your heart on your sleeve!
Far from being hemp-wearing, do-gooding bean freaks, veggies
are full of animal impulses. Often slimmer than their carnivorous
counterparts, their lissom limbs are perfect for sliding
into silk-free lingerie, alluring lace, PVC or fake-leather
jackets, bondage gear and faux fur handcuffs. Be cruel and cruelty-free!
Go hell for leather
Leather is an important by-product of the
meat and dairy industry – earning nearly £600m
every year in the UK. It comes mainly from cattle and despite
the seemingly idyllic scenes of cows in fields, these only
represent a small part of the life of beef and dairy cows – both
of whom are used for leather. Beef cows are bred simply to
eat, get big and die. Dairy cows are among the most exploited
animals on the planet. Like all mammals cows only produce
milk when they have offspring, so to increase productivity
a dairy cow’s life is a constant cycle of pregnancy
and lactation. As well as this huge physical strain, the
cows suffer immense mental distress. After being allowed
to suckle her colostrum – the first milk produced by
the mother – within days of being born their calves
are taken away to maximise the amount of milk available to
humans. Female calves may follow the same fate as their mums
but many male calves, unable to produce milk and too scrawny
for beef, are killed. A ‘productive’ dairy cow
will supply 12,000 litres of milk a year – an unnatural
amount 10 times more than her calf could require. Such an
excessive burden leads to protruding pelvic and rib bones,
constant hunger and massively distended udders. The energy
dairy cows lose is so great, most only manage three lactations
before being killed.
The production of leather also has specific cruelty issues:
soft leather does not come from old cows but calves, and
the softest leather of all comes from unborn calves whose
mothers have been slaughtered; as well as the environmental
destruction of the meat industry the treatment of animal
hides is a major source of pollution in itself; people who
work in tanneries suffer from the exposure to the toxic chemicals
used; zebra, salmon, kangaroos, seals, crocodiles, snakes,
lizards, ostriches, dolphins, toads…whatever the animal,
if it’s got a skin there’s a human somewhere
who’ll want to wear it. The exotic leather market isn’t
as glamorous for the animals involved – many having
little protection and some can also be endangered.
* For more info on leather production and cruelty-free alternatives
get the Vegetarian & Vegan Foundation’s free factsheet Hell
For Leather by calling 0117 970 5190 or email email@example.com.
Also check out the More info section for leather-free
The cruelty of the fur industry is widely
reported, whether it’s from mink, racoon, chinchilla,
fox, seal, rabbit and even from dogs and cats. Eighty-five
percent of the fur industry’s skins come from animals
living captive on fur factory farms. They can hold thousands
of animals kept in crowded, filthy wire cages, develop neurotic
behaviours and become sick or wounded. Fur farmers then kill
them by breaking their necks while they are fully conscious
or by using anal or genital electrocution.
Wild animals caught for their coats don’t fare any
better: those caught in steel-jaw leghold traps are in so
much pain that some actually chew off their limbs in order
to escape. They are unable to eat, keep warm or defend themselves
against predators, so can die in many horrible ways before
the trapper arrives to kill them. Others suffer in the traps
for days until they are caught and killed. To avoid damaging
the pelt, trappers often beat animals to death.
The impact of fur on the environment is huge. Like leather,
fur is loaded with chemicals to stop it decomposing and its
production uses up many of the world’s resources.
But you don’t have to forgo fashion as faux fur is
widely available – from gorgeous coats and stoles to
sexy throws and cushion covers – and looks great (unless
of course you’d rather go naked…?!). See the More
info section for stockists.
Silk may be slinky but it comes from caterpillars
which lead anything but a sumptuous life. The silk industry
is big business: Bombyx mori silk worms are hatched in a
controlled environment – a female moth can lay up to
400 eggs at a time, which become hungry caterpillars, eating
and eating. This is following by a week of frentic activity – 300,000
figure-of-eight wiggles to enrobe itself in silken thread – before
the tranquil transformation from caterpillar to chrysalis
and then a beautiful winged moth; or at least in theory.
The majority don’t emerge from their cocoons this way,
but are immersed in boiling water, steamed, baked, electrocuted
or microwaved to kill them before they hatch to stop them
from damaging the thread as they exit. The long silken filament
is then unwound and twisted together with other strands to
create a weavable thread.
Cheaper materials such as satin are widely available and
are as attractive as silk but without the cruelty.
Nipple tassels are becoming increasingly popular and are very sexy. Most sexy shops will have fabric options, but also check out Miss Bellasis for affordable, tantalising tassels in many designs plus tips on how to twirl them!
We stock vegan condoms (minus the casein, a milk protein, which you can find
in traditional brands) in our ethical animal-free shop.
your heart on your sleeve! | Go
veggie – get
va-va-voom! | After
your own heart | Everything
but the boy/girl | How loved up are you? | More