by , 01/14/07

Vegan Fashion, Stella McCartney, New York Times

The vegan debate is back!
We’ve been covering the vegan fashion tip for awhile now – hoping to convince more environmentalists to go vegan, and more vegans to go green – and it seems the Times has picked up this concern in a recent article about vegan fashion called Uncruel Beauty >

The article is interesting in that it conflates veganism and environmentalism – and in our experience – often these two groups don’t always overlap. In fact, most of the “environmentalists” we know are meat-eaters, which has always seemed a bit odd..

I actually sort of like the fact that the NY Times article conflates the issues, because, in my opinion, these two issues need more conflating. As the agro-industrial meat industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters, more people (especially environmentalists) need to realize that veganism is not just about animal cruelty or health – but ultimately about our values and the future of our planet.

+ Uncruel Beauty

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  1. royal March 7, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Amen, ari.

  2. ari January 18, 2007 at 1:36 am

    i think the best and least contentious way to work out what the best things to eat and wear are for the environment is to go for whatever has the lowest embodied energy, water and land use. any product that uses only a minimal amount of energy, water and land in its production will necessarily be better for the planet, and thus all of the animals and humans on it.

  3. CaraRose January 15, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    It’s always great to see this shizzz in the times….
    but what they neglected to mention is that the manufactoring of these synthetic, “vegan friendly” materials is often quite detrimental to the environment.
    In terms of our atmosphere, vegtable tanned leather is far more enviromentally friendly than synthetic alternatives. What we need to do is figure out a way to converge these two movements and produce alternative goods that fall in line with the ideals of both sides.

  4. Bonny January 14, 2007 at 11:15 pm

    This article mostly reminded me of the rift between so-called vegans and environmentalists. How, for example, is a PVC biker jacket more ethical or less cruel than a vintage leather jacket?

  5. Julia January 14, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    Terrific to see such a mainstream paper talking about what has for so long been regarded as a fringe issue. The more it happens the more accepted the cause becomes. Pity thought that vegan fashion has gone from scratchy saggy hemp creations to the uber cool boutiques. What we need, and what the planet needs, is for ivegan fashionto really become mainstream (read: affordable).

  6. Gayle Dean January 14, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    Factory-farming is so harmful to the environment, that some environmental groups say you can’t be both an environmentalist and a meat-eater.

    And this is confirmed in the UN Food and Agriculture Report which concludes that cows, pigs, sheep and poultry are among the world’s greatest environmental threats. The report, entitled “Livestock’s Long Shadow” (it is posted online), says the livestock industry is degrading land, contributing to the greenhouse effect, polluting water resources, and destroying biodiversity. In summary, the sector is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems at every scale”. The authors say the demand for meat is expected to more than double by 2050 and therefore the environmental impact of production must be halved in order to avoid worsening the harmful impacts of the industry.

    Livestock requires a lot of land, occupying 26% of Earth’s ice-free land. Their pastures account for 70% of deforested areas in the Amazon, and their feed occupies one-third of global cropland.

    Perhaps the report’s most striking finding is that the livestock sector accounts for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions – more than transport, which emits 13.5%.”

  7. Cindy January 14, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    It was a very cool article indeed. I was so happy to see this issue getting such great press.

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