Status Symbol

Leather has always been seen as a status symbol. It used to be for the rich, the people who have money to flaunt. It was something I wanted, something I thought would make me cool. I always wanted a Fossil purse, I got excited when my friend gave me a hand-me-down wallet, I was thrilled when I found a bargain on a jacket in a Value Village.

And then I saw Earthlings. And then I saw pictures posted by friends at Toronto Cow Save of skins coming out of the factory, steaming in the winter chill from being so recently on their owners. And then I saw them in person when I finally had the courage to go. The white parts of the cows hides weren’t white. They were red, almost indistinguishable from the black/brown parts they were so covered in blood.

Before I started seeing these things, I knew I wasn’t going to be buying any more leather, but I figured I’d be okay to keep using the things that I already had around the house. Mainly my moccasins. I haven’t worn them in months though. Not since Earthlings.

Then last night I went to write in my journal, something I have not done in a while, and really ought to be doing on a regular basis. I paused before I went into my room, realizing that my journal was leather… I tried to talk myself into believing that it was faux, so I’d be okay to keep using it. But I couldn’t trick myself into believing it. I wanted to though. I looked up ways to distinguish faux from real on the off chance that it actually was faux, but after smelling it; I knew. I was repulsed. Recoiled from it after that sniff, I couldn’t have it that near my face.

What a change, eh? I went from looking at leather with awe, wishing that I could have certain things that I could not afford, to being repulsed and saddened and seeing horrifying images in my mind.

But leather is still a status symbol.

It is no longer a symbol of your wealth, it is now a symbol of your character. When I see leather on the streets, I do not see people with expendable income, I see people with disconnected lives. I see people enjoying their ignorance. We all know that leather is cow skin. But we aren’t taught that leather was A COWS SKIN. We don’t acknowledge the death that took place for that jacket, wallet, purse, or pair of boots. We just want to be seen as having that cool thing that everyone wants.

So I’m aiming for a new social recognition that I’d like to be a part of. I don’t want to be seen as “cool” or “rich” or anything like that (not that I ever was anyways, but, I can’t lie: I always wanted it) anymore. I want to be seen as compassionate. And that’s not a “look”… that’s a “do.”



Illegal to Kill Cattle?

I was cruising the Criminal Code of Canada, looking to see what I could find on civil disobedience and if I could lose my spotless police-check record (which I need for my field of work) should I ever feel like being a little stubborn in a protest at some point. I didn’t find what I was looking for, because I got sidetracked by a criminal offence pertaining to cattle.

  • 444. (1) Every one commits an offence who wilfully
    • (a) kills, maims, wounds, poisons or injures cattle; or
    • (b) places poison in such a position that it may easily be consumed by cattle.

And the following offence.

  • 445. (1) Every one commits an offence who, wilfully and without lawful excuse,
    • (a) kills, maims, wounds, poisons or injures dogs, birds or animals that are not cattle and are kept for a lawful purpose; or
    • (b) places poison in such a position that it may easily be consumed by dogs, birds or animals that are not cattle and are kept for a lawful purpose.

According to section 444 of the Criminal Code, it is illegal to kill cattle. There is no mention of any exceptions (such as those found in section 287 regarding the exceptions to the legal restrictions on abortion) and if you’ve ever taken a high school law class, you know how nitty-gritty those legal folks can get with precision of language.

On the topic of language, I would like to note the given definition of cattle.


« bétail »

“cattle” means neat cattle or an animal of the bovine species by whatever technical or familiar name it is known, and includes any horse, mule, ass, pig, sheep or goat;

Upon finding this, I was surprised to see that the term cattle officially refers to other “farm” animals as well; not exclusively bovines.

So… the Criminal Code states the killing of cows, pigs, sheep, goats, horses etc as a criminal offence punishable by fine and/or imprisonment, with no exceptions listed… yet there are no slaughterhouse-busts. Apparently mind altering substances that individuals (consent to) take illegally is worth substantially more police attention than the endless number of lives being taken illegally (and without consent).


Talk to me

I’ve noticed that a number of people outside of Canada and the USA have viewed my blog, and I’m interested in hearing from you guys. From everyone really. I want to know what your experiences are, what things are like in different cities and countries. 
I want to expand my knowledge of the vegan experience, so please share some stories with me or ask me some questions. I can be reached through thethinkingherbivore@gmail.com and I’d love to hear from anyone.