One of the things I like about being vegan is thinking much more about compassion and how this influences my choices. From my choice of words, written and spoken, to what I spend my money on and, of course, what I eat and wear. I realized that I often made purchases without thinking about what it took to produce it.
Take dog collars, leather ones in particular. It struck me that my assumption in the past was that these were made from cow’s hide and maybe that’s why some non-vegan dog owners were ok with purchasing them.
However, I recently learned much of the world’s ‘real’ leather comes from China. PETA reports that on a daily basis dogs are bludgeoned to death and their skins are used to make leather goods and accessories. It’s highly probable this includes dog collars and leashes.
Thinking about it more, it goes even deeper than this for me. What about the people producing the items? Are they paid a fair wage and working in safe and clean conditions. And the environment — is it considered at all? Probably not, since profit comes first in most cases.
Since I’m a vegan with two companion dogs, and I care about others and the environment, I wanted to provide compassionate alternatives. Having an existing pet accessories business made this decision easier. I decided to create a small line of vegan eco-friendly dog collars and leashes with organically grown, chemical-free and sweatshop-free materials made in the USA. Little did I know how difficult it would be to find materials whose end-to-end purity is guaranteed. Eventually I did find this in European-grown hemp webbing and a few organic cottons. [Read more…]