vegetarian and leather grip

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by okapi, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. okapi

    okapi New User

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    Just curious.... If you're a vegetarian or vegan do you use a leather grip?

    Are leather grips made from animals?

    Even though I'm really satisfied with my current racket, I've been thinking of trying a leather grip. Guess it's just in the nature: always hard to be satisfied with what you have!! Since I'm a vegetarian I'm in a little bit of a dilemma...

    Obviously changing a leather grip is not going to improve your game, but what are the advantage of using one anyway?

    Am curious to hear your thoughts about this. :)
     
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  2. your name

    your name Rookie

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    It depends on the reasons the person is vegetarian whether it is because of animal cruelty or simply they dont like eating meat.

    Yes they are made from animals, where else would you get it from? People? Plants?

    Advantages are that it gives you a better feel of the bevels.
     
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  3. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    This is why I love this forum, when you think you have heard (or read) everything from the TTers somebody always comes with something new ... On topic ... sorry I can't think of anything to say about the topic...
     
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  4. surfsb

    surfsb Rookie

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    Leather has preferences for feel and added weight, if those qualities are sought after.

    But most leather grips you'll encounter are from calf hide because it's soft. Essentially it's the by-product of slaughtering for veal. Many meat-eaters are even outraged about the slaughter of veal because it's baby cows (cuteness guilt).

    I've yet to find a faux leather grip. It would be great if companies who make vegan boxing and MMA gloves could also manufacture tennis grips.
     
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  5. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, you'd have to share why you are a vegetarian.

    My personal reasons for not eating meat wouldn't preclude me from using a leather grip. I am wearing leather shoes right now.

    I guess I see these things as a continuum. One reason I don't eat meat is environmental. So someone could say I am a huge hypocrite because I say I won't use my money to support an industry that is destroying the environment. Yet I jump in my mini-van, which is hardly the most fuel-efficient vehicle I could drive.

    Everyone has a carbon footprint of some size. If you're making active efforts to make your footprint smaller in your everyday life, you're doing enough IMHO.

    So I would go ahead and buy the leather grip with a clear conscience.
     
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  6. surfsb

    surfsb Rookie

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    Even vegetarianism and veganism are paradoxically environmentally friendly since the agriculture industry is just as destructive.
     
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  7. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    I had this same question growing up as a pure vegetarian. I don't eat any meat for religious, spiritual, and health reasons, plus I'm a very picky eater and have basically had the same favorite diet my whole life. I'm Hindu. They used to use leather grips everywhere, so they couldn't be avoided. Now, I love Tourna Grip as I used to, but without a leather grip. Where do you draw the line I suppose? I for example, don't kill insects in my house, I take them outside. Yet, my shoes do have leather in them, though I frankly cringe at the meat industry as a whole.
     
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  8. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    I'd think if a person objected to using leather for shoes, belts, wallets, etc. they wouldn't want to use a leather grip. It's not like there aren't good alternatives. Of course, are you going to boycott a company because it uses leather grips on some of its rackets? If you buy a nice new racket with a calfskin grip are you going to take it off and replace it? That won't bring the calf back. Do what you gotta do.

    If a person doesn't mind using leather for other things, why not for a grip? Just avoid gnawing on it in moments of frustration.
     
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  9. rufusbgood

    rufusbgood Semi-Pro

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    Yes, leather is made from animals. So is natural gut. So probably are your tennis shoes (at least the uppers).

    The advantage of playing with a leather grip is that it weds to your hand (especially the tackified ones) and being a thin and dense material it is not subject to compression like your typical synthetic grip. So, you would probably find that your control and feel is improved at the expense of comfort. Finding a leather grip you like might not be all that easy. Personally, when I was using leather I preferred tackified grips like Kobe and Neumann. I don't know if anyone is making that sort of grip today. The Fairways are expensive and that dry smooth finish doesn't appeal to me at all.

    On the tour, I think most players using leather grips put an overgrip over them. Tournagrip, which is quite thin, seems to be widely used.

    There are a couple synthetic leather grips available but I have zero experience with them. Perhaps someone else can chime in.
     
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  10. ProgressoR

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    If you don't eat meat for ideological reasons then you should be disgusted by a leather drip or shoes or belt. If you compromise on those things then you are just a sham and your life and ideals are worthless. I love meat but don't use a leather grip. Now that you got me thinking about them I am gonna put two on both of my rackets.

    This is just my view and it happens to be right.
     
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  11. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Very good post. That is why I never bought the "Al Gore is a hypocrite because he lives in a large house and consumes a lot of electricity." He is far better than someone who lives in a small house and actively supports pollution of the environment by lobbying.
     
