vegan footwear

It’s time for our May news roundup and we are going to start by talking footwear – vegan footwear to be exact. According to Footwear News, vegan footwear is on the rise due to demand from millennials, and improvements in material quality. No matter how much the quality of plastic shoes improves, they are still made from plastic, which is made from petroleum and never fully biodegrades. There are some organic alternatives making it to market, such as pineapple leather, but we still don’t know whether the production processes used to create this material are safe and sustainable.

And sustainability is a very important topic these days, in particular within the fashion industry. Unfortunately designers like Stella McCartney, who consider themselves spokespeople for sustainability, still don’t seem to understand the definition of the word. This is an interesting article on whether real or faux fur is better for the planet, this article highlights the problems with faux fur, and this one debates whether feathers are more or less ethical than fur (pictured).

We think feathers are less ethical, because fur is often used as winter clothing, whereas feathers are almost exclusively used as decoration on garments. (Down stuffing is the obvious exception.) If you are going to use animals for clothing, make sure it is for a good reason, right? That said, we’ll take feathers as decoration any day over plastic beads.

feathers in fashion
Fashionista takes a fascinating look at the history of feathers in fashion. Photo: Imaxtree.

Vegans Attack British Butcher

Things are getting heated on the animal rights front, especially for a family butcher who has come under attack from vegan animal rights activists in the UK. Activists claim to be compassionate, but we aren’t sure how graffiti and death threats towards a small, independent butcher can be considered so.

This article calls out pipeline protesters who align themselves with Greenpeace, without considering the harm that the organisation has done to the Inuit through its anti-sealing campaigns.

A topic that is close to our hearts has made a lot of headlines recently: animal rights vs. animal welfare. The headlines that caught our eye were these: “How consumers confuse animal rights with animal welfare” and “Proposed pet crackdown confused animal welfare with animal rights”. Meanwhile this piece explores the concept of conservation and how it has nothing to do with animal rights, and this one explains that consumers care about animal welfare, but they still want to eat meat and wear leather.

urban coyotes
Truth About Fur asks whether urban coyotes will change the animal rights debate. Photo: Pjwhalen [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons.

Coyotes are back in the headlines for attacking children and being the subject of poorly thought-through “management plans”. On the blog, we looked at how the urbanisation of predators, and in particular coyotes (pictured), may change city dwellers’ thoughts on trapping. And while we are talking about animals not being welcome, it’s worth reading these pieces about nutria populations skyrocketing in California, and Canadian beavers destroying South America.

saving penguins in the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve
Conservationist Finn is helping save penguins in the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve.

But let’s forget about vegan footwear and criminal activists and end this week’s roundup with some links we loved:

This author believes grass-fed beef is probably the most vegan food in the supermarket.

Demand for fur and leather in the US is forecast to reach $13 billion by 2022. Take that, activists!

Conservationist Finn, a yellow Labrador, is helping save penguins by sniffing out rabbits (pictured).

On our blog, From Donald Duck to Zootopia: 70 years of cartoon fur.

Lynx are more conversational than we thought.

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