Many things about adopting a vegan lifestyle are inherent, like don’t wear leather or suede, never again consume anything that had a face or a family, immediately find a non dairy ice cream you adore and a store that sells nuts in bulk. Other layers of this transition were not as clear for me, like whether or not to wear wool. I was pretty sure that wool fell into the do not wear ever again category but to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure why. I didn’t have enough information to make an informed decision and wasn’t willing to start eliminating things until I had my own ideas to back up such decisions. On some level I knew that wool didn’t come without cruelty but that knowledge was on the same level with whatever filters made it possible for me to enjoy fried eggs for breakfast or wings with a beer.
So as my first vegan summer transitioned to my first vegan autumn, I began to unpack all of my winter clothes. It was like standing in a Merino Wool factory outlet store. I wanted to freak out as I realized that my winter wardrobe was as cruelty free as a poultry processing plant. I wasn’t really willing to do freak out (especially after Sandy said me…don’t freak out, just move forward and don’t waste your energy looking back).
So, I gave myself until next winter to transition into a wool free wardrobe. In the meantime, I would wear what I had while I was steadily bringing in new wool free winter apparel. I began reading, seeking and allowing my own opinion to form without rushing or condemning myself. I knew when I was ready it would be clear and I would know how I felt about wearing wool.
So that is what I have done. I have worn what I had and slowly acquired new tops and cotton sweaters one at a time. But something changed a few days ago, I felt different, I knew in that moment that I was done. I am no longer willing or able or interested in wearing the wool I have, even if that means wearing the same fleece top three days in a row. It became as clear to me as anything I have ever believed. I let it unfold in my own time and space. When I decided to do it, it was because I was ready and it simply felt right.
Yesterday, all of my woolly clothes were donated and it felt so liberating. One more step toward living more compassionately.
We don’t have to do what we have always done or wear what we have always worn. We can change our minds and try new things. Doesn’t an entire winter of fleece sound scrumptious? Had I known more about the collection of wool and the farming of sheep for wool I think I would have made this decision sooner, but the truth is that I didn’t know. Now I do and I am able to make an informed decision. In all of the reading and research I have done so far I came across a great article about the collection process of wool. It is informative without being inflammatory or unnecessarily graphic. Here is a link to the article if you would like to read it. Wool Is Cruel by Gary Smith. If you have additional information about wool, please share.
Have a delicious and compassionate day.
Image courtesy of cartoonranch.com