I got a question a few days back, when I bought my vegan jacket and told of my plans to get the wallet – why do I buy these, because the leather of the wallet is already there, I’m not preventing the slaughter by continuing to use it? To that I say – bullshit. First of all, I want to call myself Vegan without hypocrisy or hoping there is no “real” vegan there who won’t call attention to my stuff that is not imitation leather. We are all using labels to identify ourselves as belonging to certain groups that are important to me. So, as Vegan is such a label for me I want to be able to describe myself as that label. Second of all – that argument that me continuing to use the gear I bought in my pre-vegan days not having a continued effect depends on one very fundamental statement – that I am not affecting the people around me. But, since I have affected at least 2 people to try the raw diet (1 person one day a week one person now trying out a week) by showing the results of this diet I am clearly affecting people. And if the health part of this affects people, there is no reason to believe that the vegan does not also speak somewhat to them. But if I then wear a leather coat, a leather wallet, a letter bel and leather shoes they are going to think – “yeah, vegan is important maybe we shouldn’t kill the animals for our diet, but there is no reason to go so far as to eliminate it from our lifestyle outside of diet, after all this really extreme guy Johan Agstam, who is sooo extreme he’s nuts (actually I’m bananas, you are nuts) still wears these stuff.
We are all affecting people whether we know it or not. A person who eats junk (even raw junk) while being a health food guru is affecting people to believe that junk food is okay as long as it’s raw. In the same fashion proclaiming a vegan lifestyle while wearing pre-vegan products affects people in a similar manner. If I am going to affect people anyways, then I rather it be in the direction that I would like them to go.