Can leather be ethical?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by ben39, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. D Yizz

    D Yizz Senior member

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    Animals taste good. After their skin has been removed, tanned and crafted into shoes, it keeps my feet warm and safe. 100% ethical.

    Mike


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  2. saiyar1

    saiyar1 Senior member

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    Guys,

    Don't you think you're being way too naive?

    There are animal farms in the US and abroad that are only focused on churning out quantity. It is depressing how the animals are treated. They physically mutilate them directly or indirectly, but either way with no regard. It's all about lowering costs.

    The only reason to buy "natural death, conflict free, humane, etc." products is to make one's self feel better. No one/thing suffers less, nor does anything change. We'd like to think things are done well and all parts of animals are used. Not true by a long shot.

    I think it's important to separate the situation:

    1) Is the fact that an animal is being killed bother you?
    2) Does it bother you that animals are treated in a disgusting, inhumane manner?


    Most analogies with nature (polar bear eats seal) address 1). The real issue is 2). Also, let's not insult each others' intelligence by saying "lions kill antelope to eat, just like I eat steak". We can reason and it's a proven fact you can live a MUCh healthier life without meat.

    Do I eat meat and wear leather? Yea, but I chose to do so. Let's not start justifying frivolously.
     
  3. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    I make sure to buy leather products made from evil cows who deserved to die.
     
  4. Mark from Plano

    Mark from Plano Lifestyle change - no homo

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    ...it's a proven fact you can live a MUCh healthier life without meat.

    Yes, but do all reasonable people agree on this point?
     
  5. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

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    Alligators,lizzard or crocodiles deserve to finish on my feet...

    End of...

    No redeeming point there...
     
  6. Sazerac

    Sazerac Senior member

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    Most analogies with nature (polar bear eats seal) address 1). The real issue is 2). Also, let's not insult each others' intelligence by saying "lions kill antelope to eat, just like I eat steak". We can reason and it's a proven fact you can live a MUCh healthier life without meat.

    Do I eat meat and wear leather? Yea, but I chose to do so. Let's not start justifying frivolously.


    Interestingly, you're wrong to say that we are drawing an analogy with nature. We are not part of nature metaphorically, but literally. The difference between 21st Century humans and, say, a jungle cat, is that we are able to emotionally sanitize our killing of animals by doing it through industrial proxies. Strictly speaking, killing animals for food and clothing requires no moral justification other than that they are tasty and useful. If you choose not to exercise your ability to make use of animals, that's your right.

    Now, we may choose to spare the lives of certain animals because they are cute or because we find the act of killing distasteful, but this is all ethical fluff deriving from our historical practices viz. cute bunnies and puppies. (Before anyone brings it up: humans have rights that make them legally [and actually] distinct from animals in this regard. This isn't a religious point by any means, but one of secular political philosophy.)
     
  7. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Interestingly, you're wrong to say that we are drawing an analogy with nature. We are not part of nature metaphorically, but literally. The difference between 21st Century humans and, say, a jungle cat, is that we are able to emotionally sanitize our killing of animals by doing it through industrial proxies. Strictly speaking, killing animals for food and clothing requires no moral justification other than that they are tasty and useful.
    Very nice! Well said. [​IMG]
     
  8. JamesX

    JamesX Senior member

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    You can kill a chicken for food. Or you can steam one alive to remove its feather and while it is still limping from the third degree burns feed it to a chopper and out comes a plastic bag containing chicken meat.

    To argue on point of natural or not natural is moot. Because nothing we do to our food really is natural anymore.

    To argue that life feeds on life is also moot. Because the problem some people have, me included, is that there are ways to end life that doesn't seem completely cruel and callous.

    I eat meat, quite fond of it however. But I don't care for some of the processes we do to feed the billions of people. Even if I am a cave man, I would like to think I would kill my chickens before I cook them - as oppose to some of the people in our day and age that would put animals in microwaves to see them blow up.

    So to me Ethic is a part of it and there are morality to it.
     
  9. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    it's a proven fact you can live a MUCh healthier life without meat.
    I don't think it's a proven fact at all...a widely accepted supposition at best. As I understand it, to be a healthy vegetarian or vegan and maintain a vigorous, active lifestyle requires more or less indenturing oneself to nutritional supplements. If I recall correctly, Larry Byrd who played for the Portland TrailBlazers some years back claimed to be a vegetarian but also admitted to taking massive doses of vitamins to maintain his energy for games. Perhaps, in our quest for self-congratulatory apotheosis, if we envision a life ensconced before the computer or the television, we will never have to worry about so exerting ourselves that energy reserves become an issue. I mean, if only because plants are so easy to catch and kill.
     
