Honey, wool, leather, and silk:
These are the items that I haven't really thought about much in my transition to vegan eating. But I really should! They all contribute to the exploitation and death of animals, which is one of the main reasons that I became vegan.
First of all, bees are animals. Bees are sensative animals that, like animals on the factory farms, can't speak up and defend themselves, so people like me have to do it. I need to stop eating anything that contains honey, even traces of it. I no longer want to support the honeybee industry. I had no idea how badly the poor bees had it until I read this article: http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm
This will be a tough one for me, because I love a good wool sweater in the winter. And I intend on still wearing the ones that I own, because it won't do anyone any good if I throw them away. Also, if I just HAVE to have something wool, I will just buy used. That way I'm not really contributing to the wool industry, I'm contributing to Goodwill or the Army Salvation. Here's the article that helped me wake up to how bad wool really is: http://www.veganviews.org.uk/vv77/vv77wool.html
This one is more obvious. Hello, of course the cow had to die in order for us to use its skin for fashion/furniture/car interiors/etc. So if I'm not going to eat the cow, I shouldn't use its skin for the same reasons: animal rights and environmental issues. Like wool, I will continue to use my leather items until they break or I donate them. Here is a great, eye-opening page full of articles about the production of leather: http://www.cowsarecool.com/wsarecool.com/
Like honey, I never thought of silk as being cruelty to animals. I mean, worms are just like bees: I hated them and avoided them, and was kind of scared of them! But this is different than just cringeing when I see a bunch of worms after a rain storm, and freezing in fright when a bee comes anywhere near my face. This is about mass production of silk from silkworms, and the torture and murder of innocent unknowing beings. Here's a great article that is very informative about the silk industry (actually this one talks about down too, something else I should have mentioned!) : http://www.peta.org/mc/factsheet_display.asp?ID=121