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Confessions of a Vegan Shoe Addict

The following article was written by PETA intern Heather Mangal.

Hello. My name is Heather, and I am addicted to shoes. I have been a shoe addict for most of my life, and when I went vegan, shoe shopping not only became more fun but also got way cheaper! So why spend big bucks on shoes made out of the skins of a dead animal when you can buy incredible shoes made out of synthetic materials? Yes, you can be a fashionista without wearing leather!

Everyone knows that a good pair of shoes makes your legs look great, but you don’t need to break the legs of animals to accomplish this. There are tons of fabulous kicks out there that are comfortable, stylish, and sexy—and also inexpensive.

Bite It, Burberry

Leather is the most common animal skin that people wear, and Burberry does not play nice. So here are the reasons why you shouldn’t buy Burberry’s $1,295 leather boots made of a baby lambs’ skin:

  • Burberry gets its fur from some of the most cruel and inhumane fur farms.
  • The leather industry is cruel. Animals are tortured, confined to crowded spaces, castrated, branded and dehorned without any anesthesia, and then carelessly executed.
  • You can get an equally (if not more) chic and sophisticated pair of vegan boots like the Russie Over-The-Knee Boot from Jones New York.

Gucci, You’re a Hoochie

Snakeskin shoes are so unnecessary. Of course, Gucci does not take the skin from just any snake. Nope—Gucci takes it from pythons. California has even banned the selling of python shoes like these ones from Gucci that are sold for $1,100.

Just because you may not think a snake is cute and cuddly does not mean that snakes deserve to have their skin torn off them while they are still living. So whip out that credit card and support an industry that does not skin helpless creatures alive by buying these cheaper and torture-free pair of heels from Madden Girl. The zebra print will still give you that exotic look without taking a life. Take the pledge to swear off exotic skins now, and nobody gets hurt!

Boo on You, Jimmy Choo

Eel skin, really? Why would anyone buy these not-so-cute Jimmy Choo shoes made out of the skins of water snakes for $595 when you could rock the socks out of the sexy and cruelty-free faux–snake-skin heels from Chinese Laundry? Please tell Jimmy Choo to stop the madness and eliminate exotic skins from his collection!

Being a vegan shoe addict is great because I can buy more shoes for less money without participating in the murder of helpless animals. It’s a win-win situation. Pledge never to wear anyone else’s skin, including that of seals, cows, snakes, alligators, rabbits, dogs, cats, and all other animals.

I want to hear all about your favorite pair of vegan shoes. What’s the brand, style, etc.?

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  • noizekatt says:

    I have been wearing the same pair of Vegetarian Shoes (www.vegetarian-shoes.co.uk) 14 eye steel toe boots almost daily for the last 9 years, and they show no sign of giving out on me. I love them! They are made from a material called vegetan, and they are an awesome non-sweaty experience (@SoniaK). I also have a pair of New Rock Reactor boots (think Kate Beckinsale in Underworld, or Winona Ryder in Alien Resurrection) that are vegan! I was so happy when I found out the started to make non-leather shoes just for us! A great place to find a ton of vegan, club friendly footwear for those inclined towards alternative scenes (goth, punk, rockabilly, etc.) is http://www.pennangalan.co.uk. You can order almost their entire line of shoes in vegan materials instead of leather. I could go on and on about vegan shoes. I was a shoe junkie before I became vegan, and I’ve been a vegan shoe junkie for over a decade now!

  • Clare says:

    I looked at some shoes on stevemadden.com and there is a cute pair of boots, but they say they are leather. Are they? It’s just, Linda said they were egan so I thought maybe they were faux.

  • Ashley-P says:

    Jo: Always happy to help a fellow shoe shopper! ;)

  • Jo says:

    Thanks foe the advice Ashley P. Found out boots are synthetic after all. :)

  • Ashley-P says:

    Jo: There is usually a sticker on the bottom of shoes that says what they’re made of. I would double check online, or ask an employee at the store while you’re shopping to be sure!

  • Jo says:

    That’s awesome but how can I tell if the cheap leather boots that I want for $30 at H&M aren’t real leather? they don’t say leather upper or have a label that says man made material. Just says the size & made in china. Is there a chance these are dog leather? they do look cheap not like usual fancy leather but there’s no way I can tell just by looking at them.

  • carrie says:

    Crocks. Yes, I wear crocks, but not those made from crocodiles- those ugly rubbery plastic crocks. They are incredibly comfortable!

  • ariel says:

    My favorite brand is Beyond Skin. I love high heels and wedges…It was great to find out the great choice of vegan shoes you can buy on line!

    Sorry for my English, I’m Italian (Rome)

    ciao!

  • SoniaK says:

    Those ARE cute pumps – but how my feet would sweat in them! Been there, done that with “man-made materials” shoes. They’ve got to find a way to use bamboo, hemp and other materials from nature that will either absorb sweat or allow it to evaporate.

  • Jenn says:

    My favorite shoes are the vegan hiking boots made by Vegan Wares in Melbourne. They’ve been all over with me and seem never to wear out.

    http://www.veganwares.com/hiker.htm

  • Art History X says:

    Good to know! Thank you for this guide, and please, poo-poo any other fashion labels that do this kind of stuff!

    Killing animals for food, medicine, etc., maybe can be explained somehow… but for fashion! It’s not even to be function (e.g. some kind of leather that keeps you dry when you’re hiking or whatever).

  • Linda says:

    I work for Jones NY and had no idea they had any synthetic shoes. Most of their sites have hard to find synthetics (JNY, Nine West, Easy Spirit). You tend to have to look hard to find them. My fave brand for vegan is definitely Madden Girl. I have a number of shoes and boots from this brand. I think that whole division of Steve Madden is vegan.

  • Clare Griffiths says:

    More shoe info required please

  • fancyvegan says:

    Nice article & cute shoes.

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