Today, when showing the site to a friend who was curious about the shoes, I noticed that the trim on the upper was leather.
I.. I honestly, I felt, and still feel, incredibly guilty. I have turned away dozens of pairs of beautiful, supportive, comfortable shoes because they were made with leather or suede. But I made an elementary mistake with these, and it just kills me. Especially when every, and I mean EVERY other pair of footwear I own is vegan.
I don't have any vegetarian or vegan friends, and my family, especially my mother, prefer to make a mockery of my choices instead of supporting me, so that's why I'm posting here.
My friend suggested removing the trim, but I'm concerned it'd greatly destabilize the shoe, as the trim appears rather structurally important and is heavily stitched, making replacing it very, very difficult. Additionally, these are very expensive shoes, which didn't help when I told my mother I couldn't wear them anymore.
Also, I've had them and worn them in well past the point of returning them, which invalidates that option. As I said before, I just can't bring myself to wear them at this point. They're great shoes, yes, but I feel in my heart that doing so willingly, having been vegetarian for six years and vegan for a few months, goes against my morals. If I justify their usefulness as reason to wear the hide of an animal, it's not far to justify the iron content in a steak as reason to eat another living being. And I don't want to go down that road.
I wanted to donate them, but my mother, a very anti-veg*nism omnivore, demanded I give them to her instead since we wear the same shoe size. If she can get them dyed black (they're silver currently) she's going to keep them. If she can't, I insist we donate them (I've only worn them about 2 weeks, and they're still very much serviceable, so I feel it's a legitimate alternative).
If you read all that, thank you. Really. Thank you. I don't feel like I have anyone I can talk to about this, and communities like this are my only real chance to discuss vegan topics and be both understood and empathized with.
I'm just curious as to your opinions, what you'd do if you were in my shoes (no pun intended, I promise), so on and so forth.
If this post inadvertently violated any of the community guidelines, I apologize profusely - I haven't been around in a while.