August 24, 2005

Does This Cow Come In Any Other Colour?

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It's official. I've been brain-washed.

The darling spouse sent me an email with a photo of placemats and napkin rings which he thought sorta went with the whole minimalist vibe of our home, and which might look great in red on our black kitchen island.

My response to him was simple and to the point: "leather? Leather?! LEATHER?!?"

See, the first thing I thought when I saw them was about the cow the leather came from. Not "ooh, pretty" or "ugh, boring" no, I went past that straight into the cow's life and last hours. Was the cow treated well during it's (hopefully long) life? Did it have good living conditions? Or did it live and die in cruel and inhumane conditions?

Later that day, we had the following exchange:

DS: god are you going to have issues when I bring home leather furniture
Ms Cin: Yes, yes, I am. I'll wanna know the leather's history, whether it was a happy old cow who died peacefully.
DS: ok i'll write you a story

Here's the story (yes, honey, I edited your punctuation. It's what I do).

Once upon a time, there was a very nice cow. She lived on a huge stretch of land in northern Alberta. Every day she'd frolic and eat grass and chew her cud. As the years went by she had several little calves, all of whom would frolic and eat grass and chew cud with her.

As the years passed and her family grew, the cow was extremely satisfied, seeing the fruits of her life grow up before her eyes. Then one day, when she was very old, she went around to all of her (now grown) calves, nuzzled each one as if to say good-bye, smiled, and laid down under her favourite tree, where she closed her eyes and gently passed away.

The farmer came along, and in respect to the cow and the great cycle of nature, used every part of the animal to feed his family, and provide some income for his family. That cow became three sets of boots to keep little feet warm, two jackets to keep bodies snug against the bad weather, and a series of placemats for snobby urban people to use so they can show their friends how much high style they have. The End

DS: there - that good enough for you?
Ms Cin: Makes me all teary. I wish it were true.
DS: it is true!
DS: and meat grows on trees in little packages!

I do love the fact that he humours me.

But I'm disturbed by the stories that surface about the way animals are (mis)treated, and I feel like a hypocrite to feel the way I do about it while I continue to (among other things) eat meat, wear or use leather, and often purchase products tested on animals because the non-animal tested variety is not up to my standards. Everyday this is becoming more and more of an issue for me. I'm sure I'm not the only one - thoughts?

1 comment:

Claire said...

Hi, Michele sent me!

I can understand your thoughts and I do have them from time to time myself. And yes I do feel like a hypocrite aswell. I certainly have a lot of respect for my friend who is Vegan and sticks to it like glue!