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  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    And leather is one of India's biggest exports! There is even a Central Leather Research Institute. Been past that place many times.
     
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  13. tennisnoob3

    tennisnoob3 Professional

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    i wasn't aware to this, but how? aren't a majority hindu and thus dont eat/kill the cow?
     
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  14. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yeah but it is a secular place and people can do what they want. They found that export of leather goods brings in good money. Many leather products around the world originate in India. They are sold with huge markups in international fashion outlets.
     
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  15. okapi

    okapi New User

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    My reasons for being vegetarian are these:

    1) I like furry animals-- they're cute; so I'm not gonna eat them. Since I'm at it, might as well extend it to the fishes and other animals. I like consistency.

    2) There are alternatives. Meat tastes good I know. But non-meat food can taste good too, when cooked right. They're just a different kind of delicious.


    I suppose expanding on reason number two, it would be consistent with my line of reasoning not to use a leather grip. The synthetic grip is a more than sufficient alternative-- after all, changing into a leather grip won't make you play drastically better..... practice does, over time.

    I actively try to avoid leather shoes. But I'm using what I think should be a leather wallet now that I think about it! This wallet was a hand-me-down by a sibling. Guess that is the only exception to the 'consistency' I'm willing to accept: if it's given to me I would use it; might as well, you can't bring the animal back. Otherwise, a plausible alternative might be to give it away.

    I don't care about the environment!!!! I'm shallow like this, in it only for the cute animals!!!
     
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  16. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    Along similar lines, what about Natural Gut? . Isnt that coming from Intestines of Cows/Bulls/ etc?
     
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  17. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

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    I think plants have feelings too. Some plants are pretty, some are cute. Why do you hypocrites murder them? BTW, I'm a professional meat cutter since 1978. Still doing it.
     
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  18. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    There's also a question of awareness. A lot of vegetarians may not know of leather, silk and other things. I gave up using leather many years back but see most people wearing belts and wallets.

    I hear dairy products use animal parts (cheese) so I gave up cheeses some years back, but a lot of Indian vegetarians aren't aware of what goes into cheese.

    Toothpastes also are said to have animals parts and does ice-cream so you have to look for vegetarian alternatives.

    As Cindy said, it depends on your reason for being vegetarian. Most indians are veg since they are born in a veg family, so if parents wear leather its okay for them. They don't think or question.

    Also, there's a large (and growing) population that is NOT vegetarian. So industries like leather have no problem.

    okapi, to address your last post ... thanks for loving furry animals, and for being honest about your reasons.

    Don't worry about hypocricy. If you believe in something, do as much as you can. If you worry about hypocricy someone will point out that you drive a car and kill innumerable insects everyday. If you stop driving and walking, someone will tell you you breathe in bacteria and what not and they die. So you stop breathing and die, and all the bacteria in you die. So do as much as you can and don't worry -- over time answers (and consistency) will come, don't hurry them.

    Since you talked about leather wallets, what would be your take on wallets made of snake leather ??? You may be repelled by reptiles but i could tell you how snake leather is made, the story is of horrifying cruelty ("I've heard it on youtube so it must be true", lol).

    Best wishes.
     
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  19. flashfire276

    flashfire276 Hall of Fame

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    I believe many vegetarians and vegans don't buy leather products (jackets, purses, wallets, etc.). I think that grip would fall under the same category.

    But hey! They can always use Babolat Skin Feel!
     
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  20. ProgressoR

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    Sentinel, you raise a good point about snake leather. I would suggest snake leather is ok because snakes are meat eaters (the interesting ones anyway) and if you kill snakes then you save a whole bunch of other animals down the line, like a domino effect. No need for cruelty as you suggest happens, but perhaps we should encourage vegetarians to support leather products made from carnivores rather than herbivores.

    Mind you plants have feelings too, as another poster pointed out, so perhaps we shouldnt waste too much time in taking out the herbivores too.
     
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  21. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    progressr, please don;t go down that line of logic. snakes and other carnivores only kill in order to survive, they do so in very small numbers, and they typically "weed out" the weakest. It is theorized that this actually strengthens the species.

    This keeps up the so-called balance of nature. And they are following natural rules. We do not kill solely for survival, we kill in huge quantities for reasons other than food too. When you kill with a bullet you do not kill the slowest or weakest.

