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December 04, 2006

Mountains, molehills, leather, being a vegan and such things.

So, if you need to make your life more complicated, make even the simplest question more convoluted than your regular "Chicken or Egg" questions, need an ultimate answer to "Life, The Universe, and Everything", then you have chanced upon the right blog (well, I don't really know the answer to the last question, a wise computer once claimed it to be 42 :) Welcome to the world of "Yours confused".

Ok, enough noise. So, we set about on a simple task - buying a sofa. Now, how complicated can that be? thought Ms.Confused and set about on a bright and cheery day to a bunch of furniture stores. She liked almost all the sofas but took a special liking to the oh-so-comfy leather sofas and barcaloungers (Now, I get to watch Friends, sitting on one! - she thought and did not hear nature smirking at her over-simplification of life :p)

Then, she came home and had a weekend-get-together with a few friends and asked their opinions about leather sofas (This is when nature actually proceeded to hold it's stomach and laugh out loud at her). What started off as a general discussion on cloth vs leather sofas turned into a full-fledged discussion on morality, veganism, vegetarianism, wearing silk sarees at weddings and what not.

Since then, I have googled quite a bit about whether I should buy the leather sofa or not:

http://www.veganviews.org.uk/vv86/vv86leather.html

http://veganrevolution.free.fr/documents/itwfrancione.html

And found some suprising albeit upsetting comments, facts, opinions:
"There is probably more suffering in a glass of milk than in a pound of steak." and so on.

Now, I doubt I'll give up drinking milk because I read this website but I can give up a leather sofa if it saves cows...but then, what about k's leather belts, what about my wedding silk sarees? What about woolen winter-wear? Are we hypocrites because we claim we saved lives by not buying leather/fur while causing the same/if-not-greater pain to animals by just our daily activities? I mean, why not switch to soy-milk? Why not give up on silk-sarees and wear a nice, pink cotton saree for a wedding?

Anyway, so drop a line, leave a comment and I shall teach you the tricks on "How to complicate simple stuff" :-)

Hmm...I am not able to leave comments on my blog. Are you seeing that too? Well, I guess you can't tell me if you are indeed seeing that problem, so, I can take absence of comments to indicate either that you cannot comment or that you just don't want to :) In any case, if you can comment, do let me know, if you can't...I'll figure it out :)


17 comments:

Sayee said...

As consumers in the 21st century our thirst to buy "stuff" have never been higher.A Leather couch is an obvious one , but there are other things out there, which affect someone/something adversely that we don't know about , directly or indirectly.

Some Perfumes/Deodorants/Makeup material for instance, use animal based products and some are even tested on animals. Would we stop using those ? Switch to sandal ? ooh wait..I don't wanna cut more trees and cause contribute to deforestation ??

Just go with your instinct and thats probably the best thing to do.

Viji said...

Its purely a question of choice.
Cotton saree... oh no, arent we harming the plants... and it could go on and on. Follow your mind. :)

Music Fan said...

Hey MK,

first time visitor to your blog... have to tell you that you have a great style of writing.. I went back to your archives and read a few of your posts... great skill...

regarding leather couches..my god... if we start thinking that way, where do we stop... I see why u got so confused with the whole thing.... hope you will come up with a choice after the entire confusion... how about sitting on the floor????... ur hubby might be happy coz u dont have to spend big bucks in buying the couch...

Muthukumar said...

some may even ask while walking we kill millions of microorganisms, do we really need to walk? Krishna clearly mentions in gita, that one has to carry on his karma, even if it means himsa to some like warriors. Religion has well defined directions on eating, sittting walking etc. They are based on occupation or varna and jaathi of people. A sanyasi shud not even pluck leaves from trees, whatever falls down on its own or by begging he has to live. Brahmin has to live by vegetarian food etc. One can take guidence from there.