  10. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    You can kill a chicken for food. Or you can steam one alive to remove its feather and while it is still limping from the third degree burns feed it to a chopper and out comes a plastic bag containing chicken meat. To argue on point of natural or not natural is moot. Because nothing we do to our food really is natural anymore. To argue that life feeds on life is also moot. Because the problem some people have, me included, is that there are ways to end life that doesn't seem completely cruel and callous. I eat meat, quite fond of it however. But I don't care for some of the processes we do to feed the billions of people. Even if I am a cave man, I would like to think I would kill my chickens before I cook them - as oppose to some of the people in our day and age that would put animals in microwaves to see them blow up. So to me Ethic is a part of it and there are morality to it.
    I think you're assuming again. It's true that slaughterhouses are factories. But that doesn't make them cruel or callous. I wonder if you've ever been to a slaughterhouse? One of the techniques once used to kill chickens was to run a penknife up inside the beak to puncture the brainstem. Fast, efficient and with the added benefit that all the feathers would release if the technique was done properly. How would you go about killing a your own chicken? So that it wasn't "cruel and callous?" I've killed so many chickens that they've got a reward out for me. And I'm here to tell you that there's really only two ways for the homesteader, or individual to kill a chicken--you either chop off their heads or you hold the chicken by the legs and putting the thumb behind the back of the head, snap it's neck--which has the added benefit of cutting the jugular so that the chicken will bleed out in the neck skin instead of a bright fountain all over the chicken yard as it runs around like...quite literally...a chicken with its head cut off. . Now if you're anthropomorphizing...as I suspect most of more credulous among us are...neither of these prospects sound particularly appealing but that doesn't make them inhumane or unethical. Again, if you're gonna eat meat you have an ethical responsibility...real ethics not just back-patting, holier-than-thou posturing...to actually kill an animal once in a while. Maybe raise chickens or hogs or cattle...or even visit an operation that is in harmony with the land--just to see what the logistical problems are in raising animals. The trouble is that from suits to shoes to watches to meat, we want to pay the lowest price we can and have it on demand. We're a nation of cheese-parers. But just as being a vegetarian creates a dependency on industry that in and of itself is dependent on poor environmental practices and toxic wastes, so too does the willingness to eat meat without taking a very personal and intimate...ethical...responsibility to know and experience where food actually comes from, create an industry whose practices many find reprehensible. It is that attitude...that willful ignorance...more than anything else, that is responsible for the way animals are raised and treated.
     
  11. Avocat

    Avocat Senior member

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    Animal flesh--proteins and minerals--are not available in plants (not the same at all); while one can argue we eat too much red meat in western cultures, that's a different argument altogether. Moreover, scientists believe that the eating of animal flesh is what in fact is responsible for the growth of the human brain. Also, and contrary to the beliefs of vegans (who sometimes say otherwise), it's an accepted fact that monkeys, like chimpanzees for e.g., eat meat: the lead male of the tribe is in fact smarter and stronger than the rest of his "tribe" as a result of that meat. Now, not being "savages" like that chimp, we don't grab baby animals and eat them alive. I don't have anything against vegans any more than I have anything against those who don't follow kosher law. (Food rules, including the proper treatment of animals; humans have the right to use animals for legitimate human needs, like food and clothing and including hunting and trapping, but not "blood sports"--i.e., dog-fights/cock-fights/etc.) Freedom of religion and consciousness is an individual human right and I won't ram the bible down the throats of those who feel differently, provided they don't try to force their beliefs--howsoever arrived at--onto the rest of us. To each their own. Besides, steak comes from the grocery store and leather boots/shoes/coats/belts, etc. come from the retail store, don’t they? [​IMG] (Guys, might as well be arguing religion here, which views on the matter are actually backed by science on this one; I’m just saying, that’s all. Otherwise, it's a human right to choose for oneself so to each their own. This is all).
     
  12. JamesX

    JamesX Senior member

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    I wonder if you've ever been to a slaughterhouse? ... Now if you're anthropomorphizing...as I suspect most of more credulous among us are...neither of these prospects sound particularly appealing but that doesn't make them inhumane or unethical.
    I have not been to a slaughter house. I seen videos of how some of them treat chickens. Just like not all people microwave live animals, but I know 2 people from my high school who did. Ethics is not a global issue. It is applied to each and every case. If all slaughter house are efficient and doesn't inflict pain because it is cheap and easy, then there would not be animal cruelty laws. To me there is no basic difference between one animal to another. They all feel pain. We eat because we have to. It doesn't mean we should inflict pain for the sake of inflict pain. Are there people who abuse animals? Yes there are. It doesn't mean I consider killing animals to be unethical. I have seen my parents kill chicken. It is a simple slash across the throat and it runs around for a while. What I never see my parents do is to steam a chicken alive and hear it bump against the pot lid before the final silence. You seem to think because it is nature to kill then all methods of treatment and killing is fine. Because animals are meant to be eaten. To that I have to disagree. If I know a slaughter house skins and chops a cows while it is alive because the meat/hide is more better that way, then I would boycott that slaughter house. It has nothing to do with thinking animals as people. I don't believe those kind of cruelty is appropriate. I am an moderate. I eat cow. I eat pig. I eat chicken. I love leather shoes. To me it is perfectly natural. But I don't like people who inflict pain because they can. Even if it is under the guise of livestock and food providing. Sadism is not just limited to people vs people.
     
  13. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    There are no slaughterhouses that microwave chickens; there are no slaughterhouses that skin cattle while they are alive. There are only whack-jobs...like your high school friends...and foolish, ignorant individuals who have never learned to think logically and dispassionately.

    Cruelty is an innate character flaw or a cognitive dissonance--it has nothing to do with whether leather is ethical or not.
     
  14. Mr. Lee

    Mr. Lee Senior member

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    Where I am now, idn't it?
    Sure, and so is the meat.
     
  15. ben39

    ben39 Well-Known Member

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    Like I said before, I am in no way against the killing of animals for food or other such products. What I find troubling is the disconnection between what we eat and consume and where it comes from. I like a good steak, but I also like knowing that the farmer treated it right and let it grazed on grass.

    I'm just wondering if I'm contradicting myself by avoiding factory farmed steak but buying leather products.
     

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