Being a vegetarian is not just a matter of not consuming meat, as there are many vegetarians who will not wear clothing that includes animal products. So, for some vegetarians leather and silk clothes are to be avoided, as they extend their respect to all living things.
Vegetarians And Leather
Vegetarians may differ in their approach to wearing clothes made from leather. Some may argue that animals are slaughtered primarily for meat production, and not for leather. On such grounds, they may consider the wearing of leather clothes and shoes is alright, because the leather is a by-product, and not the reason for the death or cruelty to animals.
Some vegans do not accept this view, and are totally opposed to wearing leather, and maybe silk as well. In the case of leather they may acknowledge that it is a by-product, but they believe it still contributes to animal cruelty.
Many vegans believe that the money the companies, who own the slaughterhouses, make from leather sustains the industry, in the same way as eating meat. These vegans register their objection, by avoiding not just clothing, but all leather products. They are aware of the number of advertisements for leather goods, including furniture, typical of an expanding market.
Vegetarians And Silk
By opting not to wear silk, vegetarians, who are likely to be vegans, are not condoning cruelty to moth larvae. They are aware that the processing of silk, involves boiling the larvae alive, resulting in much suffering, just to obtain longer strands of silk.
Vegetarians Leather And Silk
It seems that for vegetarians leather and silk clothes are a somewhat controversial subject. However, they are quick to point out that there are many alternatives to silk, which make it easy to avoid silk products. It may be more difficult to avoid leather, but there are good quality “man made” alternatives, including footwear, that fit in well with their chosen lifestyle.