Wednesday, 21 November 2012

New #Vegan Shoes

Today's blog is a bit of a blast from the past. It is the first ever picture blog I posted as @T_Veg and it was originally and very generously hosted for me on Sasha and Mitsu's brilliant vegan web encyclopaedia To Happy Vegans

It's not a lazy option though, I am not just trying to avoid typing up an hour or more's worth of deep thinking on a mid-week morning. No, today's blog was inspired by my latest delivery from Veggie Shoes and the realisation that vegan shoes - in fact vegan everything - have become very ordinary to me now. I hadn't realised that until I started to blog about them and found it hard to come up with anything exciting enough to justify stealing your time with.

So what I wanted to recapture today - especially for anyone reading this blog who is either newly vegan or very close to becoming vegan - was the huge excitement of my first, my very first ever, consciously vegan lifestyle purchase. To show you how positively reaffirming it was to go one step beyond (hahaha no pun intended on a blog about shoes!) not eating or otherwise exploiting our friends for food, I wanted to ensure my lifestyle was as planet friendly as it could possibly be and this was my first experience of getting there:

For anyone who doesn't already follow me on twitter as @T_Veg, I adopted the persona of Tyrannosaurus Veg to play on the notion that I was an old dinosaur in so many respects and changing my ways was inevitably going to be a bit of a challenge. I was also playing on the notion that I was possibly the most unlikely vegan you would ever meet.

I still love the reaction when people find out - it's brilliant to see the mental gymnastics going on as they realise I don't fit their stereotype so they might need to challenge me on facts rather than prejudice and then realise the facts are so heavily stacked in favour of the vegan that they might as well not bother.

So here it is, a (very mildly) adapted version of, 

Tyrannosaurus Veg and the New Shoes

Thanks to the brilliant moral support I have been getting from Mitsu in particular, the incredible efforts the wonderful Mrs T_Veg has been going to for my meals plus all her moral support and fellow Vegans everywhere just saying, “Keep going” I reckon I have cracked this Vegan diet thing now. 

Generally speaking, it has been much easier than I expected and a million times nicer than I ever thought it could be.

The time has now come for me to change my non-vegan lifestyle choices and that has started with shoes.  I followed the link on the THV home page to Vegetarian Shoes in Brighton: Veggie Shoes

Not really knowing what I should be ordering, I phoned them and spoke to Lucy (she is lovely) who talked me through the choices and made a specific recommendation based on what I had told her.

Less than a week later a package arrived at work:

Opening up the package (go Vegan, it’s like Christmas everyday!) I found this inside:

I had to put the box on the floor, it’s bad luck to have shoes on the table – even Vegan ones.  Inside the box was more wrapping, still feeling like Christmas.

Which pulled back to reveal Lucy’s recommendation for a Vegan businessman:

Which looked even better out of the box:

Looking good so far but can they really be Vegan, surely they picked up the wrong brand when they were packing the order?

Nope, Vegan shoes from Vegetarian Shoes – and you can just see the toe of my old leather ones at the bottom of the pic.  I honestly cannot see the difference, they even feel the same except at the seams where the new shoes feel smoother and better made.

The soles are hard-wearing rubber, very easy to walk on, very comfy and MUCH warmer than the thin leather most other businessmen I know will be sliding around on this Winter.

Remember that old Eric Morecambe joke, “They fit like a glove, which is odd because I’m wearing them on my feet, boom, boom!”  They look good, don’t they?

Still  looking fabulous with a suit from my perspective looking down.

And looking just as fabulous with a suit for anyone looking towards me.  How will I convince people that I really am a Vegan when they see me in these, no one will believe me unless I take them off and show the label!

The very last test for shoes fit for the boss:  what do they look like on top of the boss’s desk?  Pretty good I would say, such a shame that is the one and only time I will be able to rest them there – honest guv, would I tell a fib?

My final comment needs to be that Vegetarian Shoes is a brand name and not a description, suitable for vegans as well as vegetarians. 

Although now I have them and am wearing them in style and comfort I wonder if we should just call them Shoes?  Why would you need to hurt an animal when the alternative is this good?

Many thanks to everyone at Vegetarian Shoes, and thank you as ever to Sasha and Mitsu for putting up with this old dinosaur on their wonderful web site.



Those shoes are 2 years old now and I still wear them 2 or 3 times every week. The heels are starting to show signs of age but they are still perfectly suitable as formal wear shoes. I alternate my shoes every day to extend the life of them (an old Jeeves type trick) or I would take a snap of them to show you just how good they are. Instead, here is a pic of the brogues which arrived the day after the ones above. These have also delivered many miles of foot transportation for T_Veg and have been worn not less than 200 times:

Honestly, being able to achieve that effect without harm to animals and for less than the cost of the equivalent business shoes... Animal produce on your feet? Why would you?