RS said...

sayee, viji - I guess. The more I learn about these things, the worse it gets !

music fan - thanks :) Sitting cross-legged on the floor gets my vote any day :)

PB - Maybe, what about us poor folks who aren't well-versed in the intricacies of religion? I dont claim to be totally ignorant...ahem...but am no expert!

Muthukumar said...

Maybe, what about us poor folks who aren't well-versed in the intricacies of religion? I dont claim to be totally ignorant...ahem...but am no expert!


--There is no book that tells what is exactly recommended in shasthras for day to day lives. It is comes through generations. It is there for us to take from grand parent generation (know in many houses even they are clueless). Even scripts say best authority on these is elder who lead by example. We have to go and get it from them. It may sound old fashioned, but for peacful lasting life this is the only solution.

Anonymous said...

Micro-organisms are abundant and multiply rapidly, so a few dead organisms doesn't change anything, infact it is part of their natural lifecycle- dying at the hands of a predator...this applies to cows and silkworms too, but not at the hands of man, and especially not for a leather couch or a Kanjeevaram, which is a luxury, and not a necessity.

What you CAN do:
1) You like your leather, you've bought it. Best thing would be to use it as much you can, happily.
2) Use all the silk sarees you have, probably getting them done as salwars, once you're bored with them as sarees...

It's not about not buying these stuff, just remind yourself to use them carefully, because we pay for them with our precious wildlife.The key is to avoid indiscriminate use.

Anonymous said...

Plants can still be cultivated using tissue culture, so we can probably redeem plant life more than we can do animal life, we still do not have systems to produce cows or silkworms en masse.

Save our planet...its the only we have.

Anonymous said...

I would like to add 1 more suggestion to all the above. If vagons just give up the animal products it would not be enough, as there are people who are consuming them. We should also try to remove the violence involved in animal husbandary procedures, so that the animals need not suffer, even if majority of people are consuming the products, by forming groups which can influence the animal husbandary laws of goverment

Timmi said...

On the off chance that you haven't heard about this before, here's some food for thought (okay, so pardon the ridiculously poor wordplay): http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4148164.stm

expertdabbler said...

if we start thinking on these lines, there is no end to it...

we may soon have to live in the wilds... and guess what we then have to kill some animal to survive!...

Anonymous said...

Killing for survival is one thing...killing for a luxury is quite a different thing altogether. Being non-committal about it won't help. You need to make a choice. Save the earth, or die a cruel death with the consequences of our actions.

RS said...

anon1 - Totally with you on your comment! Makes complete sense to me!

anon2 - "save the planet"....err, ok, I'll do my best.

anon3 - makes sense.

timmi - that's news to me, like the article says, vegetarians will then be in a dilemma :)

expert-dabbler - yes, the lines do get fuzzy...sometimes its confusing when we are just thinking about something and when we are "over-doing" the thinking!

anon4 - hmm...did you get a chance to read the bit in the post about vegetarians (drinking milk) and cruelty? I doubt we can give up on milk because of cruelty, I guess killing for luxury = "beware, cruel death to you!" and torturing a cow for milk = "yeah, that's probably alright, you are acquitted?!"

*peace*

Viji said...

Hey RS... long time, no post! Come on, write something... :))

agnibarathi said...

RS, One more blog open. This is going to be a very active serious blog (over compensating for the hiatus) :P See http://bharathiyaar.blogspot.com/ Pass this link to all your friends! :)

Anonymous said...

new comer.happy to sail with u knowing well both can't swim.

in my case i bought a bag for office use ( brand Polo,ofcourse chinese,best buy?)made of foam material or whatever it is, favouring vegan policy decisively.

the bag is showing its true colour right after a month.enn vidhei nonthukondu irukkaiyl ungal comforting blog...

so,better to go with our gut feeling and buy what we like at that moment& enjoy,without falling into the sailing- in -the- same boat category.--anonx

mac said...

Everyone has a different thought. So it totally depends on him, that how he behaves with living things. We have no right to interfere in their liberty.
Mac
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