounce, and hormones that haven't been properly tested. But even if your convictions are ethical in nature, I think a couple of people mentioned that far more cows are killed for food than are used in leather goods. I remember seeing an Indian instrument called a 'Mrdanga,' I think. It's essentially a two-sided drum, but the membrane was made out of leather. Since I knew that the cow was considered the holiest of animals in India, I asked about it and got pretty much that reply. I suppose if you go into something exotic like croc skin, it's a different story since it could be argued that there you're helping to create a market, I suppose.