Vegan Deli

Vegan Deli  by Jo Stepaniak

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Raising Vegetarian Children
by Jo Stepaniak, M.S.Ed., & Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.

Raising Vegetarian Children

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Do you have questions about being vegan? Send them to Jo using this easy form. She would be happy to address your individual concerns as well as general inquiries about vegan ethics, philosophy, practical applications, and living compassionately. Jo cannot respond to questions about nutrition or answer questions that have already been addressed in the Archives

Jo will make every attempt to answer each question personally, however, due to her schedule, this may not be possible. If a reply is forthcoming, it could take up to a few weeks, so please be patient. It is also possible that your question will be answered directly in the "Ask Jo!" column rather than an individual response.

If you'd like to view previous questions Jo has answered, visit the Ask Jo! Archives.

Still in the Saddle?

question.gif - 1.4 K I've been a practicing vegan for over three months now. What I want to know is, am I still considered a vegan if I have leather products from before? I have horses -- and who uses leather products more than horse people; everything is leather. I won't buy any more, but there are no nonleather options. What should I do with what I already have? Whoever came up with putting dead cows on horses?!

answer.gif - 1.3 K The majority of people who are vegan today were not raised vegan from birth. Hence, sooner or later, most vegans need to address what to do with their old nonvegan possessions, including items made from animal hides. It could be argued that as long as vegans don't purchase any additional animal-based commodities, there is no problem with continuing to use the ones they already have. After all, there is no way to return these products to their original owners. However, as a moral issue, it's not that simple.

Often new vegans are not in an economic position to dispose of all their nonvegan items at once and purchase vegan replacements. For some people this might mean buying an entire wardrobe, a new jacket or coat, and several pairs of shoes, which could become very expensive. Frequently, new vegans simply opt to use their animal-based commodities until they wear out; then they invest in vegan products.

One problem with continuing to use nonvegan goods is that it could easily be misconstrued as inconsistent with one's beliefs and therefore disingenuous. Another troubling aspect is that wearing or using animal products, especially animal skins, gives the appearance of acceptability and approval.

To determine the best solution, two issues must be weighed: 1) are suitable vegan substitutes available, and 2) if so, are they affordable. When satisfactory vegan alternatives exist, and a vegan has the means to purchase them, then they have a moral obligation to do so. Otherwise, individuals must determine for themselves what they are capable of living with.

Some vegans find it intolerable to continue to use or wear animal-based commodities, finding them repugnant or depressing, and believe that the only proper place for them is in a tomb. Others feel that because the majority of humans will continue to use animal products for many years to come, it is offensive to treat these items like refuse, especially when there are so many indigent people who could desperately use a coat or pair of shoes and would be grateful regardless of what they were made from. Consequently, many vegans decide to donate these goods to shelters or thrift stores, choosing not to profit from them. Others give these items to nonvegan family members, friends, or coworkers. And still others may sell these items and contribute the proceeds to needy animal rights groups or nonprofit organizations. There are lots of creative and compassionate ways for vegans to eliminate animal commodities from their life while enriching the lives of others (humans and nonhumans) who might otherwise be suffering.

With regard to riding gear, you do have nonvegan choices! There are several manufacturers that make nonleather saddles (English and Western) using a fake suede-like material. Two popular ones are Thorowgood and Wintec. The saddles are lightweight and very comfortable for the horse. Nylon or polyurethane bridles, halters, lead ropes, "leathers," and girths are also readily available, as are non-wool blankets and nonleather riding boots. Virtually everything you might need for horse care and riding is available using vegan materials, and these items will be significantly less expensive.

If your local tack shop doesn't carry or cannot get these items in for you, you can order them through Horseman's General Store, a mail order catalog. They are located at 345 W. Leffel Lane, Springfield, OH 45506. Their telephone number is 1-800-343-5046 or 1-800-343-5920.




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Vegan Vittles:
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Vegan Vittles: Second Helpings by Jo Stepaniak

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The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

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The Food Allergy
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