Oh, Bobby Z. You always do it for me.
Did you know that I'm a bit of a moron? Maybe I'm one of those geniuses that is so busy being smart that I make really stupid mistakes in real life all the time...no? Well, it was worth a shot.
I like getting called out on my own bullshit. I really do. A lot of people tend to be a bit intimidated by me (lousy pseudo-confidence...) and since I'm a master arguer (watch out law school?), people rarely confront me, so when a friend of mine asked me why I was rewarding my vegan lifestyle with a pair of leather boots it kind of threw me for a loop. Not because I didn't want to be called out on it, but because I felt like such an idiot for not making the connection. I mean, sure, I know leather comes from animals, but I didn't know it in the same way I know about meat. Kind of like how I just figured out vegetables a week ago. It's a learning curve here, people.
It's not that I don't care, it's just that I don't think beyond the surface a lot of the time. So I think, "ooh, cute boots!" or, "pretty purse!" and leave it at that. Because it's not gross and raw and fleshy, it's easy for me to forget (especially when it's out there on the interwebs, not smelling/feeling like leather) that some poor moo cow got shot in the face to make my vest (what, you don't don leather vests?)
In all seriousness, I hadn't considered the leather question. I haven't considered a lot of vegan lifestyle questions, as I've been so focused on the diet aspect of it all. Yes, it was Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals that put me over the edge, but, ultimately I'm doing it to lose weight. I can't be a vegetarian or responsible omnivore and eat the way I know I should. I'd like to indulge in a little goat cheese or ice cream or pizza now and again, but when I eat those things, I like to do it in mass quantities. So, veganism provides me with enough strict guidelines that I end up making healthy choices by default.
I'm not a perfect vegan. I ate ham at Christmas (confession!), but I felt really guilty the entire time. I also had a bite of Vegs' Big Mac a few weeks ago (it was awesome), but something has switched over in me that won't let me eat meat without it being morally problematic (plus it gives me a gut-ache. Could just be my conscience, though). I suppose the rest of my life will gradually switch over as well. Will it last forever? Who knows. Maybe after I eat healthily for a long time I'll want to add eggs or dairy back in. Maybe I'll want a steak. I just know that right now I feel really good about what I'm eating, in every instance, and I've never been able to say that before.
Basically, I'm glad I got thrown into having to think about all of this. Not being in school has thrown me a bit, and I've stopped thinking about things as much as I might have in the past, stopped letting myself be challenged, stopped searching for more answers. I like not knowing right now.