    If man had to chase and hunt down, he would likely also only kill the slowest and would only kill enough to eat.

    i came across a video in which a guy describes how these snakes are nailed onto trees. they are alive. a fire is on below them which burns them so the skin can be peeled off. they are then left alive and skinless and take a week or 2 to die. many such snakes make one bag or wallet. The video could be a lie. And it could be the way only in some parts of the world such as India, where it may be sinful to kill a snake, so they leave it to die !!
     
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  22. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Plants respond to their environments, but unless they have a central nervous system, they don't feel pain in the same way that animals and human beings do.

    See:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_nervous_system

    http://www.popsci.com/science/artic...em-illuminating-how-plants-remember-and-react
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
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  23. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    If you're squeamish about using a leather grip, you'd better also find a racquet that isn't made from graphite. One of the ingredients in manufacturing graphite is petroleum coke, a derivative of refined petroleum, petroleum of course forming from deposits of biomass that includes animal remains. Wilson T-2000 with Gamma Hi-Tech Grip???
     
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  24. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Oooops, forgot about the strings!! Petroleum is also used in manufacturing synthetics such as polyester, and gut is obviously out of the question!
     
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  25. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    wait wait. then even the plants that grow could have been nourished by dead animals, insects etc that died near the soil, or a graveyard nearby.

    Even the water I drink from a river, even though treated, could have had dead animals, birds etc in it so some atom or molecule could come from animal sources.

    You know seriously, it is my wish that when i leave this body, it is fed to animals rather than burnt and then thrown into some river which probably (i dunno) could be more a cause of pollution.

    And you aren't prying my Wilson T2000 from my cold dead hands, lol !
     
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  26. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    deleted post.
     
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  27. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

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    So it's ok if they feel pain as long as it's not in the "same way" we do? Plants are living things and you have no right to take their lives away from them.
     
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  28. El Diablo

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    What a fine point you make!! What do you eat?
     
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  29. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

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    I eat pretty much everything. Just making a point that some vegetarians are hypocrites. Not if they do if for health, but moral or ethical reasons.
     
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  30. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Since you judge others ...
    Non-vegetarians are hypocrits too. Why don't they eat humans ?
     
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  31. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

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    I eat p u $$ y. does that count?
     
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  32. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Watch the documentary "Food Inc." That will nudge you toward caring about the environment. It might also convert you into an enemy of Big Ag in general.

    Then you will have three good reasons not to eat meat. :)
     
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  33. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    Too many toxins from poor diet. Now, a nice organic human...
     
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  34. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    And buried humans decompose and become fertilizer in the soil. Don't think that means that everyone is a murderer.
     
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  35. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Don't put ideas into my head, OK?
     
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  36. nvottennis

    nvottennis Semi-Pro

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    I believe only vegans will not use it according to standard definitions
     
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  37. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    :evil:
    That's me. Vegetarian, teetotaler, non-smoker, doesn't take medication/antibiotics/vaccinations, low cholesterol, high iron. Only problem is more bone, less flesh. So i can only make a good appetizer. For main course, try sureshs who might be fatter :)

    :)
     
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  38. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

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    There's thousands of kinds of animals. We can't eat them all. I don't eat giraffe, ocelot, koala, penguin or three toed sloth's. Why did you single out ONE animal? I don't ask you "why don't you eat redwood trees?"
     
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  39. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    I asked since he judges others. I don't call people hypocrites (or very rarely, if there is a complete coverup). Usually, if there is sincerity in your belief, then i don't care how far you go, its up to you.

    It's very easy to call anyone a hypocrite. You can always find some tiny little shortcoming in them.
     
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  40. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    At least I am not a threat to the public health like you are by not getting vaccinations.
     
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  41. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    "high iron"?? Thought to be a risk factor for heart disease, causes oxidation of lipid in arteries, increases clot formation.
     
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  42. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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  43. li0scc0

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    Classic!!!!
     
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  44. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

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    Because non-vegetarians realize that humans have dominion over the animals. Not to exploit or abuse, but to use for things such as food, leather, etc.
     
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  45. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    What is a non-vegetarian?
     
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  46. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

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    A carnivore.
     
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  47. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    I knew that word would draw you in , lol.

    After consuming me, you would be a public health hazards, too.
     
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  48. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Someone who does not eat vegetables.
     
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  49. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    well, perhaps i should just say "decent/good iron", esp by indian standards. My haemo is about 16, so its not too high. No supplements.

    But yeah, low fat/cholestrol can also be a risk (can it?). So there are some risks in consuming me. You will have to deep fry me in lard, to get your daily RDA of fat.
     
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  50. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

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    When you die, you'll be the healthiest person in the cemetary.
     
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