hello, im a teenager conscious of animal welfare etc, so have decided recently to became a vegetarian, but eat dairy products, eggs, and fish for health as opposed to moral reasons.
i am confused as to whether or not i will be completely contradicting myself by wearing leather shoes, woollen clothes, etc.and also drinking milk because i have read that the cows are treated really poorly.
What are the basic guidelines and morals on going vegetarian? I'd appreciate any advice that you could give me. Thanks for your time - G.
Thanks for your email, and congratulations on going vegetarian! I don't believe there is a one-size-fits-all set of rules for being vegetarian - you work it out as an individual. I would just say, take it gradually and take it easy, and enjoy yourself. It isn't good to be full of guilt and anxiety over your food. Becoming vegetarian is a big transition, and takes time. You are already doing a lot for the planet.
If you decide to eat dairy, try to get organic - organic dairies are sometimes kinder to the cows. The smaller the dairy, the more likely the animals are to be treated well. You could try enriched rice or soy milk - or almond, coconut, hemp or oat milk. There's a lot of choice in milk alternatives.
Re wool & leather: Possibly wool production does the least harm to animals, although it's far from harmless. Do what feels right to you, while keeping warm. If you can find non-leather or vegan certified shoes that fit your needs and your budget, go for it. Thankfully, replacing wool and leather is getting more and more easy for vegans.
But please, don't beat yourself up over all this. Life is full of contradictions. That's one of the things that makes it interesting.
Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian