I am posting today because I truly need you to help me understand something.
Do you remember this felted bag I made in September?
I brought it to this past weekend's craft fair, thinking that someone might like it and buy it. In the end, it didn't sell, which did not break my heart. But I also didn't want to take it back home, so I decided to give it to my craft fair neighbors. (Earlier in the day, I had also given away some kid's hats and a little girl's scarf to another fellow crafter who has two children. Everyone there was happy.)
So I'm walking to the next table, holding up the bag, and asking the young couple if they'd like a free felted bag. They took a look and told me, "No thank you, we're vegans." They had been selling vegan wallets made from recycled feed bags and part of their proceeds were going to an animal rescue place. I proceeded to tell them that no sheep or alpaca had died in the making of this bag, indeed all the animals simply get a haircut once or twice a year and then they are on their merry way.
The vegans said, "Yeah, but they die eventually." I suppose they meant that they will not support anyone who will use animals for human gain. They eyed the bag and me with a mixture of revulsion and an 'I wouldn't touch that with a ten-foot pole' kind of look.
I guess in all the years of sort of knowing about veganism, it never occurred to me that it is possible to turn down human kindness over the supposed suffering of a sheep. If you can't be humane and kind to your craftfair neighbors, how can you be humane and kind towards animals? I realized later that almost everyone at the fair had stopped by my table and commented positively about the yarn and the knitted items. My vegan neighbors had barely said hello.
I was a bit stunned -- and trust me I work with vegans, I am familiar with the philosophy of it all. I am not naive, nor ignorant. Heck, I'm a vegetarian. But I was stunned nonetheless. I managed to turn around and ask another crafter if she would have any use for the bag; and she said, with a smile, that she would not but today was her mother's birthday and if it was OK...? I said, "Yes, of course! And Happy Birthday to her!"
So it was all good in the end.