So, I participate in a sport that has uniforms and protection gear that contains leather. Am I no longer a vegan if I borrow or purchase the gear for this sport? I believe in practicality, a lot of vegans have to come to terms with the fact that they will need a car, of which has animal products because it is practical or ‘necessary’ to have a car. Is sport any different? I’m a vegan in every aspect and haven’t purchased a uniform yet because of my moral confusion. Note: The gear itself is expensive, and after a very enduring search online I found little to no substitutes. What I did find was expensive or very tacky compared to the original product. I would be insistent on buying second hand, from a thrift store or a fellow member of my team. Well, I have your answer right here. Veganism is a label. Nobody can grant or take it away from you. That said, to me my veganism means doing no harm to the greatest extent possible. Sometimes, it is near impossible to avoid, for instance if you need a life saving medicine that only comes and an animal ingredient. I would try your best to find vegan alternatives to whatever equipment you need for your sport (almost everything you can think of exists somewhere out there.) and if you can’t find it then try to buy used. Buying new would be an absolute last resort, and I don’t know if I’d be comfortable with that ever, as that creates demand. That’s up to you to decide.
Talk by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, given Tuesday, April 23, at the Temescal Branch of the Oakland Public Library. This is part the 2013 Oakland Veg week. Coll. . .