Yesterday, I had an unexpected attack of ‘being female’ and decided to give the gym a miss in favour of shoe shopping. I can’t even explain how rare this is – as a general rule, I loathe shopping and searching for shoes…well, usually I’d prefer to stab myself in the eyes with pencils. Last night though, it was all about the shoes, so after work, I went searching. It was a bit of a weird experience actually – I’ve always tried to buy leather before as it tends to last longer – and all of a sudden I found myself deliberately seeing out synthetic alternatives.
Anyway, I found these cute little yellow numbers for $30 and thought I’d done pretty well…and then discovered today that they stink to high heaven.
Honestly, these things off-gas like a plastics factory. And I’m wondering what the right decision is for a vegetarian who is concerned about the use of plastics and their environmental effects (production, landfill, use of dwindling oil reserves), but doesn’t want to see animals being killed for food or clothing and is also aware of how damn toxic the tanning process can be.
The more I care about these things and the more research I do, the harder the decision making process on just about anything becomes. When I go to the supermarket, I’m paralysed. Which bread should I buy? Which beer is more ethical than the next? Where are my grapes grown? Does the cheese have animal rennet?
And now it’s shoes. Should I wear leather and let animals die? Or should I buy plastic and be complicit in the environmental destruction caused by the oil industry – and in the waste of a precious resource on a pair of (let’s face it, fairly throw-away quality) shoes?
Argh! I think what I need to do is try to take a step back. I need to identify the things I care most about and not stress so much about the rest. I do want to care, but I also don’t want to become some insane enviro-hippy who gets hysterical every time she buys a block of cheese. Life’s too short for that.