And provide an update of sorts. Have chucked the leather sandals (one of the soles had worn out anyway), so the only non-vegan item I still wear is my knapsack. In a way I feel about it as I do the pictures of meat and other animal products on my Flickr site: it's a representation of my former non-vegan life that I'm not yet ready to discard. I've had my knapsack for over five years and liked it precisely because it was leather. Leather meant that it would last forever, age beautifully, and be waterproof. Once or twice I've had food spill inside that might have wrecked other bags, but because it was leather I simply cleaned it up and moved along. I'm reluctant to part with it not because it cost a lot of money (it was only $10 at a flea market), but it has history (I use it almost every day) and I value its beauty and functionality. While I have made a commitment to not purchase any new items that are of animal origin, and may one day be ready to pass this bag along to someone else (I do recognize and appreciate the sacrifice that was made), I'm not quite there yet.
I think what I may do instead is take a cue from what authors Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer say on page 19 in their introduction to their cookbook (highly recommended by the way) How it all Vegan!:
Becoming vegan doesn't mean you are suddenly the vegan police, so don't judge others or try to catch them doing something un-vegan. Pay attention to your own life. What kind of vegan do you want to be? Will you subscribe only to the belief that our animal friends shouldn't be eaten? Will you remove all things from your life that contain animal products? Will you reduce, reuse, and recycle everything you can so that this planet is a clean, healthy place for animals and people? We both wear leather shoes. That's because we're not just pro-animal, we're also pro-Earth. It's our belief that nothing should be wasted. We will never buy new leather products again, but will continue to use the ones we bought before we went vegan. Sarah has had the same leather belt for over eight years, and it will probably last another eight. She wants to use up her possessions rather than litter the garbage dump with discarded leather so that she can buy an animal-friendly replacement. When the time comes for a new belt, she'll opt for the vegan one. That's our personal choice. Our decision to make. What's yours?
Yes, I think I agree with them. Plus, my knapsack could also lead to an interesting discussion should people ask why I still use leather if I'm a vegan. And I do refer to myself as vegan these days, even though there are those who feel that the term vegetarian would be more accurate.
So there you have it. I think I'm finally ready to launch this baby, and will be posting weekly rather than monthly. Stay tuned for photos of food, food, and more food!