Leather or Plastic?

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Leather or Plastic?

Post by Benjamingp » Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:33 pm


i have uncertainty about the issue of being vegetarian or vegan.

I have been vegetarian for about 2 years. I more and more avoid products of animals as i feel it is not loving towards them how the products are produced, but also find it a bit strange to drink cows mothers milk.
But to be even vegetarian on the full consequence i feel one have to avoid any purposeful contribution to the death of animals. So, the first thing is to not longer use leather of any kind, which is challenging since leather is used for so many things. But so far it seems to be possible to get alternatives in almost every case.

Also Downs i will avoid in future since i had a LoA event: saw a really nice coat filled with downs. The company say they would not be harming the animals and so on. But as known, it is a problem with down-production where they cannot be tracked down to its origin. So i tried the experiment. I´d buy it with the attention on events which would show me the truth about it. Done so, i wore it the first time and the material at some regions changed so that it looked like it was years old even when it is made for heavy sports and thus shouldn´t change even under heavy use. Then i knew it was not loving and from now on i will not ever buy downs again (But i will keep the coat as well as my sleeping bag as if would be not loving to destroy it now).

But: I´m not sure if the alternative, thus plastic is a really better change since it does harm the environment and thus again the animals and ourselves indirectly.

So far i prefer still plastic because the production is harming life not directly but indirectly. I guess it would be possible to produce plastics in harmony with love and truth to a certain extent, but it is a choice of the producers to be out of harmony with love. So for me it is the better choice. I would pay even high prices if i could be sure it would be produced properly from an long-term viewpoint.
There would surely be other materials which would be totally in harmony with love and truth but are not yet found or developed.

What are your feeling and experiences with that?
Benjamin Gschösser

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Re: Leather or Plastic?

Post by Courtney » Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:50 pm

Hey Benjamin,

I also would love to hear more from Jesus and Mary about the subjects you wrote about in this post as well as your other one about surfboards and ropes, etc. Even the computers we all type on for this forum are typically made from some practices and industries that aren't in alignment with love, so it'd be interesting to hear more about how all that might impact our souls. I feel like I remember a seminar from quite a few years ago where Jesus alluded to the fact that it might be hard to get past a certain sphere while living on earth because there are still things that are difficult not to take part in in any way. Hopefully I'm not misrepresenting that; I'll post it here if I find the seminar again. Overall though, my understanding right now is that it's always about making the most loving choice in a situation, and taking responsibility for educating ourselves as much as possible to learn what the most loving course of action would be. There is a saying a lot of vegans I know try to live by, which is "Just try to do the least amount of harm possible."

On this particular issue, I might be able to help illuminate based on having been vegan for a long time (which for one to be vegan by the typical definition also extends to not buying new leather, suede, down, wool, or other animal products that require killing or exploitation of animals).

My understanding is that animal agriculture (including leather production) is still more damaging to the environment than creating plastics. To raise animals for leather (or meat, dairy, etc.), the animals are forcibly bred (some would go so far as to call this rape), and typically the leather industry is supplied from baby male calves that are "leftover" from the dairy industry. In the dairy industry, female calves are constantly forcibly impregnated, and if they have a male calf, which is not useful for dairy production, those calves are usually sold to the leather industry. Additionally, often the mother cows, which have been forced to give birth so much they now can't get pregnant anymore even though they're still young, and have huge amounts of health issues by that time, are also sold to the leather industry to be slaughtered for leather. As a side note, this is one of the ways that eating dairy is typically pretty much the same as eating meat. Once in the leather factory farms, there is a massively long list of how most animals are abused and tortured before their slaughter, but whether that abuse is there or not before, obviously the slaughter of an animal is still wrong and unloving.

As far as the environmental impact, the amount of pollution--air, water, soil, etc.--that animals who are bred in huge numbers for these industries create is statistically so much higher than any other polluting practice, whether that be cars, and also creating plastic. So having all these animals bred solely for this purpose creates more environmental damage than anything else, directly. They drink a lot of water in addition to the water they pollute, which puts them high on the list of water polluting sources. Additionally, crops have to be grown to feed the animals for the time they're alive before slaughter, and a huge amount of the world's land, water, and resources goes into growing crops like alfalfa and soy that are fed directly to the animals that are bred for leather and meat and dairy, etc.--not to humans. In fact, raising lots of animals for meat, dairy, leather, etc. directly impacts certain human populations and their access to clean water, clean air, and even having enough food. Eating animal products and wearing them directly contributes to malnutrition, starvation, and disease in humans, particularly in third-world countries. It's why I have always seen being vegan not as just a question of whether we're loving to animals and the environment, but also whether we want to be loving towards other people. So again, from a purely statistics point of view, it seems globally that animal agriculture is more damaging than plastic production, and impacts more animals and people than plastic, though plastic production seems likely to be an unloving practice also.

I do have the thought if I buy shoes that are made of "all man-made materials" that I know all the production that went into it can't be totally loving. But I also feel we have to do the most loving thing we feel we can do at this point. And I think there are other ethical issues we can look at with buying vegan apparel and products, like wearing the man-made materials shoes until they literally can't be worn anymore and not throwing them out when they're no longer fashionable or look good. In the western world we have this awful throw-away culture where people get rid of things just because they're tired of them or they are a bit worn out, etc. I think there are also some non-animal materials that are better for the environment than others; ie. my understanding is cotton breaks down more easily than a plastic-based material. There are also companies making apparel out of hemp and other things that are still less harmful but better than plastic.

If you wanted to look into this a little more, there is a great documentary that came out recently called "Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret" that you might enjoy, and here are some links, too:

http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used ... led-skins/
http://gizmodo.com/how-leather-is-slowl ... 1572678618
http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used ... l-hazards/

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