So what do vegans do when it comes to washing and dressing and everything else that doesn't fall under a food category? Where do they purchase vegan clothing? Is there really that much vegan clothing available on the market? Of course there is. Because vegans do their shopping for vegan clothing at a vegan store. Like every other nitch market out there, a store for vegan clothing is a good one. A vegan store where they offer vegan clothing that is animal-free. Because you know, the vegan society doesn't just draw the line at food. It's EVERYTHING. I now know that somewhere out there in the vegan entrepreneur-verse is a vegan sweatshop that makes shoes and belts and coats out of something besides leather. I'm not sure what the ingredient is. Is it Saran Wrap? Is it tin foil? I don't think tin foil comes from a cow. All I know is there is a lot of vegan clothing that is made with...some secret ingredient that has nothing to do with animals.
Well, I did some digging and found out that many vegan factories use hemp. Hemp - in case you didn't know - is a derivative of marijuana. Which, the last time I checked was illegal. I don't know how you make a pair of pants or a hat out of dope. But I found out you can make rope out of hemp. So if you weave marijuana into a rope, then I guess you can create any number of other articles of vegan clothing out of the stuff, right? Which brings me to another point of contention: the vegan society does not endorse the consumption of any meat, but they will support the use of an illegal product to make clothing? Something doesn't smell right here and I'm not just talking about hemp. Maybe that's why they call it DOPE.
I'm sure there are other ingredients out there that are the basis of many articles of vegan clothing. But I think the more serious issue is one of being hypocritical. Either you follow the vegan doctrine across the board or you don't. You don't boycott the slaughter of animals as a food source and then look the other way because you're eating off a plate that includes animal charcoal or some other obscure ingredient to give it the right color.
Some of the vegan websites out there address this important issue by sidestepping it all together. Many sites casually mention, "just concentrate on the food aspects of veganism and don't get caught up in the small stuff". Fine with me, just don't criticize me for eating a steak and a baked potato with plenty of butter and sour cream!
I think this argument has a good side to it. Because the whole discussion about what is the basis for a lot of vegan clothing makes you think about the different ingredients in a lot of products on the market these days, not just vegan products. And any discussion that makes you think is a good thing. So a tip of the hat to the vegan society for that much. I think it's important that the vegan society is tuned in to the clothes they wear and the material that makes up such items. Again, I don't necessarily agree with it, but as long as my pants weren't made by 8 year old Venezuelan boys making a dollar a day, then I'll pretty much wear anything. Speaking of which, most vegans I think are against the "sweat shop" mentality when it comes to making clothes, so they at least get my vote for that.