Tuesday, January 09, 2007

First Period, Wherein My Hypocrisy Is Exposed By A 15-Year-Old

Although I pretty much wear nothing but skirts when the weather's nice (well, I mean, I wear tops WITH the skirts), wintertime is a different story, mostly because of footwear. In the spring, summer, and fall I can go bare-legged and flip-flopped, but in the winter skirts are a major production involving both tights and boots, neither of which I am particularly fond of. Still, I try to wear a skirt to school at the beginning of the week so that then I can slack off attire-wise for the rest of the week.

I mention all this because today is this week's skirt and boot day. I don't think I paid any attention to what my teachers were wearing when I was a student, but not a day goes by that at least one of my kids doesn't comment on some aspect of my outfit. And this morning one of my students complimented me on my boots, which are indeed nice. This compliment prompted another student to examine my boots, after which she furrowed her brow and asked, "Wait. Aren't you a vegetarian?" Because the boots, in addition to being nice, are leather. But I pretended not to know where she was going with this. "Um, yeah. What does that have to do with anything?" She didn't fall for it.

Student: You're wearing leather boots.

Me: I'm not EATING the boots.

(collective laughter)

Student: So you won't eat animals but you'll wear their skin?

Me: Well, what else am I supposed to do? Shoes are made of leather.

Student: Not ALL shoes are made of leather. What about shoes like that? (pointing to another kid's shoes)

Me: You want me to wear SNEAKERS?!

Student: So you care more about looking good than about the poor animals?

Um, yeah, kinda. I mean, if there was a reasonable vegan alternative to leather boots I'd be all over it, but I can't wear sneakers with my skirts -- that would look silly. In which case I guess I might as well have a cheeseburger. Actually, make that a BACON cheeseburger.

17 comments:

Chris said...

Yes! Come to the dark side! We've got a whole tray of bratwurst wrapped in bacon over here with your name on it.

Isn't there some kind of fake leather you could wear?

Phil said...

There might not be a better meal then bacon cheeseburgers.

Frank Sirmarco said...

Wear vinyl boots to school! Your male students may become slightly more distracted, but at least you won't have to deal with PETA girl.

Frank Sirmarco said...

And by the way, bacon is good on anything...

Melissa said...

I don't know what the situation is like in Norfolk, but there are vegan shoe stores here in Manhattan. Being a vegetarian myself, I stopped buying leather and suede years ago. It's why I generally buy shoes at Payless - most of them are made with all man-made materials. And they're cheap. I mean, inexpensive. (And cheap.)

lulu said...

Did someone say bacon?

There are websites devoted to cute, non-leather shoes. I think your feet would probably sweat and smell, but I'm not sure. These are totally cute....http://www.mooshoes.com/invoice_variant.cgi?rm=edit&product_id=230369

Megan said...

Chris - No fuckin' way am I eating bratwurst. Like ever.

Phil - You obviously have not had my crabcakes.

Frank - Vinyl boots like in some sort of low budget porn? Yeah, I'll try that tomorrow and see how the teaching goes. Oh, and this chick isn't even a PETA chick - she was just giving me shit.

Melissa & Lulu - I'm aware there are vegan alternatives, but boots? I'll check out the site. . .

wonderturtle said...

I was going to ask about mooshoes too. Sounds like you are schooling those kids well if they will question authority and make a good argument while they are at it. But leather boots are totally hot.

Flannery Alden said...

For fashion everyone must suffer a little, even the livestock.

Megan said...

Awwww, Wonderturtle, how'd you know I needed that? :-)

Flannery - I know! It's not like those boots are comfortable!

gizmorox said...

That's when you throw back some comment about respecting the animals enough to use every part of their body and since the kids are already eating the middle part you're honoring the deceased beast by using the skin that they have discarded to make your boots with. Right?

Heh. :)

vikkitikkitavi said...

Yeah, people who eat meat LOVE to point out what they see as the hypocrisy of people who don't eat meat but have not yet managed to divest their lives of all aspects of the livestock industry.

I'm a vegetarian because I can be. I can eat perfectly fine, lovely foods, and stay healthy without having to eat animal flesh, so I don't. I do occasionally get seduced by a leather bag or purse, but you know, everyone has to draw the line somewhere, and I refuse to be shamed about where I've drawn mine. They choice is not "be morally perfect or do nothing."

Big Orange said...

oh brother. You need to tell THEM-- "SO! you give more of a shit about what I'm wearing on my feet than you do about a woman who is being stoned to death?"

Also, if THEY'RE willing to cough up a few bucks to HELP YOU BUY pleather boots, then they can stop bitching.

Big Orange said...

oh brother. You need to tell THEM-- "SO! you give more of a shit about what I'm wearing on my feet than you do about a woman who is being stoned to death?"

Also, if THEY'RE willing to cough up a few bucks to HELP YOU BUY pleather boots, then they can stop bitching.

Valerie said...

I knew a guy in college who didn't wear shoes. He had grown up in South Africa as a missionary kid and didn't like shoes. This was in central Illinois, where it snows and gets cold...no shoes...not even to church.

That's not a suggestion or anything...merely a digression.

Dave said...

Next time counter with "I'm vegetarian for health reasons." Follow up with a roundhouse to the forehead.

Megan said...

Gizmorox - That would have been a MUCH better response, huh?

Vikki - Yeah, that was sort of the point I tried to make with the kids. You do what you can.

Orange - They don't care about either, they just like to make me crazy.

Valerie - I used to get in trouble ALL the time in high school for not wearing shoes. I kept them in my backpack so I could put them on when security yelled at me and take them back off once I was out of sight. Of course, I did not do this when it snowed. . .

Dave - Only I'm not really a vegetarian for health reasons, and if I told them that they'd give me some misinformed lecture about how eating meat is good for you. I think I might just stop talking to them.