Vegan Conflicted about “Leather Culture”



“It’s not what you think,” David Davidson told The Daily Flogger, “I don’t eat meat or animal products entirely for health reasons.  It has nothing to do with politics or how animals are treated or how they feel.  My problem is somewhat different.”

Davidson has been a practicing vegan, meaning he doesn’t eat meat or any animal products at all, for nearly 20 years.

“I love leather, the smell of it, the feel of it, and the way it looks.  My issue is that I don’t believe in just using one part of the animal.  Can I really justify wearing an animal’s skin if I don’t eat the meat?”

NYU Philosophy Professor Samuel Blackthorne says “the dilemma is not unusual.  Aristotle debated something very similar in his day, except it wasn’t about animals or leather.  It was more about the way in which we construct ethical and moral systems in the context of politics and relationships.  Actually, that is something totally different, nevermind.”

Davidson told us some days it causes such a serious problem for him that he had to resort to medication.  “Some days it is Xanax.  Other days I just drink a lot of vodka.”

Blackthorne had a simple solution–let someone else eat the meat.

When presented with the option, Davidson seemed hopeful.  “I never thought of that!  I know lots of people who eat meat.  So maybe we could work something out.  But they wear too, so I am not sure it really helps.”

Blackthorne offered to take the meat off of Davidson’s hands.  “I like helping people make ethical decisions.  Plus, it is free meat and who doesn’t like free meat?”

photo credit: stevoarnold cc

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