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.
At first I was a little bit disappointed about the choice of webbing available. Hemp didn’t seem that hip or exciting to me but it got me thinking. What is my definition of hip anyway? Surely non animal, organic, vegan dye, eco-friendly, sweatshop-free, and made locally have got to be hipper than most alternatives currently on the market. In the short time since launch we’ve received orders from the USA, Canada, UK and Australia. Featured in the photo is Roo from San Francisco who looks great in his organic bandana. It turns out hemp is hip after all!
Dogs are compassionate by nature and as my dogs’ guardian, I love knowing that Noodle and Pebble are kept safe with collars and leashes they would choose. They invite you to check out our vegan organic dog collars, leashes, bandanas and bowties for your dog. For every purchase made we donate a writeable ID tag to a rescue. This means a foster pet receives personalized ID to keep them safe until they find their forever home. It’s a great way to love and protect more animals.
Bren Hamilton, VLCE, is a certified vegan lifestyle coach, transformational coach and Nia teacher. Currently she’s studying to be a Reiki Master working with animals and people. She makes custom vegan dog collars and accessories. The new product line, guaranteed eco-friendly as well as vegan, is growing and more collars and colors of hemp webbing will be available this season. You can find these at www.vegandogcollars.com and www.petblessings.com.