"How many of you freaking out over equine slaughter use leather tack or wear leather shoes/boots/clothing? A majority, I'd say. If you want me to take you seriously, you should be completely vegan (eat ONLY plant matter), wear nothing but cotton, and have synthetic tack. Otherwise, you're nothing but a hypocrite."
Ahem. I haven't eaten meat since 1987 and the majority of my life is animal-product free, including my clothing and tack. Veganism gets easier all the time as more people become vegetarian and new products are developed. I'm on the heavy side (vegan doesn't necessarily mean skinny!), and Fuller Fillies just came out with half-chaps and boots that fit me -- and they are synthetic!
I am not claiming to be perfect. Cheese and eggs do sometimes pass my lips (although there is a new vegan "cheese" coming on the market soon that is supposed to actually melt and taste good. I have my fingers crossed). I feed my cats standard cat food (those by-products) and they do go outside and do hunt rodents. Some of my tack is leather (although I just found a synthetic bridle I want to try. The search is half the fun).
I am far from stupid, nor am I uneducated, nor am I completely unmoved by the pro-arguments, nor do I think the "pro" people are evil. But . . . nothing changes if nobody wants things to change. I prefer to try to change things rather than just accept the status quo I was born into. (Drives my family crazy, btw!)
I am going to bow out of this discussion, but will contemplate the ideas to help me figure out what I can do to improve the situation. That might not be much, but I will try, which is all that can be asked of anyone.