I confess: leather was fucking HARD for me to give up. I didn’t miss ice cream a bit, thanks to all the wonderful vegan frozen treats out there. I thought I’d miss clotted cream on scones (my mom’s English), but I’ve actually come up with a convincing sub (comment if you want the recipe!). Cheese was tougher, but it was worth it for the animals.

But getting rid of leather? That. Was. Hard. I remember one time, a few months after I went vegan, I went shopping. I don’t even remember what I wanted. But there I was, shopping, and I tripped my way into the shoe section. And I found some shoes.

And they were great.

And they were leather.

Now, don’t worry, this story has a happy ending. I stared at them for about 20 minutes, walked away, walked back, paced while two parts of my brain debated with each other (‘But perhaps if my DIET is vegan but my shoe wardrobe isn’t, I’ll still be helping the animals? You know, like, cause I’ll be mostly vegan?’ ‘No.’ ‘Ok, what if I only ever buy leather shoes this once?’ ‘No!’). I eventually had to leave the store. I just had to walk out and do my damndest to not walk back.

But now I’m over the leather withdrawal period, and I see that it was practically never necessary in the first place. For every stylish pair of dead skin shoes (like these), there is an equivalent or greater pair of vegan shoes! And oh, are they great.