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HELP! There's a VEGAN Coming For Dinner!


Walk a Mile in my Shoes #2

Posted 7/4/2014

sparta1A few months ago I posted a blog about the dilemmas of owning leather shoes when eating a vegan diet. Now don’t get me wrong - I don’t mean I pull on a pair of thigh-high black leather boots every time I sit down to eat a bean or two – but I’m having problems with the whole leather shoe thing.  If I don’t want to digest animals, why would I want to wear them? I think, perhaps, that the best use for leather is to hold the insides of a cow together instead of being used to keep my feet comfy. In “walk a mile in my shoes #1” I proposed that I would go through my closet, remove shoes which I didn’t wear, and respectfully send them off to somewhere new. Since then, I’ve sold a few pairs to people who promised to wear them and appreciate them. Then today, much to my surprise, my vegan sandals and I stumbled upon a way to downsize my shoe collection, give my footwear a second chance, and help people all at the same time! I’d driven to Dymon storage in Kanata, over by Canadian Tire at Kanata Centrum for you local folk, to pick up some extra packing paper, and while I was there I saw a large box containing shoes. The poster said “Soles4Souls Canada – Changing the world, One Pair at a time”. Interesting. I returned home and looked up the website. It said “Souls4Souls is a Nashville-based charity which collects shoes from warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you.” (Hey – I think they mean ME!!!!!) “We distribute these shoes, free of charge, to people in need around the world. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away over 7 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently distributing one pair every 9 seconds). The shoes have been distributed in 125 countries, including Haiti, Kenya, Nepal and the United States. Visit for more information.”

This could be just the thing I’ve been looking for! I have more shoes than I need, and I feel bad that animals were slaughtered, skinned, turned into footwear, and then left in the dark corners of my closet to collect dust. I admit that by donating them to Souls4Shoes Canada I’m doing nothing to improve the lives of farm animals, I’m doing nothing to promote veganism, and I’m not supporting the production of non-leather footwear. What I am doing, however, is hopefully helping people who are not as fortunate as I am. I can pick and choose what I eat, what I wear, and what I put on my feet. I’m aware that, living here in Ottawa, I’m extremely blessed to be able to make so many lifestyle choices. I have ready access to plant-based proteins such as beans, lentils, nuts, “faux meats” and tofu, and have an overwhelming number of fruits and vegetables to chose from. I have no need, nor desire, to munch on a slice of Bessie-the Cow, pork-out on a piece of pig, or heat up a hock of horse. I also, quite honestly, have no  need to wear a piece of cow or horse on my feet. So....sing along with me:

Hi ho, hi ho
To Dymon here I go.
With a boot and a shoe
(and a neigh and a moo),
Hi ho hi ho hi ho hi ho
(Thank you Disney for the inspiration).

If you’ve got any unloved footwear in your closet, whatever it’s made of, why don’t you drop it off at a shoe collection point too? Singing the little song is optional, but I strongly recommend it! See if there’s one near you at

Karen J