Vegan Shoes Are Sucky

I was a vegan for several years during my university years, and know numerous vegan families who're mostly into the lifestyle for ethical purposes. Which I do respect and admire. My reasons for being a vegan ran far less on the ethical side than really out of a desire to see if I could do it. See if I was up to the challenge of being a vegan, and see how my health benefited.
I’d been living in some really crowded conditions at the university and came down with an intensely uncomfortable and mysterious illness. Turned out to be scabies parasites, but I only figured that out after months of embarrassing hell over a rash that was absolutely insane. In the pre-internet days, all I had to go on to figure out why I was sick all the time, were library books! (Gasp, the horror.) So I did what research I could in the area of insane allergic looking symptoms, and came up with the idea of going vegan for a while. I was so miserable that I decided it was worth a shot.
I discovered a lot about the vegan lifestyle during that episode, discovered things I really liked about living without using any animal products, and even ventured into the world of ethical veganism to see if I could figure it all out. I learned how to make all kinds of substitutes for the normal range of dairy, egg, and meat products I was used to. Newbie vegans do that – look for substitutes. I became a substitute expert in my own right. Banana milk, fakon, tofurkey, Morningstar Farms corn dogs, I tried it all. After about a year the dramatic and oh so welcome weight loss turned into a carbohydrate hell. Once I figured out that you could use gelatin laminates in place of eggs with a Pillsbury cookie mix, it was all over but the crying. Avocados can be used in place of butter too, because the have a really kind of creamy texture and a reasonably acceptable flavor for slathering onto breads and chips. Yes, potato chips and french fries are vegan foods. As are Hershey’s chocolate syrup, Coca Cola, and nuts of any kind. So is sugar. Sugar is vegan, as are certain margarines. Cinnamon toast can be vegan donchaknow. I’m sure you get the picture. My venture into veganism turned out to be an experiment in finding out exactly how much junk food I could find that had no animal products. It’s a lot easier than you would think to come up with a really great vegan dessert.
The biggest adjustment however, was the issue of vegan shoes. For some reason the ubiquitous arguments and inquiries over my veganism always seemed to return to the heated issue of whether or not I was conforming to a “pure” veganism with my choice of footwear. Until that time, I never realized how much I really dug a great pair of leather shoes. Not until my beloved Boston style Birkenstocks came under regular fire, did I realize that I simply don’t like vegan shoes.
I’m a normal female with a freaky normal fetish for shoes. I loved those Birkenstocks, and actually I still have them in my closet even though they cork’s very worn and the rubber is separating from the rest of the shoe, and the leather might actually dry rot in a few years. But they’re not vegan shoes. I can tell you this for a fact, because it’s been pointed out to me hundreds of times. Leather shoes are not vegan shoes. Crocs are vegan shoes. Hemp rope sandals are vegan shoes. But my Birks aren’t vegan shoes, and neither are my beloved Dr Shoal’s, nor my Doc Martins, my Mudd’s, or even my Tiva’s.
End result from my experimental veganism phase: vegan junk food good, vegan shoes bad.
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