So, I partook in Black Friday by going to Express and buying 2 shirts. While I was there, I saw a jacket that looked really warm and awesome, and it was 45% off. I can't stand being cold, and I need a super-warm jacket besides my super-puffy-sleeping-bag jacket. (I know I live in L.A. but it gets cold! I wear a hat and gloves to walk my dog in the morning.) I wanted to buy it. But almost immediately I thought I couldn't buy it, because it was wool, and creating more demand for wool was supporting animal exploitation and factory farming. And then I realized, almost all of my favorite winter shirts are sweaters made of wool. And unlike eating meat, not once had I ever even considered that a wool sweater could be supporting suffering. It never crossed my mind. But now, I know I can never buy wool again. I just wouldn't feel right about it. And the same thing with leather. The same cows I no longer eat are the cows used to manufacture leather products. Now that there are so many alternatives to leather, there is no justification to supporting it any longer.
That's what I'm learning being vegan is about. Things ignored before are now brought to the forefront. It's not difficult for me to no longer consume animal by-products in their various forms, it's an awareness that my choices have an impact beyond what I had considered before. That awareness guides me to make the new choices that support my values and don't weigh down my conscience.