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The Animal Person Minute: When Husbands Disappoint

(For security reasons I have deleted the photo, and I accidentally took a whole paragraph with it! Sorry.)

Last year, I wrote of my search for the perfect car for greyhounds and their vegan mommy, and I ended up with the Honda Element, which I couldn’t be happier with. Shortly thereafter, I wrote that my husband’s lease would soon be up, and I wanted to provide him with options that didn’t have leather interior. There’s a BMW 5 series something or other, the Audi A4, but not the A4 Quattro or Avant (and the A4 is probably too small for him), and a couple of Mercedes Benzes.

Dave is in the unfortunate position of liking nice cars–and even knowing something about them. In addition, he’s in a business where image is very important (he manages money, while playing golf apparently. Not sure how that happens.). So how did he end up with the Lexus GS 350 rather than any of the cars I spent weeks researching? Here’s part of the problem: he is a great candidate for leasing, as he works five miles from the house, maintains his car, and is tired of it within three years. And when you lease, you don’t have the options you have when you buy. Translation? You take what’s on the lot. And he didn’t want anything on the lot.

The point pf the story is he comes home with this gorgeous car that’s filled with the skin of dead cows (Lexus doesn’t even have a skinless option). And I think that’s creepy, not to mention not in alignment with his new belief that eating animals isn’t right (inside our house, and almost always outside, he doesn’t consume animal products). I couldn’t have been more disappointed.

I wasn’t going to write about this, after all, it’s not exactly kind to blog about this episode. But my mother, of all people, whose partner is a meat eater and she is not, said that it’s helpful to learn about how others deal with partners who disappoint. It’s probably not to helpful that I initially said something like: I hate you and I want a divorce, but I quickly got over it and tried to focus on the positive. What positive you ask? Everything else he’s been doing.

I’ve always said that Dave has a boundless capacity for transformation. He learns about something, and if he needs to change his life because of what he learned–poof–he changes his life. He admits when he’s wrong, he still doesn’t ask for directions when he drives, which doesn’t matter now that he has his stylin’ GPS system, but he does ask for direction and input in life, and he always seriously considers that input.

He just isn’t ready to do everything that would make him a vegan rather than simply someone who doesn’t eat animals. But rather than berate him, I should express my feelings about what he does and what I’d like to see him do, and move on to something more productive.

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. tater #

    NICE CAR!!!!!

    July 31, 2007
  2. you're supposed to help, brian. that's the opposite of help, nimrod. take a nice whiff when you get in the car this weekend, then tell me what you think. . .


    July 31, 2007
  3. Al, skip, whatever your real name is: You can criticize me all day long, but diplomatically and productively. You must, however, provide a valid e-mail address, which you have not done. Three times consecutively. You are hiding. Why? I'm sure you have valuable input into the conversation that would result in some interesting twists and turns.

    Furthermore, it is well-documented that the best way to curb global warming is to go vegan (assuming, I'm sure, that you don't have a ridiculous ecological footprint and aren't flying jets all day). Do you know how many miles I drive? Do you know if I have a TerraPass? Do you know if I buy locally? You've got some questions to ask before you can judge me. I got on a plane once last year. Once. And bought a flight TerraPass for it (not that that makes my flight disappear).

    Submit a productive comment with your name from your valid e-mail address, just like everyone else, and we're happy to address you.

    July 31, 2007
  4. Deb #

    That's a great pic! 😀

    I'm such the opposite of your husband! I wish I played golf all day long, I've had the same vehicle for 10 years, which I bought used (it is 13 years old), image means nothing in my field, and … hm. Oh, yeah, I am really cheap, and bargain basement fords didn't come with leather options, so though 10 years ago I wasn't thinking about these things, I still have a vehicle that I'm happy with. (despite some ominous rattling)

    Dave still sounds like a pretty cool guy, and maybe he'll get sick of this one before those 3 years are up. Maybe his next car will be a bike with a golf club rack!

    July 31, 2007
  5. Deb,
    Funny thing about bikes. I sort of donated my mountain bike to Turtle Nest Village for one of the kids to use and it was stolen within 48 hours. Dave's was stolen, as well. He is pondering a new bike, and I'm hoping he would use it a couple of days a week to go to work. Optimally, he'd work from home and we'd need only one car–the doggie mobile! That's my goal.

    This reminds me of the discussion on your site about environmentalism and animal rights. I do find situations where I must make a choice (like leather vs. vinyl/animals vs. environment), and, as bad as it is, I'll go with the vinyl every time (not to mention leather is far from environmental-impact free. But that's me.

    July 31, 2007
  6. Appropriate photo for the headline… 😀

    July 31, 2007
  7. I'm sorry, honey.

    But nature got me back. It rained on my Lexus today!

    July 31, 2007
  8. Mike Grieco #

    "It's time to start publicly challenging the idea that leather is desirable and luxurious, and see it for what it is: the skin of a slaughtered sentient being. That's what i smell when i get into a "luxury" car.-Mary Martin (April 9/o7.)

    People also have to realize that buying or leasing a new car every couple years put's more "wear" on our planet, i.e extract more resourses.

    I currently drive a 21 year old 3 cylinder car and it also acompanies 3 dogs one of which is Zack who is 172lbs(not fat, just huge), and still leaves room for groceries.

    Maybe because i fixed cars for years, but i cannot understand the "obsession" people have for cars/trucks etc.And the amount of water people must use to keep them "shinny",(also bad,bad for OUR planet.)I have not washed my dog mobile in 2 yrs (yes i'm bragging,Dave.)

    Use your bike more often, and boycott leather, and now i could see Dave giving me the "finger",exept now in a different context.

    August 1, 2007
  9. Trust me, Mike, he knows how I feel about leather–and about car obsessions. And he's learning more and more about his impact on the planet every day. This is all completely new to him. Not everyone has a developed sense of injustice, and sees the world like you and I. He as made enormous progress in a short time, and I need to support that.

    Part of the reason for my blog is to reach out to people just like him, who for the first time are wondering: hmmm, chickens are no different from dogs, why don't I eat dogs? More important, why do I eat chickens? I find the leather thing to be difficult for many people to "get," but I believe Dave will get there.

    Finally, I lived, for years, with a tax resistor/(mostly raw) vegan who drove a 1972 VW bug with no A/C, no radio, and for the most part, no floor. He parachuted into nuclear reactors on weekends. He had 2 pairs of shoes, 2 shirts, and 2 pairs of pants. For years, I was surrounded by people who helped make me who I am. And now it's my turn to live in the regular world and influence regular people (not activists), one person at a time, by example. And it's working.

    But it wouldn't work if I ridiculed them for their missteps.

    August 1, 2007
  10. Deb #

    You're right, our options aren't always ideal, and even the animal-product-free options can have a negative impact on our environment. The first step, as you've pointed out, is to become aware of the options and the consequences of them.

    Things are marketed to us completely without context, so it is up to us, and often requires quite a bit of research, to get a handle on the real consequences of the options. It is so much easier to get started on that and to look at things critically when we have people around us who are already in that habit!

    August 1, 2007

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