I often forget that not all Pagans are Vegan, and not all Vegans are Pagan. For me, the two fit together so naturally that part of me is always shocked to be reminded of this fact. Veganism fits so closely in with the basic beliefs of most if not all of the different traditions of Paganism because we are taught to do what we want as long as we harm none.
Leslie and I recently went to Salem, Mass for a long weekend with a detour back to Maine on Saturday. It was a fun way to celebrate my Birthday and the annual Maine Vegetarian Festival as well. As we browsed the many shops, I was saddened by the amount of leather, feathers and other animal parts on magical tools that we saw in these shops. As part of our weekend, we took a tour through the Witch Village Museum. The tour guide stated that this number one belief that we we are ok as long as we harm none, and she even said that she participates in a little bit of dog and cat rescue in her spare time. What struck me is that how she like most people clearly only considered not harming pets, and did not include animals that are commonly exploited for "food" in with those animals that we should not harm.
This made me really wonder why Pagans don't see the connection between "Harm None" and eating animal products. Harm none means harm nothing, not just don't harm the cute and cuddly pets but continue to take part in the meat and dairy industry that exploits, harms and kills animals because they "taste good". To me, Harm none means simply that. I believe in living a lifestyle that truly does not harm animals or humans. The feathers that I do have were gifted (shed) by birds and were not killed to obtain them. And I believe there are more beautiful ways to decorate my magical tools than to cover them with materials that were obtained by harming a living being.