The Dirty V: Feeling Sheepish

Just chilling at my friend’s apartment the other night, he comes out of his kitchen thoughtful. After a moment, he blurts out, “I think I’m going to start wearing wool.” He considers his words. I consider his words. Wool is not really all that textbook vegan.

This comes as I’m trying to find a non-wool/down/leather/fur winter coat. His logic: it’s cold and wool keeps you warm. “You gonna take a bite out of a cow next?” I joked…sort of.

There seems to be an all or nothing mystique surrounding veganism, though; a demand for a strict adherence to a codified list of restrictions (a reason I don’t consider myself vegan).

We headed out to Vegan Drinks where we met Tiffany, visiting from Kansas City. She was having the same predicament as myself. Luckily for her, she’d run into and had lunch with Victoria Moran who told her about Vaute Couture, a line of eco-conscious outwear designed by Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart. (I’m a little jealous that Moran’s VC coat had a hood. They’re a big investment and if I ever made it, I’d want one with a hood.)

As I talk to more and more self-described “vegans,” I do realize the strive for perfection is bit of a fallacy or maybe a mistake of the outsider (myself). In Eating Animals, Jonathan Safran Foer puts it something like, there are beliefs we go to sleep with and choices we make in the morning. There’s also the justifications for those choices, like ‘it’s cold and wool is warm’ or ‘I need leather boots for work.’

Hearing the justifications for the exceptions (internally, as well), I wonder if perfection is really possible at present…or ever. It’s not agreed upon. While I’ve encountered some who believe themselves to be 100% vegan, even PETA gives the 99% exception.

So why do I care about finding a coat without wool or down if I’m not actually vegan? Well, I’m stubborn. Really, it’s become a quest because I like to know if there’s a reasonable option out there for someone who doesn’t want to or even just can’t use a particular material.


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