The Great Leather Couch Debate

tl;dr: Can a vegetarian own leather furniture?

I’ll admit it: I don’t hate leather. In fact, I rather like it. My favorite chair is leather. I like the smell of leather. It’s comfortable and not all-together unpleasant.

Then I remember what it actually is. And I tweak a little.

Since I moved into my new apartment, I’ve been avoiding the living room. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the room, but it’s absolutely devoid of furniture. I secretly sit in the middle of the floor and pretend that there are chairs, a couch, and a media center.  One of the main points, for me, is to find a functional couch that I can write these blog posts on.

I was going to launch into a huge long diatribe right about now, but instead I’ll just save everyone the pain and suffering that would accompany that and instead ask the question:

Can a vegetarian for mainly ethical reasons morally purchase or own leather products?

My initial reaction is “of course not!,” but through the power of human justification I’ve tried to find a way to get a leather couch without seemingly acting like a hypocrite. The best justification I have is that a) leather is a byproduct of a terrible human practice, b) this practice is not impacted by leather demand, c) by utilizing leather products, I am using an animal product that would otherwise go to waste and be dishonored.



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