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Completing the transformation

March 14th, 2005

There was no house cleaning of old animal un-friendly products when I became a Vegetarian. No ritualistic ceremony to cleanse myself of all past wrongs committed against animals. No, I’m not an evangelizing vegetarian, I’m not an asshole about others lack of morals. I was much more subdued about becoming a vegetarian. It probably helped that most of my close friends and co-workers at the time were already or became vegetarians along with me at the time.

I did not cut all animal based products out of my life: I ate eggs and drank milk (and aside from a shot time when I drank Soya and ate no cheese or eggs I still partake of milk products and eggs. Because it is simply too hard not to unless you live across the street from a Whole Foods [wholefoods.com] — which I did for a time, but now I’m just making excuses,) I had leather good; gloves, a coat, wallet, etc. and over the year I have continued to accumulate leather goods. Both goods I purchased and goods that were given to me.

Last summer I re-read Animal Liberation [amazon.com]. It was the first time I have re-read the ‘book that started it all’ since I became a vegetarian. Just afterwards I read Fast Food Nation [amazon.com] which may sound like it has nothing to do with animal rights, utilitarian ethics or being a vegetarian but if you suspect that I suspect you have not read Fast Food Nation. After reading these two books and thinking about it for a while I decided that I would make a concerted effort to replace all my leather goods (not ready to call a 100% moratorium on eggs and dairy yet — thought soy milk is easy to get over here so we’ll see, protein might be hard to come buy with out some dairy)

I started my long delayed house cleaning some time ago. I purchased a new totally synthetic wallet from The Wallet Shop [thewalletshop.com] here in Singapore where I also purchased a business card holder — now I just need to replace my passport/travel wallet anyone got any leads? I also went ahead and replaced my leather dress shoes and my Birkenstocks with new ones from Moo Shoes [mooshoes.com]. I replaced my light leather jacket (which I bought in Italy only a few years ago — bad, bad, vegetarian!) with a black PVC one from the Human Rights Campaign, and it only cost me $5.00! Non-leather goods tend to be cheaper that the ‘real’ thing.

I guess now I can count myself as a good vegetarian, thought not a vegan (still debating that egg and dairy thing.) I still have some leather in my possession — the handle on my otherwise nylon business bag is leather. So maybe the transformation is not yet totally complete but I’m much closer to being leather, and wool, free than I was a few months ago. Now if I could just convince my girlfriend to give up those high priced leather purses and handbags!

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