Wednesday, October 28, 2009

unpeeled and an appeal

This will be a quick post, since it was No-Cook Wednesday. Actually, that is becoming a misnomer. Last Wednesday I didn't want to eat leftovers, like I've eaten every Wednesday for about a year, so I made my funny little pear-inspired dish. Tonight, I decided to roast my garnet yam because I knew Mister wouldn't want to share and I also knew I wouldn't be motivated to do anything with it when I was already preparing a meal. My dinner ended up being an interesting progression of "courses." While the yam was roasting away (cubed, tossed with olive oil, 30 minutes at 450, stirring once at 15 minutes), I ate the last three bites of Monday's Broccoli with Beef and had a slice of bread with Earth Balance. Then, after waiting only long enough to prevent blistering the roof of my mouth, I went for my roasted yam bits. So good!

I didn't take a picture because they really weren't that attractive. I cubed the yam too small and kind of burnt the hell out of half the pieces. But I believe my future holds many more of these happy little tubers, so maybe next time they'll be prettier. That leads me back to where I was going when I started writing - No-Cook Wednesdays are undergoing a little renovation. I have decided to devote them to all the foods I like but Mister won't eat (tempeh, eggplant, yams, squash) and all the foods I want to try that I don't think Mister will eat (primarily squash). Along the way, perhaps I will come up with some fun cooking-for-one recipes that I can make into a separate section in my imaginary cookbook and give me inspiration for any future out-of-town engagements Mister has, rather than eating cereal for dinner like I used to. I believe a new name is in order - unless anyone can suggest something better, I think we'll go with One-Serving Wednesdays.

Finally, the appeal. This wool thing is really tearing at me. I still have not decided if I think wool is "too cruel" to be worn, but I don't want to go ahead and buy a wool coat just to decide halfway through winter that I DO think it's wrong and then be stuck with a wool coat for another half-decade. Currently in my possession (between me and Mister) are two wool coats and 3 leather jackets and more than a few pairs of leather shoes. If I end up "taking the plunge" and making a lifestyle out of this October Experiment, I will not get rid of those things because I already own them. By now, I have done a decent amount of research about vegan clothing and various alternatives. I am definitely of the school of thought that there is no harm in "using up" what I have and then replacing those items with cruelty-free items when the time comes.

I did a lot of digging for wool alternatives in particular, since I did not get any follow up responses to my post yesterday and I need to resolve this for myself sooner than later. I think the time is drawing near for me to write my "reasons I am not [yet] vegan" post, because a lot of those reason are already coming out (and because October is nearly over). In any case, today's research leads me to these conclusions:

1. The reason only vegans buy vegan shoes and clothes is because they are ugly. If they are not ugly, they are far too expensive to be a realistic choice for most of us.
2. The only wool alternative mentioned by any of the dozens of sites I visited was polar fleece. Like I said yesterday, you would just about have to set the rest of my clothes on fire to convince me to wear that. It's just not my style.
3. If I see the word Hemp one more time, I might give up.

As with any paradigm/belief system, those who follow want to attract other followers and help them to see the truth they have found. Unfortunately, it's normally easier to preach to the choir than the detention hall inhabitants. I have gone to countless vegan "fashion" websites, as well as general cruelty-free lifestyle websites and discussion boards, but I see the same thing everywhere: some regurgitation of what I read on PETA's graphic Save The Sheep site. If I can't get on board with them, you won't win me to your way of thinking by telling me the same things in a different order (and not even changing the words - F for plagiarism). The other thing I see everywhere is the Gospel of Polar Fleece and Cotton. Despite all the great things about both of these materials, even the people promoting them as vegan-friendly alternatives to wool will admit that polar fleece is only really warm if you layer it with other materials and it's only wind-proof if you put a shell over it, and that most cotton garments have at some point passed through the hands of sweatshop labor...which does NOT equal cruelty-free in my book.

So my appeal is this: Can someone point me to a non-PETA referenced/based discussion on wool and alternatives to wool that won't make me look like a hippie?

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