I’m a quiet vegetarian.  I’m not the type to get in your face about eating meat.  I’m not going to go off when you tease me about being vegetarian.  I do have leather stuff (especially around horses) but I’m finding myself drawn more and more to leather alternatives. But I am just going to have to go off on a rant here.

On Saturday the SO and I went to an outlet mall.  I love shoes.  I especially love ridiculously high heels that I can’t walk in.  I’m the kind of person who pets shoes when I walk past displays in the mall.  I’ve cut down on my high heels because I don’t have that kind of lifestyle and because the SO is shorter than me.  (Nicole K. once said that the best thing about divorcing Tom C. was that she got to wear heels again. I understand completely!)  Lately I’ve been wearing my paddock boots with just a bit of heel and I’ve been insanely happy about that so I knew I was about to have a heel buying breakdown.  Anyway, I found a pair of synthetic Easy Spirit ankle boots with a heel.  There was one pair in my size and width and they were marked down from $70 to $19.99 so obviously they were begging to come home with me and I obliged them.  Then we went to the men’s shoe store.

He was trying on shoes.  I heard the cashier talking to another customer about what the shoes were made of.  Here was the part of the answer that freaked me out:

“…take the ligament from the hip of a horse and peel it like you’d peel an onion…”

At the same time I’m hearing, “Do you like these shoes?” in my right ear so I missed the rest of her explanation.  I think I pointed at his shoes and said they were made of horses.  He looked at me like I’d lost my mind and said that they weren’t.  I pointed at the guy checking out and said that his were.  I might have been a bit incoherent.  It wasn’t a huge scene but considering my temperament it was the equivalent of standing up and yelling, “Soylent Green is people!”  The SO freaked and asked the lady helping him to make sure that no horses were harmed in the making of his shoes.  I remember hearing him whispering something about how we recently buried a horse obviously as an explanation for why I was melting down in their store.  No horses were killed for his shoes – just calves.

This started a whole discussion between him and the sales lady about cows.  She used to be vegetarian as a kid because they raised cows at her house and they were her pets so she wouldn’t eat them.  But, as an adult she’s gotten over it.  Well yippee for her.  It is ok if she doesn’t personally know her food?

Over time I see myself going farther and farther towards the vegan end of the spectrum.  I don’t know that I’ll ever officially label myself but I think it is hard to know about the issues involved and blithely ignore it.  Why should I freak out when there are horses involved and not when there are cows?