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Is it Vegan to Wear Second Hand Leather, Wool, or Silk?

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A dilemma a lot of new vegans grapple with is what to do with all the animal-derived products they have from their pre-vegan days — leather shoes, wool sweaters, down-filled pillows, etc. — and a question a lot of people ask is “is it vegan to wear / buy second hand leather, wool, silk, etc.

In both cases, the harm has been done, right? So, where’s the dilemma? In today’s episode, I parse out all the arguments for and against wearing previously owned or second hand animal products, including:

  • being vegan means not wearing any animal products at all, so you can’t be vegan and do so.
  • even wearing second hand leather [fill-in-the-blank animal product] is giving tacit approval that it’s okay to kill animals for our pleasure / for fashion.
  • second hand leather is more environmentally friendly than new synthetic leather.
  • it’s wasteful to get rid of something that is in good condition, especially since there’s no harm done at this point.
  • it’s just unnerving to wear animal products once you realize the animal cruelty behind them.

All this and more in today’s episode!


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Hello, and welcome. I’m Colleen, aka The Joyful Vegan, and I’m here to give you the tools and resources you need to eat, cook, travel, and live compassionately and healthfully. 

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