…and then came the day that we banned leather clothes.
It was, we all agreed, a barbaric practice, wearing the skin of living things. Exploitive. Pointless. Cruel. Some instinct from our distant past that, while it may have made sense to our prehistoric forbears, was past its time of utility and had to be retired from practice in our humane, modern world.
So we passed the appropriate laws, and we banished leather to the dustbin of history.
We’d already developed synthetic fibers as strong and durable as any leather, yet softer and more comfortable against the skin, so it wasn’t much of a change for the majority of people. The laws were more a codification of already existing social norms than a new set of regulations to be followed.
Still, it felt good the day they were passed.
It always feels good to do what’s right.
And when the laws passed banning leather we all felt good. All of us, not just my friends and I, who’d campaigned so long and hard in the name of basic human decency. Everyone.
Animal rights activists felt good, to know that one of the biggest ways in which humanity exploited the weak and helpless was finally at an end.
Consumers felt good, safe in the knowledge that their purchases were ethically and environmentally sound, though they didn’t all understand exactly how or why. That’s why consumers elect people to pass laws about these things. So they don’t have to understand.
Even the clothing designers and manufacturers felt good. After all, with leather banned, a lot of people would have to buy new coats, belts and shoes.
Everyone felt good. It was one of those rare cases where everybody won, and everybody could pat themselves on the back and congratulate themselves on doing what’s right. There was no downside.
Hell, I bet that somewhere in Asia, in the factories where our clothing is made, even the factory workers felt good about our new, more ethical laws regarding clothing.
After all, leather is so tough.
And their hands are so tiny.
They must be relieved to be spending their 18-hour workdays working with simpler, more morally justifiable materials…